Taking Part in the Beautiful

photo courtesy of J Swenson Photography

My son was born in my bedroom. It still seems unreal sometimes. With only my husband, my midwife, my photographer friend, and three pushes, my baby saw light for the first time. And as soon as I held him in my arms, all the pain of the previous nine hours, and the fears of the previous nine months, were forgotten.

As you can see from the photo, the joy I felt at that moment could not be contained. It didn’t matter that this was my sixth child. This was still special. Like listening to Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings. Or watching a sunset go through all its changes. It doesn’t matter that I’ve heard Adagio for Strings five hundred times before, or that I’ve watched a thousand sunsets in my lifetime. It’s still special–every time. Only, this was even better. In giving birth, I’m a participant, not a bystander.

We all long for opportunities to take part in the Beautiful, to step into something bigger than ourselves. This was my chance. And it was only the beginning, Day 1 of many days of raising and caring for this child. And it may seem mundane, even degrading at times. The lustre of parenthood is not always as clear as it is on the day of meeting one’s child. Certainly there are days when I wish for a sunset, in Paris, from the top of the Eiffel Tower. Or an opportunity to sing Adagio for Strings, in a beautiful concert hall, with a top-notch choir.

But let me never forget, I am still an integral part of the Beautiful, from daipers to runny noses, laundry to dishes. For what can be more beautiful than human life?