“Surely, I have composed and quieted my soul; Like a weaned child rests against his mother, My soul is like a weaned child within me.” Psalm 131:2
It’s hard to believe that one day two decades ago I was fresh to the world. In 1996 I breathed my first breath and before my head resumed proper formation, my father snapped a photo of me, the very first photo of my body in air.
My mother just recently gave me this first picture. The baby in the picture doesn’t seem like me. It is so small, precious, and so very free. It has captivated me. I can’t stop looking at this baby and have realized this is a sort of narcissism. It is a fascination with what actually was, but doesn’t feel real. I was fresh to the world.
Now my friends are having babies and I am relearning the sacredness of birth. A baby fresh to the world leaves an impression like no other. Every heart in the room melts and the baby becomes the new love of life.
When I am with my dear friend who has a belly growing more day by day, I ask her what size fruit the baby is. Picturing a coconut puts the baby in perspective. Inside a safe womb there is a clump of cells, the size of a coconut, forming fingernails and sucking thumb. This new life knows nothing of what lies ahead of it. It only knows nurture.
When I look at the picture of my small baby body there is a grace that pours out. I don’t blame anything on this baby. I see a fragile soul that needs nurturing, that needs protection from the cold world, but I can’t say I feel that about my 20 something self.
It’s easy to look in the mirror and magnify the blemishes. The mistakes I made aren’t just falls while trying to walk, there is a heavier consequence. Yet, I know this small soul is still inside. It is the part of me that needs a father to hold me, someone to love me even though all I do is depend completely on another being for the protection of love.
Like this baby, my soul is quieted and my world is fresh.