The Afterbirth


Five years ago, I gave birth to our first daughter.  The world shifted, and the harsh realities of this planet that I had become accustomed to had not yet entered her young mind.  This troubled me. I wondered if it was a responsible decision to bring new life into an unstable, violent world. I worried about the future of our planet and what it would be like in 20, 40, or 60 years.

I had just finished my midwifery apprenticeship and was months away from licensure.  I started to think about cultivating a safe space for families in midwifery care.  The phrase, "peace on earth begins with birth," ran through my head.  I became convinced that pursuing this career would be one small part - MY small part - in helping make the world a better place to live. The ripple effect. 

This idea helps me when I hear the countless, devastating stories of injustice, war, and destruction that we are exposed to on a daily basis.  We can all have "that one thing" that we bring to our community which benefits all of us, making the world softer.  More beautiful, more forgiving, more loving. 

Fast forward 5 years.  I am sitting in my newly established, still-in-renovation business, The River Guild, watching my dear friend paint beautiful birch trees on the wall of the lobby.  We are trying to come up with a concise statement, a description of what we truly believe The River Guild is.  I am planning to stencil it on the wall of the lobby before the grand opening.  I am googling inspirational quotes and laughing at some of the hokey ones.  She is telling me to get a thesaurus.  We are both laughing, and happy, and excited.  

After some discussion, it became clear that this "statement" is best straight from the heart.  I truly believe that all of us in the Concord community and surrounding areas will benefit from lifting each other up, taking care of each other, and cultivating relationships with each other. 


The River Guild is a community where everyone is warmly welcomed. 

We firmly believe that everyone has something to learn and everyone has something to teach.  

- Kate Hartwell