Climb ouf of the Darkness

photo by Nick Demerice

 This weekend I was privileged to join several amazing moms and their families in a walk for postpartum mental health. The Climb Out of the Darkness walk in Olympia was a celebration of overcoming the unexpected emotions that often accompany the arrival of a new baby. This was a victory for families everywhere.
photo by Kristin Jacobsen
The sentiment was reinforced by Team Olympia leader, Kristin Jacobsen, in several creative and memorable ways including a beautiful opening and closing ceremony and bubbles. We were also asked to carry a rock around Capitol Lake to the bottom of the hill we were to climb. There Kristin gave us an oil pen and asked us to write a word on the rock; one that represented our struggles with new (and not so new) parenthood. I chose the word “unfit.” While I still feel that way occasionally, it was a daily thought for much of the first year of my son’s life. Healing came when we through those rocks into Capitol Lake. 

What we carried up the switchbacks was not our rocks, fears, and worries, but hope. We each carried a lovely glass bead with the word “hope” hand written neatly in the center. At the top of the hill was the state capitol and a gorgeous panorama of Olympia and the sound as well as new summer blooms and plenty of smiles.

At the end of the walk we carried our hope. Hope for ourselves and our families and hope for a culture in which no new mom ever feels alone. This video from Postpartum Progress shows some of the many moms (including Kristin) who have come back to the light.
I look forward to participating in this event next year. Mark your calendars for June 20, 2015 and join me.

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