Laura Jane Murphy

The Season of the Dark

lightsI call the months from October to January, (when the days finally start to lengthen) the “ Season of the Dark.” My rituals stem from the celebration of light in the dark. I love this special time of year, despite its commercial exploitation, for the palpable experience it provides.

Growing up in a family that was not traditionally religious, yet still connected to the foundation of spirituality, rooted me in seasonal tradition. My father grew up Jewish and my mother a Southern Baptist. Together our family created a compromise based in love.

I have somehow continued to honor ritual around the light with my own family, and am now aware that my daughter, even in her distracted teenage years, appreciates them. I saw how adamantly resistant she was when we contemplated a possible trip away from home during the Holidays. Her excitement during this time has spurred me on to establish new holiday rituals ones that my own New England family would never have embraced.

It wasn’t until I moved to the Midwest that I joined the frenzy of decorating the exterior of the house. New Englanders rarely string orange and white lights that look like candy corn all over the front porch, as well as hang spider webs and giant bugs over the railings. [Read More…]

By |December 15th, 2015|Categories: Commentary, Daily Living, Motherhood, Rituals & Spirituality|Tags: , , |5 Comments

Where Did the Time Go?? (Letting Go of My Teenager – One Step At a Time)

IMG_3153 (1)My sweet toddler, who only a minute ago was going off to pre-school, is starting high school this week.  I am terrified!

All these spinning emotions are rising to the surface and I woke today with butterflies in my gut.

I was in high school 42 year ago and I don’t have a clue where to begin with all the changes that have taken place.

It’s times like these that I wish my daughter had an older sibling, cousin, someone who could bridge the gap and be there to navigate this new terrain for the next four years. [Read More…]

From Death to Life (A Mother’s Circle)

Laura Jane Murphy's ashes IIMy sister and I were recently able to return my precious mother’s ashes to her birthplace.

Honoring her life, we traveled back to her hometown. This little dot on the map, reminiscent of “Mayberry,” N.C , was established in the eighteenth century by her ancestors.

Mom died almost four years ago.  At the time of her passing, my sweet daughter was only ten.  Losing her grandmother led to a profound questioning of her own heritage. I will never forget the moment when she spilled her guts out in pain. Grief unleashed the deep sorrow of loss and awareness that she was not of my blood.

In that rare moment of emotional release, crying and in between gasp for air, she asked, “Why?  Why wasn’t I wanted?”  And, added the sentence, “You don’t know MY PAIN.”  [Read More…]

My Mystical Journey to Midlife Motherhood

Laura and young daughterI have always felt there was a mystical path for my becoming a mother.   It took longer and was more challenging than I could have wanted or expected.  Through it all, I never doubted in my conviction that my destiny was to be a “mom.”

Life is a scavenger hunt and there are clues presented through following the vibration of the heart. Reason has nothing to do with Love.

Today, at 60, I am the proud mother of a young teenage daughter embarking on her future. I dislike labels, so I consider myself a late bloomer – not an “older mom.”

Yet, I also find myself in a tough place of introspection, realizing my years ahead will be less than the ones gone by in my “rear view mirror.”  For the last few years, I am no longer someone’s daughter – I said goodbye to that sweet role with the death of both my parents. [Read More…]

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