Mafe Maria: Personal stories by autism parent mentor, Maria Stultz

Rise Above

Joaquin reads “245”
in the board that tracks our days sheltered at home…
… since the Pandemic arrived.
What an accomplishment, he says
And I think of the many minds who instead might say:
What a disaster
But for me, this time has been magical.

Soon when it began
Kate and Raun announced Rise Above
Let’s not just cope; let’s reinvent ourselves
Hell yes! Joey and I thought
and we became two of the “Special Eight”

While the world struggled with death, freedom, and masks
Raun asked: Are you floating? Or are you diving?
And I wanted to dive
at least for a while :)

Our routine and small community
our consistent practice between like-minded minds
Kate and Raun’s tag team
and bites of wisdom to discuss

For a long time I had wanted more
after many years of work, I finally had the space
I tried to go back to ideas from lives I had lived before
it didn’t work
“I’m too old”, I told myself
“I no longer have what it takes to be great
to start again
to teach myself
to stick with a goal
and be the Super Woman I usually think I was before”

But an innernet login revealed the truth:
I was afraid.
Afraid to stretch
to step out of the bubble I had outgrown
to reach for a dream out of my comfort zone

You’re not good enough
There’s so much you don’t know
Ridiculous! Unqualified!
Who do you think you are?
You will fail
Nobody will value what you have to share

But I talked with Kate
and the Universe conspired
an invitation came to say YES
Yes, I accept!
to learn again
to not know all there is, and show up anyway
to make mistakes
to not be perfect
yet good enough to begin
and step into the golden arena
because my expansion can only happen in there

So a new chapter began
with much celebration and magic at first
I remembered who I am:
a Magical Woman when I am awake
but maybe I’ll forget
so I wrote some reminders
of my purpose and play
and the Tag Team suggested:
“How about a Super Hero as well?”
Oh yes! A Wise Old Woman to mentor my baby steps
a future version of myself

Now our shared project must come to an end
but on we go our separate ways
except for Joey; he better stay supportive
and my Son-Rise child
who also came onboard the Option way

I’ll miss our meetings, and our homework as well
the regular practice to keep us aware
thank you my friends for a nurturing season together
thank you Raun; you’re funny as hell
thank you Kate; for your special and loving help
and thank you Rise Above project
for all the wisdom, love, and care.

"You still got a lot of life" written by Kiki on the bark of our dead maple treeProud and alive. It was about time!
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