I awoke to the most magnificent light in my room. It was luminescent, as if the moon had somehow overridden the morning sun.
There standing immersed in this heavenly glow were women. Hundreds of them. Ancient and contemporary. Dressed in rags and in silks. All barefoot.
Amongst them was Booba, my other Booba Klara, my great grandmother, Booba Malka, and women I didn’t know, but felt related to in some way.
It was like I was back in a Red Tent, where women used to celebrate the new moon while they gathered during menstruation, away from their families and responsibilities.
At the end of the line was one woman and although I didn’t recognise her face, old tears rolled down my cheeks. Tears I’d been unable to shed for 18 months during the peak of my illness. At last, the well had been found in my desert. The woman was Sarah; our foremother. Here, on this new moon of January 2013, in Byron Bay, NSW, I suddenly remembered: I had a middle name. I was not just Sharon Sztar; I was Sharon Sarah Sztar.
When my tears stopped, Booba and the women were gone. Her task was completed, but the light stayed with me.
She’d brought me home to my centre. To the place where we can all heal from. The middle is the point of balance often forgotten in this hectic modern life, especially for women of my generation. We’ve become too fiery and the heat has dried up our waters. We’ve been upsetting the natural balance of life that needs both masculine and feminine energies.
Booba helped me bridge the gap by taking me back to Sarah. To a time when women were the wise healers and medicine women of communities. They knew exactly what to do and how to use love, earth and roots to heal and nourish.
I now understood what had been happening for the past three months. In the time following her death, she’d brought me back to life. She took me out of the busyness of Melbourne to a place where she could give me a crash course in the secrets of her life. And ultimately back to Sweet Suraleh: the name she had endearingly called me all my life.
Ironically she’d tried to show me this while still alive, but I couldn’t see. I didn’t want to see. In her last year, I would’ve been better off just sitting with her, holding her softly wrinkled hand; listening to her failing breath; looking into her brown sunken eyes; soaking in her love, her wisdom, her presence.
“Come for lunch tomorrow,” she’d say. “Come for tea Saturday,” she’d say. “Stay awhile,” she’d say. Instead I ran. I ran to doctor appointments. I ran searching for cures. I ran when I needed to sit.
Sadly, I never got it then. I do now Booba. I do now.
In the weeks after I arrived in Byron, she was by my side in many forms. Silent whispers in my ears; the sweet cream on top of the cake she’d taught me to bake; the scent of the blooming roses we’d both loved; the shine of her diamond engagement ring I now proudly wore; the light in my dreams and darkness of my nightmares. She’d been calling to me, speaking to me in a language I’d never understood before but was now intimate with.
Today she was finally able to leave earth.
Today I began to heal.
Today I began my journey home. To my middle. To my essence. To Sarah.
To my womanhood.
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