Then I became pregnant with Manech. Fast forward the nauseous first few months, all in a sudden I seemed to have a calling for the forest. I did go swimming in the ocean almost every day but I started to crave the forest, the trees, the smell of wet dirt. If you're pregnant during the summer, it's the place you'll want to go to cool your body down. But for me it wasn't only about my body wanting a refresher. I could feel it was deeper, something, or someone for that matter, was growing in me. I had the urge to surround myself with trees. I had to walk. walk and walk. A couple days before going into labor we went to the forest again and Gurvan had a hard time keeping up with me. I was walking like my life depended on it and I told him the little one really really wanted to walk. I could swear it wasn't me. People would smile at me and at my big belly about to deliver a new soul to the world. I remember before getting back into our car to drive home, we sat down and Gurvan opened some coconuts we had brought with us. I did not want to leave the forest.
Manech was born 3 days later. We didn't know whether we were going to welcome a girl or a boy. We kinda had names. Did not think about a second name though. All I knew was that I did not want him to have to carry the weight of some ancestor's name. And Gurvan came up with Kamani. The Hawaiian name of a tree known as the Tamanu in Tahiti. The people of French Polynesia use the nut of the tree to make oil, it's quite a rock star amongst trees in the South Pacific but it seems to have been a bit forgotten in the Hawaiian culture. However we had not really talked about second names, Manech was here and his dad came up spontaneously with that name. It sounded nice to me, I liked that it was a tree and not a person and so we wrote it down on the birth papers.
By eight and a half month Manech was a walking baby. One year and a half later, his dad had gone from being a captain on board large tanker boats to becoming an arborist, climbing and trimming trees. I still get cravings for forest walks. At the end of our walk a couple weeks ago, Manech stopped by a smaller tree, looked at it and gave it the sweetest hug. Then he stepped back, looked at it again (we couldn't move, too afraid to disturb the connection), laid his ear against the trunk and stayed there for a moment. Came back to us with a large smile. It left us speechless. And Happy.
I do believe Children are the guardians of our Soul.