There’s a certain comfort that envelopes a child when she finds the arms of her mother.
In our home we call it the mother sigh – this deep and absolute letting go of everything.
It’s an instant relief, a relinquishing of all that is burdensome and heavy.
A primal connection born from complete familiarity, dependency, nourishment and trust; an attachment and a simpatico that began long before the first breath.
As a mother, I am centred by the sound.
On the tough days and the busy and the frustrating and the long, the mother sigh earths me. It’s not even that it reminds me of my little person, of the role I play in their life, of the way they need me or the importance of that connection.
It’s that the mere sound of it, the feel of it against my chest, delivered by a warm and tender body – that release of a breath that starts at the toes and leaves a person empty and vulnerable and content and true – that act is contagious.
When I pick up my crying son to nurse, or sneak in for a late night snuggle with my sleeping daughter, they give me this gift. They slip like a silken glove into my arms, nestle against my chest, and the sound, smell, sense of them allows me to truly decompress.
And it is the most peaceful part of my day, the truest part of my life.
I’ve recently realised it doesn’t seem to matter how old you get, the mother sigh need never go away. I’ve witnessed my fully grown friends falling into the arms of their mums and melting, releasing that self same sigh.
If it was a gentle love, the mother sigh will ever find you in the embrace of your mother.
No matter how old and how big you grow.
I can only hope as my children get older I will always be their refuge, their safe house, their quiet place.
I can only strive so that the deep connection we have now, fostered on touch and closeness and an intimacy of the purest kind, will last ever long.
A marriage of ferocity and tenderness.
A song of belonging and acceptance delivered in the sweet sound of a single full chested sigh.
Michelle is a writer, a poet and a storytelling photographer from Geelong, Victoria. She is also the mama to two delicious, rambunctious ruffians. In her work, Michelle strives to capture the beautiful, messy, glory of the every day; documenting life and freezing time, preserving a record of now for the days and generations who follow.
You can see Michelle’s work and read more of her musings on her website here