"In every walk with nature one receives more than he seeks."
John Muir

Saturday, September 8, 2012

A Night Filled with Promise

Tonight is filled with breathless wonder.
We are settled in for the duration at the Women's Center, 
awaiting the monumental moment when a new child enters our world.
We have heard the cries of other babes newly arrived,
but the one we anticipate has yet to come.

Kathleen had a goal (she ALWAYS has a goal)
of knitting a tiny pixie cap for this wee lad before he was born.
She finished the stitches last night, but still needed the pom pom.
Here she is, making that final little thing.
It's done now, on the hat and we are ready!
Ready, I tell you.
The greatest efforts are still to come but this dear mother
is full of strength and hope and energy to meet the task at hand.
And I...my thoughts are jumping around as quickly as the
heartbeats of this tiny person heard echoing on the monitor,
a muffled drum beat in the otherwise hushed room.
I am mother... grandmother...
 My anxieties and expectations are those shared with women 
for thousands of years.
A mother's heart beats to the same rhythms no matter the 
continent or generation we inhabit.
Down through the ages, the birth event in caves or tents or hospitals--
the setting changes but the emotions stay the same. 
So do the ministrations of women to women:
as I soothe with lotion or comfort with soft words,
I recognize that I am repeating the tasks from long ago. Innate skills I was born knowing.

And how astonishing that I should even be present for this!
That God, in His mercy, allowed me the gift of this time,
 this moment.
Though living in Texas, I have spent months here,
weeks building up to this occasion.
And tonight I am an active participant in the miracle--
the bringing forth of new life, with all its potential.
We guess his looks, his weight, his personality.
We wonder together, these young parents and I.
We laugh and later we will weep.
Tears of joy and exhaustion.

This night is dark and long.
The morning will bring changes to this family.
Changes in the shape of a tiny man child.
Oh baby, our hearts and arms yearn for you.
Please don't tarry too long.


  1. Sharon, my friend, you are an author of wonderful words! What a magical event you are a part of, so glad for you and Kathleen and Josh that you were able to be there! carol

  2. How thankful we are that he didn't wait too long. What a dynamic and fast labor we had with our little guy. I will always remember that it hurt but more importantly I will remember how much we laughed. Thank you so much for being there for each step!