Sunday, February 12, 2012


My baby is due this week, though I don't expect him to arrive quite on time.

Last weekend Cameron and I took a trip down to San Rafael to collect pieces of sandstone. They are now arranged around our house in preparation for our birth. My midwife received inspiration in the temple that I need to have sandstone present at my birth, and I am counting on its energy to inspire and help me during labor. (This may seem like a strange idea to most people, but I have always been a believer in the energy of all things natural, and not least in the power of stone). I have been thinking about sandstone today, and how I might relate to it during labor. I decided the best medium in which to pull my thoughts together would be poetry.

A little explanation first: I thought about the way the stone forms in layers, sometimes beautifully visible as lines across its broken faces. These layers can appear wave-like:

I have become accustomed to calling contractions "waves," and it is the way my midwives and husband will refer to them while I am in labor.

The main reason I have come to love sandstone and see it as a symbol is that it is the most willing, flexible of stones --- so easily shaped and broken down and built up again by the elements. For this reason, it constitutes some of the most beautiful formations nature ever imagined (not a few of which are in my native Utah -- see above and below my photos of Snow Canyon, and Arches and Zion Natl Parks). No stone presents itself in more creative and inspiring shapes! I want to be as willing, as flexible, and as creative as sandstone while I labor on behalf of my baby boy.

One grainy wave sways 'cross a sandstone face.
A soundless rhythmic ray like Redwood ring,
though stripe of courser, darker stone will bring
with every graceful wave, a wave of grace.

Embrace the band between two waves of stone.
Yield, like the sand to wind to light to flood.
Yield not to fear but yield to breath and blood.
Surrender like the sand to the unknown.

Another wave, and this one darker still.
As from the grave, the hue of ancient life
streaks through the stone, the strike of nature's knife --
but beautifies, not breaks, the sandstone's will.

Desert dune, plateau, arch, canyon, dome:
Not for all the beauty of its sands,
But because it bends to nature's hands,
all because it bows to wind's commands,
sandstone is Creation's favorite stone.


  1. Thank you so much for sharing, Meredith. That was really beautiful. We're thinking and praying for you this week!

  2. That was truly lovely, Meredith! This is such a sacred time for you. You're beauty and strength, and humility are an inspiration. What a wonderful work you are about to embark on. Thank you for sharing.

    It really came to my mind this morning how close you are. Our prayers are ever with you!!

  3. I'm always excited to read a new poem you've written. It seems to flow from you so effortlessly. I really enjoyed this one. Beautiful photography too.

    So honored to get to be a part of this birth. I have a feeling I'll get more from you than you could from me.

  4. Meredith, Stephen and I read this beautiful post today, just after driving up into the beautiful Kolob Reservoir Canyon, on the west end of Zion's Park proper. It was brilliant beauty combining snow and red rock. Every time I am engulfed in the red rocks of Southern Utah, my heart sings. Literally. I cannot contain the joy I feel when I am there.

    How could these sandstone remnants of those majestic walled canyons, placed around your sweet home, not have brought more of the spirit and creative encouragement! I love your poetic thoughts on sandstone.