I took these self portraits near a cabin where I was taking a week of rest. The sun was setting and raindrops started to fall in the mountains of this southern Arizona landscape. I have always been mesmerized by bird’s nests, and had found this one earlier this same day on a walk with my family. As a child growing up in the temperate jungles of central Mexico, I always thought it a magical omen to spot a birds nest in a tree or on a boganvilla bush or brilliantly woven into a corner of the thatch roof of our home. But to find one that had been abandoned, to find one and hold in in my hands was one of the most sacred gifts; more magical even than finding a scarlet feather left behind on the foot path from the winged tribe.
As I grew older, my fascination with bird’s nests did not dissipate. In fact, it grew stronger.
As a woman I have worked diligently to thrive after sexual abuse and to make like a snake and shed the old skin of shame and the feeling of being damaged and dirty. I developed a dedicated practice to cultivate forgiveness and to reconnect with my authentic sexuality which was then followed by loss and miscarriage and then years later becoming pregnant and giving birth to the most gorgeous creature that I watched with my own eyes exit my vagina like a delicate bird emerging from an egg. I have journeyed long searching for peace with my precious body and sexuality and finally, a handful of years ago, I found that stillness in my heart and understood that I am in control of my sacred nest, my divine sacred feminineness. No one will ever hurt me again and I am free from feeling damaged and gross.
Oh yes! I am indeed as magical as these little nests I find that remind me of this exquisite, delicate and fleeting life that can only be described as messy and unstoppably beautiful.
JADE BEALL- is co-founder of A Beautiful Body Project. To book a shoot with Jade or bring her to your area email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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