Megan, on the Hopi reservation
Twenty-two years ago today, you came into the world weighing 6.6 pounds. I had been in labor for about 30 hours and was so exhausted that when the doctor placed you on top of me, I said, “What’s that?”
Your dad laughed and proudly announced, “That’s Megan!”
I remember glancing at the clock on the wall in front of me, to make sure I had an accurate time of birth – you know, for your natal chart. Then the nurses handed you to me, a little thing all bundled up, with a soft pink cap over your head. Your eyes opened and they were the clearest, most perfect blue I had ever seen. They seemed somehow ancient, those eyes, even then, minutes after you have drawn your first breath. Your eyes are still like that and if the eyes are the windows to the soul, then your soul is as lovely and wise as the young woman you are today.
It’s odd, the memories that stick with you over the years. I remember that at seven months, you murmured your first word: kitty. Your second word was Dada– which your dad had been repeating several times an hour since you were born. Impatient even then, you tried to walk before you crawled. Since we lived in a house that was just one story, we bought you one of those walkers. From the moment we put you in it, you were a speedster, zipping around the house, laughing with glee. It strengthened your legs to the point where you were walking around nine or ten months.
We went overboard, no doubt, on the number of puzzles and books of labyrinths we bought you; we’d read that those increased a toddler’s intelligence. Everything you experienced, from books to stuffed animals to walks and that Barney cartoon show you loved, invariably brought out that same beautiful laugh, that same undiluted joy, that is your essence still. Even when doing this, now:
When we started traveling with you, you were utterly fearless in your explorations. In the Southwest, you bopped around the Hopi reservation like an old pro. When we visited Chichen itza, the Mayan ruins in Mexico, you raced up the tallest pyramid – which had no external railings – not just once, but twice. There, you and stood at the very edge and peered out, hands on your hips, some ancient high priestess gazing out over her land, her home. In this picture, your back is to that land, and the expression on your face is, Yeah, so what’s the big deal, parents? I’m sitting at the very edge of this pyramid, no need to freak out, I’m fine.
In the Dominican Republic, Aruba, Margarita, Costa Rica, Ecuador, I always had the sense that you were tying up loose ends from past lives. But none of these journeys explained a dream I’d had when I was pregnant with you.
I was about four months into what turned out to be an easy pregnancy and asked specifically for a dream that would explain the past life we had shared with you that was connected to this life. I dreamed I was inside a large, empty warehouse, and went into labor. I delivered you myself and picked you up and your eyes opened and you said, “Iceland.”
For years, that puzzled me. Then, when you were in college, you became friends with a young woman who was a medium. So at the end of your sophomore year, we all went to visit her and she did a kind of family reading. When she was very deep in trance, I told her about the Iceland dream and said I didn’t understand it and did she have any insights? For moments, her eyes moved rapidly back and forth beneath her lids, as if she was looking for the information. Then she said that “Iceland” referred to a northern European country two or three hundred years ago. Rob and I were siblings, our parents had died, and Megan was an aunt who took us in. You “had a lot of mouths to feed” and did the best you could, often at great sacrifice to yourself. “It was a bleak life where hunger was always present.”
As she spoke, everything she said resonated intuitively. It explained a lot of stuff, but primarily three things come to mind: that life is why the three of us now live in a warm climate, why I hate the sight of a nearly empty fridge, and why you’re an only child. We MacGregors may be a small clan, but we’re there for each other in the best and worst of times.
So happy 22nd, Megger. May the next phase of your journey be as joyful and adventurous!