One of the women waited until everyone else shared and then admitted she really didn't know why she was there, she was physically hurting and really had nothing to say except that she felt like her life was falling apart--job, relationship, health. Everything out of control. She was crying by the time she uttered her last word. The blanket of concern silently covered her shoulders.
Someone joked about how little we control, and we laughed about the lessons to help us learn to recognize it. And how we are offered the lesson over and over until we get it. There was nodding consensus.
"Have you given birth to a child?" the woman sitting on the piano bench asked her.
"No," was all she said.
"No matter, it's just a metaphor anyway for the kind of human pain that occurs in things like childbirth."
"It's called transition. I had one woman grab my arm and yell 'I cannot do this one more minute, I am losing it!'" remembered the nurse in the overstuffed chair.
"Yeah, I literally pushed my kids' Dad out of my way and told him to get away from me I was so over the edge," said the hostess.
The woman quietly sobbed through her puzzlement.
"This is where the Mom is dialated and ready to give birth," the nurse confirmed.
"Sometimes change feels like the transition of childbirth. Just when you think you cannot endure one more moment, you give birth to a new you or a new part of you. Is it possible you are in transition? And you're about to give birth to the new you? asked the woman on the piano bench.
The women surrounded the crying woman, each touching a small patch of her aching left side. The leader said some words of blessing.
And then they cut the cake.