Sunday, March 20, 2016

The newest ones

Indulge me, for a moment, and imagine what being a newborn baby involves. Here comes this new, squishy, delicate being, brought into life by love and miracles. This baby comes with a few simple feelings: hunger, discomfort, sleepiness, curiosity and joy. I love to think about how simple and pure they are, unaffected by the conditions of their surroundings. They don't yet know anything but these few feelings. To settle into that state of full joy and wonder, what an existence that would be now.

Holding a newborn baby is such a special gift, to me. I am looking at one of the world's newest people. I run my fingers softly over the curve of their downy heads, and let my eyes dance between their impossibly small toes, velvet-y soft earlobes, perfectly pouty lips built for suckling. I am quiet, smiling, and everything around me is pulled into the moment.

Mom hair and yoga wear, I know.
Holding new babies is about as close as I have been to the great beyond. Here I am, holding this little person who, just days ago, wasn't yet breathing, was in her mama's belly, but also wasn't really here yet. I like to imagine how, until recently, this little being was part of the not-yet-living place overseen by what I call God. That gives me goosebumps. Maybe it's the coming of Easter, or the way Spring makes me reflect on the beautiful promise of new life and clean slates, or how I have been so lucky to hold a couple of perfect new babies, but it has all been making a mark on my soul.

Soon, we will welcome a new baby into our extended family, and I am in awe watching this woman grow a new person. I felt special when I was pregnant, and I hope she recognizes her status as demigod, the carrier of a whole new being who still dances in the spirit world, waiting to join us. She is so radiant, beautiful, amazing and is earning special status as an elevated one of us for the next few months.

Baby Summer
Call me sentimental, but when I went for my long run yesterday and got to thinking about how truly amazing it is that each of us defied the odds and came into being, it made me feel pretty grateful. To be here, to watch it happen with loved ones, to welcome newborn babies and whisper into teeny tiny ears how much they are wanted. I wish we'd remember more often how we were born to families that held us and saw something so pure, so divine. Lots of other things may have happened with those families, and not every story has a happy beginning. But for those first few days and weeks, we were the most pure, simple versions of ourselves, and when I think of how we all started that way, it's so much easier to regard every with more grace and that same simple, pure love.

From Khalil Gibran's The Prophet:
Your children are not your children. 
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself. 
They come through you but not from you, 
And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you. 
You may give them your love but not your thoughts. 
For they have their own thoughts. 
You may house their bodies but not their souls, 
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams. 
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you. 
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday. 
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth. 
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far. 
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness; 
For even as he loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.




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