So there is this beautiful woman I know who has been in my thoughts recently, and today happens to be her birthday. I’m writing this for her.

To be honest I don’t really know her as well as I feel like I do. You see like me she is a painter, we are close in age, we both have children, and we used to live just down the street from one another until I moved a few weeks ago. We both tend to ponder about life’s deeper meanings and have a similar penchant for finding spiritual paths to help us through the tougher times. So in these ways we are quite alike. However unlike me she wears her heart on her sleeve, she writes, paints and communicates very openly about her emotions, experiences and inner processes. Also, she seems to know what she wants to do and how to go about making it happen. I on the other hand hide things quietly, share shyly, and have taken a much longer time to follow my heart to my art.

Many who know us both might already guess that I am speaking about Coco Jones. Like I said today is her birthday. Lately I have been thinking pretty deeply about birthdays as well. In roughly 5 weeks I will be turning 40 –that idea alone seems almost inconceivable to me. But then very shortly after that, any day really, I can expect to go into labor and deliver my new little daughter into the world. She is officially due for the Solstice, my intuition tells me she will be a little bit earlier, perhaps.

So, back to Coco. Coco has been going through some pretty difficult times with her health and she has just had surgery to remove her uterus. She is healing now and from what I hear and see she is painting whenever and however her strength allows it. I keep seeing all these contrasting parallels, if there is such a thing, because I’m not getting much painting done at all. I’m feeling so overwhelmingly full physically, that eating, drinking and breathing freely are all challenging. But I’m healthy. Meanwhile I imagine Coco might be feeling more of an emptiness. We are both creative vessels experiencing different manifestations of our purpose.

So why did I start writing this today anyhow? Oh yeah, it was a basement experience. I was down in the basement on an unrelated errand to find something, and there in the corner looking at me was a painting I did about four years ago. At the time I was going through an altogether different ‘birthing phase’ in my life and in my heart. The painting –of a fetus growing inside a human heart – was an expression of the painful yet absolutely terrifyingly welcome experience of personal transformation. A new life, a new beginning, a new being growing inside my chest, inside my heart.

So there I am in the basement thinking about Coco again. I don’t pretend to know where it is all going but I did want somehow to find some words to share with her. To mention just in case she’d like to hear it today on her birthday. That I am pretty sure that there must be at least one absolutely incredible new being growing in her big beautiful heart these days. I’m looking forward to meeting her. Much Love, Rachel.