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Archive for May, 2012

We wouldn’t have missed it for the world

Revel in your natural and well-deserved joy.  Abraham-Hicks

We wouldn’t have missed it for the world.  We would have traveled the globe to get there.  In fact, that’s what we did.  Literally.  We started at Sydney at ten in the morning on a Thursday, flew for hours and hours over the Pacific and through that magic date line portal where time bends in on itself, landing in Los Angeles before we even started as the sun rose up over the city on that very same morning.  And this was just the start of a day that had already ended back in Sydney.  We climbed on another plane that carried us east over Oklahoma, Arkansas and into Atlanta in the late afternoon.  And that’s when we felt like we could do it; we could just keep on flying; we could fly around this whole wide world and of course we would if that’s what it took.  And sleep – we began to think that maybe sleep was over-rated.  Who needs it anyway?!?  So, it was with a remarkable degree of spunk that we marched onto that final plane of the day, the one that would carry us back out west again, to our final leg of Mystery Trip 2012.

We landed in Denver as the sun was setting over the Rockies on a day that had stretched on forever, rented our car, and made the call on cell phones that now, for the first time in a week, worked again.  “Pete, we’re here,” we said, “and we feel remarkably good.”  And so, in the evening hours of this longest day, we met our son and daughter-in-law at a Thai Restaurant in Boulder, and we savored every bite of a visit that had taken an Outward Bound degree of effort to bring into fruition.

I remember that first Parent/Teacher Conference with Mrs. Rundman, our son Pete’s third grade teacher.  It was early November and the leaves had fallen off the trees and it was dark outside and we weren’t sure what we were heading into.  But this was a bright light, a spring blossoming in the dampness of autumn, this conference with Mrs. Rundman.  She saw our son’s gifts, the ones that weren’t showing up on Friday spelling tests and in neat-and-tidy-evaluations of his reading skills, the ones that we had always known were there.  “He’s brilliant,” she said.  “His mind leaps and it bounds and he thinks in an abstract way well beyond his years.”  And she smiled as she added, “If he does nothing else, he could make a million dollars on a game show.”

I thought of Mrs. Rundman all these years later, the next morning, in the brisk May mist of the last day of our Mystery Trip.  I thought of her as I sat on the sandstone bleachers in an outdoor amphitheater at University of Colorado’s campus in Boulder, with Cam on one side of me, and Shelly, Pete’s wife, on the other.  Although he hasn’t been on a game show and he hasn’t made a million dollars, she was right; Pete is brilliant.  And there he was, on this misty overcast morning, shining his bright light, beaming his smile, as he stood on the stage in front of us.  You could say that it began nearly eight years ago on that first day of graduate school, this journey that was culminating before us now.  Or maybe that it began back at Central Michigan University where he spent his undergraduate years.  Or maybe it was his high school English teacher who sparked his interest in literature and writing.  But I think it was always there.  His passion for thinking in leaps and bounds, outside the box of a traditional fill in the blank life.

And that’s what I was celebrating on that morning three weeks ago, that Pete has done it.  Not only has he completed the course work, cultivated his teaching skills, published the articles, written the dissertation, but he also has stayed true to his course, kept his brilliant light shining.   So there he was up there on that stage, wearing his blue velvet cap and an elegant PhD shawl draped over his gown, smiling broadly and looking as though he were born to wear it, and there we were, smiling back at him.  We wouldn’t have missed it for the world.

Pete’s Graduation, May 2012

Happiness

. . . I could be spring’s wet rupture under a blossom moon  Ellen Crow

I know that happiness is an inside job, that we can’t buy it and no one else can give it to us either.  I know that it springs from an ever-present inner well and it is up to each one of us to draw from our own flowing waters.  I know this with my whole Being.  And it doesn’t need to be a sunny seventy-degree day and the harbor doesn’t need to be sparkling with a million gleaming diamonds and you don’t need to be on a vacation to feel it, this happiness that grows inside of you.  It’s there for you always.  And . . . and, oh my goodness, to feel the sun on your sun-hungry skin!  And to revel in a day that is yours, yours from beginning to end, to plan it in a way that feels good to you!  And to be on an adventure in a land far away!  That, that is a recipe that feeds your inner happiness!

It was such a day, two weeks ago, in Sydney, Australia, for Cam and I, and for the countless others who were outside enjoying this Sunday of unusually warm autumn weather.  In the morning, at Central Quay, we had climbed aboard the Manly Ferry, had reveled in the sparkle and the deep cobalt blue and the sun shining down on us as the ferry cut through the harbor’s waters on its way toward the open sea and the point of land and bay that makes up Manly.  As we had leaned over the side of the ferry, we had watched the sailboats fly on by with their spinnakers billowing, and the dragger boats heading out to sea, and the sleek white yachts anchored in coves and bays.  It was a high-flying breathe-in-the-salt-air-of-a-thirty-minute ride to Manly and a spacious afternoon of exploration.  We had soaked it all in.  How could you not?  On the open ocean side of the town, the white-sand beach had been speckled with people, some in bikinis, some in long pants, some riding those curling splashing waves on their boards.  We had walked barefoot in the sand, dipped our feet in the waves, eaten the best-tasting falafel sandwiches at a corner café called Alchemy, and, all afternoon, we had hiked on a trail along the cliffs overlooking ocean and harbor, had dipped down into coves and up into juniper thickets, through forest and over the rock.  It had been glorious, and all along the way we had met other people who also seemed to be feeding their inner happiness.

So, it was no surprise that, in the early evening, when we squished ourselves into the bulging crowd that was about to board the ferry back to Central Quay, we were bumping up against happy people, people filled with waves and sand and sun and memories of a day well-spent.  And it was in the open bow of the ferry that we now found ourselves as the sun was setting and we were heading back to the city.  And that was good enough.  That was desert for me, and, I suspect for the other passengers as well, as we faced east away from the direction the boat was heading, as we instead turned our heads back toward the breeze and the point of now-shrinking land and the open sea.  The blue sky was deepening as evening set in, and I was standing by now, leaning up against some piece of this massive ferry, just soaking it all in.  I was feeling pure happiness in that breezy moment, and that is when it happened, something new, something glowing and golden that was lighting that point of land where we had played all afternoon, something radiant now and growing, something bulging and exploding.  All of this happened in a matter of seconds, this huge round ball of orange blazing light that lifted itself, lifted itself right out of that ocean and up over that point of land and just hung there, huge and suspended, for all of us to see.

It was a reflex action.  Pure and unbridled.  It bubbled up and over from that deep well-spring inside of us!  The moon!!!  The moon!!! People, probably thirty of us in the bow of that ferry, people from all over the world, yelling and laughing and pointing our fingers.  The moon!!!  The moon!!!  In English, in Chinese, in some European language I couldn’t identify, we were calling out, to this glorious super-sized ball of orange, calling out and laughing as it floated over the horizon.  We were calling out to each other, we were snapping photos on cell phones and cameras, we were following this giant yellow perfectly round ball that was now hanging over the land and now hanging over the sea and now rising above the land again and over the harbor, that was now lifting itself above Sydney’s glorious harbor, lifting itself above the Opera House, lifting itself up into the wide open sky, lifting us up into wide open sky in a glorious aria of group happiness.

Moon Over Sydney

The Flip Side

If you hang upside down long enough, the trees become your friends and the sky becomes something you might consider walking on.  H.D. Artemis

How far down the rabbit hole do you want to go?   from, What the Bleep do We Know? (award-winning movie)

Right away, there were so many things that seemed familiar.  I’ve seen that shimmer before, the way the sun danced across the harbor on the morning we arrived.  I’ve basked in that same shimmering glimmering sparkle of light from the shores and in the waters of the Atlantic in Maine and in the bays and harbors and coastline of Lake Superior.  And the modern buildings that shot skyward toward that brilliant sun, they could have been planted in any modern city in this shrinking world we live in.  There were the hotel chains, Hampton Inn and Four Seasons and the Hilton, that we’ve come to know, and the stores that we recognize when we find our way into any urban environment.  In fact, within an hour of landing in Sydney for our six-day stay, just a few blocks from the hotel that would be our home for the rest of the week, we found my favorite store.  Lululemon.  I love Lululemon!  It is a business based in Vancouver and founded on the philosophy of living and playing well in clothes that are creative and last for years and encourage us to stretch and strengthen and jump for joy.  And, I jumped for joy at my discovery, not only because there might be something cute waiting for me inside that store, but also because I knew that the people working in a Lululemon could help us, that they were on the same wave-length and would lead us toward hikes and restaurants and markets that we would enjoy.

And help us they did.  It was a young woman who had grown up in Sydney who created the list.  She jotted down the names of outdoor markets and a warehouse in Darling filled with fresh fish caught that morning and served by a variety of vendors.  She told us about Manly Harbor, that the ferry to Manly was the cheapest and best way to get a thirty-minute tour of Sydney from the sea, and the open-ocean beach was magnificent, she said, and the hike along the cliffs by Manly was two and a half hours of pure bliss.  And then she paused a moment to remember the names of her favorite restaurants, ones she thought that we would like.  “You must make your way to Surry Hills, through Hyde Park,” she said. “It’s my very favorite part of the city, filled with cafés and coffee houses and little boutiques.”  Even the names in Sydney were familiar: Surry Hills, Hyde Park, Darling Harbor.  Names that had sailed the seas on the tongues of the British colonists, that had made their way not only to my neck of the woods in New England, but, as I discovered on this first day in Sydney, to the shimmering shoreline of Australia.

That’s what made it all the more strange, that it was so familiar, more familiar than many of our adventures, that we could understand the language of the people – and the streets, they weren’t, for the most part, cobblestone and ancient and constructed in maze-like puzzles. This was a new thriving American-seeming straight-forward city.  That’s what sucked us in, nudged us right down that rabbit hole.  Or maybe it wasn’t a rabbit hole at all, but something even more exotic and strange.  First, it was the sea gulls.  They flew right over to us, landed at our feet as we sat on a bench by the docks later that afternoon.  We knew the ways of gulls.  These gulls were another touchstone of the familiar for us.  Or were they?!?  As we looked closer we noticed that their legs and feet were not the familiar shades of yellow and orange worn by the gulls back home, but instead a bold bright red color, and, wrapped around their gull-familiar eyes was a circle of bright-red make-up.   And when they opened their mouths to cry, the gull-cry that I knew by heart from a lifetime of living with gulls on coastal land, it wasn’t what came out at all.  They squawked, a jittery not-quite-crow-like squawk like we’d never heard before.  It didn’t add up, these birds we thought we knew so well singing such a different tune.

And later in the early evening, as we set off for Hyde Park and Surry Hills and those cafes and restaurants promised to us by our new Lululemon friends, it got even more strange.  There were those wide city sidewalks on either side of those wide city streets, just like in the cities back home, and yet the cars were all driving on the not-familiar side and we pedestrians, we were following suit.  It was all mixed up as we headed for the park.  We kept bumping into people, kept trying to figure it all out, to train ourselves into this new not-familiar rhythm of walking on the wrong-to-us side of the sidewalk.  And that’s when we noticed that the sun, that beaming brilliant ball of light that had lit up the Harbor and the Sydney Opera House and had felt like sparkling diamonds on our eager skin, was nowhere to be seen.  It had disappeared all together and dusk was settling in.  We had known that we were flying into a different season, that it was autumn in Sydney, but we had forgotten about the daylight, that this was like November at home in the northern part of the northern hemisphere, that days would be short and nights would be long.

So, our brains, our jet-lagged brains that had already flown over a dateline and a southern sea, worked hard to compute this new piece of information, worked hard to fathom that, while the world back home was swelling with springtime newness, we were settling into a week of waning, of leaves falling to the ground.  (Except we were noticing that it wasn’t just the leaves that were falling in this mixed-up-to-us-world, but the bark that was also falling, peeling right off these autumn trees.)  And, by the time we were traipsing through Hyde Park twenty minutes later, it was nighttime and dark, and we were picking up our pace, gaining some confidence, admiring the wide-rooted wide-trunked trees that lined our Hyde Park walkway.  And that’s when we noticed that something was lurking in the crook of one of those trees, something that wasn’t just another bump on a bumpy branch, something that was moving, that was staring right at us.  Our brains said squirrel, that it must be a squirrel, while our eyes said, no, that this was no squirrel, that it was too big and it had funny ears and a long stretched out torso.  Our eyes said that we were no longer on familiar ground.

It was like this all week, this dance between the familiar and the upside-down-to-us, a dance that had us spinning in the opposite direction, in the opposite season, in the opposite time of day.  The sky at night didn’t quite look the same.  Where were our stars?  The animals, the trees, the bats as big and furry as good-sized rabbits, all of this stretched our sense of what was possible.  Five days into our trip, we took the Country Train west two hours to the Blue Mountains for a day of hiking in land that was ancient aboriginal canyons and eucalyptus and turpentine and tree-fern forests.  We climbed down one thousand feet into one of those canyons, on steep stairs and windy paths, and followed those rooted trails along the canyon’s floor for hours past waterfalls and huge moss-covered boulders.  Something settled for me on this many hour hike.  Even as the bird call, the frog call, the sounds of screeching and peeping and cheep cheep cheep filled the air, even as I smelled eucalyptus and turpentine, even as I sensed the Maori who walked this land eons before those ships sailed in from the British Isles, even in the middle of the new and the strange, something settled.  It felt good to hike; it felt good to hike here on this canyon floor on a cool autumn day with the sun flickering through the canopy of tall strange-to-me trees, with the world spinning in its opposite direction.

For years, in yoga, I’ve guided us in a qigong movement that I learned from my teacher, a pose for the seasons where we move our bodies and breath in a poetry of motion, as we spread the metaphoric seeds of springtime and gather the fruits of summer, as we offer it all up in autumn thanksgiving and settle into the quiet of winter.  As we do this with body and breath, I say that it is all in us, the spring of possibility, the fruits of our labors, the appreciation and thanksgiving, the quiet of winter, that it is all in us, all of the time.  And then when we have moved this pose through us, we bring our hands back to our hearts, back to the center, the center that can hold it all.

I wonder if that’s it.  I wonder if it’s when you climb down deep enough into that rabbit hole, when you stop trying to figure it out and make sense of a world that is spinning you in an opposite direction, when you say, “Screw it.  It’s too much for me.  I have no idea what time it is or what day it is back home.  I don’t even know what season it is anymore,” that you find it, the center that holds it all.  I wonder if it’s when you surrender and breathe and go down deep enough to feel your feet on the canyon floor, that you begin to sense that it can be bigger than you thought, that you can still hold the spring that is blossoming new inside of you, and you can enjoy the autumn with its sounds and sights and smells as well.  That is what happened.  After our glorious all-day hike, we climbed back up again, one thousand feet, up to the late afternoon sun and the blue sky and a several-block jaunt to town on sidewalks.  It was easy for us now to walk on the left-hand side of the sidewalks.  It was easy to shuffle our feet in the crisp autumn leaves.  I felt it within me, an excitement for pumpkins, a warm cup of tea, an autumn-hearty meal.  And I’ll be darned if we didn’t find it, just blocks from the train station, in a corner café that smelled like home, all co-op and healthy foods, a café with the name Common Ground.

Wave at Bondi Beach, Australia

 

 

On Our Way

One’s destination is never a place but rather a new way of looking at things.  Henry Miller

“Will I be on a plane for a long time?” I had asked, and his reply was a definitive, “Nope.”  And my husband, Cam, he doesn’t lie when it comes to Mystery Trip clues, so I believed him.  And there were other hints that had narrowed my focus of guessing; there was the “who-told-you?!?” look of devastation on his face when I had blurted, out-of-the-blue and half-joking, that I thought it might be Vancouver, and there was the tip that we might see whales, that I needed a winter coat and a wool hat.  So, in the early evening hours of a Wednesday, as the sun was sinking low in the sky two weeks ago, when we embarked on our journey out of Marquette on Plane Number One, I was pretty sure I’d figured it out, that Plane Number Two would take us west to Salt Lake City or Seattle, and, then, Plane Number Three, it would be a hop-skip-and-a-smooth-sailing-ride north over the border to our nearby neighbors.  It had already been a long day of preparation and I was ready for a comfy bed and a supine position and a whale-watching side-trip in a northwest province of Canada.

My hunch was confirmed when Cam slipped into the bathroom at the Detroit Airport and I snuck a quick peek at the Departure Board.  There it was, the plane to Salt Lake, already at the gate and boarding in ten minutes.  I was on to him!  He had said our connection was tight, and now I knew, final-destination Vancouver it would be.  As we walked down the length of Terminal A in the direction of the gate that I was positive was ours, I wondered what my reaction would be.  Would I feign surprise or would I tell him that it was remarkable how psychic I was, how I had guessed Vancouver in a moment of intuitive know-how and I had been right.  I felt a little smug, and I must admit that I felt a little let-down, too, that the surprise was over.  Or was it?!?

We walked right past it, the gate to Salt Lake, right past it as the passengers, my fellow passengers, began to line up!  We just zoomed on by, and we kept on flying down that Terminal A walkway, all the way to the very end, and, what was this?!?  Los Angeles!  Cam was handing our boarding passes over to the woman behind the counter.  And, there we were, Cam and I, traipsing down that tunnel-thing and right through the door of a very large plane that was going to take us, not to a comfy bed and a supine sleeping position, not to the northwest of our very own continent, but I suspected instead to another plane and to a long long trip somewhere far away.  And I was pretty sure I knew where that somewhere was.

It had been one of my early guesses in March when Cam was in the planning process.  Back then, he had said that he couldn’t get connections to his Number One choice, so he was going for Number Two.  And I knew that New Zealand was at the top of his list.  And I  suspected that Australia, along with sites south, like Chile and Argentina, weren’t far behind, so when we touched down in Los Angeles, in what was the middle of the night back home, I wasn’t that surprised when the two of us Mystery Trippers joined a line of people at the gate marked Sydney.  However, I was surprised when I heard from a fellow passenger, as we climbed into our seats on an even bigger plane than the last, that this was going to be a fifteen-hour flight.  Fifteen hours!  And then Cam, bursting with delight because he had thrown me off his Mystery Trip scent with his lies, chimed in, “ . . . and we’re going to cross the International Date Line; we’re going to land on Friday morning.”  He seemed excited by the whole prospect, the date line, the whole ocean we needed to cross, our destination.  And that’s when I made a decision; if Thursday, one whole day of this Mystery Trip Vacation, was going to be swallowed up somewhere over the south seas of the Pacific by an invisible date line, and fifteen hours of this venture was going to be spent on another plane, I was going to be excited too.  I was going to have fun.

And that’s what we did.  We had fun.  Our seatmate was a scientist from San Francisco, traveling to Australia for the first time, and he, too, was excited.  “Do you know how many things can kill you in Australia?!?” he exclaimed, and he started listing all the living creatures that can suck the life right out of a person.  There was a sense of awe in his voice, and I must admit that it was frighteningly thrilling to consider.  We chatted about other more mundane topics, too; we watched movies on the tiny screens stuck inches from our faces on the seats in front of us; we poured the chia seeds that Cam had so cleverly brought with him to bring us energy into glass after glass of water; we dozed, our heads flopping forward; we woke, our heads jerking backward; in between movies and naps, we watched the tiny plane on the screens in front of us as it traced our route past Hawaii and Fiji and islands I’d never even heard of.  And, we stood up, quite often, we stood up, stretched our legs and walked down the aisle.

And this became a highlight, these bathroom breaks on the plane to Sydney, not only because it felt good to stretch our legs, but because there was a party forming back in the alleyway between bathrooms.  Cam was the most taken by it.  He’d squish his way back into his seat and give me the report.  “There’s a guy with dreads in a fancy suit back there now, and he’s entertaining the flight attendants.”  An hour later, he’d report in again, “The guy is still back there and he says his mission is to spread some joy.”  And later still, he whispered in my ear, “I think they might be famous.  There are three guys standing there with something written on their sweatshirts.  I think it says, Public Enemy”  And, it was well into the flight, somewhere over one of those islands showing up on our screen, that Cam brought back to me his most animated update.  He was laughing.  “Some guy called me homey!  He was wearing a huge clock around his neck, and I said, ‘I love your clock!’ and he said, ‘And my clock loves you back, homey!’”  Cam was thrilled; he’d never been called homey before.

So there you have it, we hadn’t even landed yet.  We didn’t know that Sydney was a gem, that the harbor sparkled with a million diamonds, that the week would unfold in ways that delighted and expanded and inspired us.  We were still buckled into our seats, flying high over the South Pacific, upright – no supine position for us – with a dawn that hadn’t quite broken through this very long night.   But, Cam had been called homey and we were feeling it, a good homey feeling.  We were feeling it; the Mystery Trip was already in full swing.

 

Sydney Opera House; View from our Room; Mystery Trip 2012

Mystery Trip

I am going on a trip and I don’t know where I am going.  It is Mystery Trip time again, Year Number Ten of Cam and my adventures in surprising each other.  Each spring we travel somewhere on this planet, taking turns planning a trip with the goal to keep it a secret as long as possible, ideally until we get on that last plane.  So my suitcase is packed and we take off for the airport in less than two hours.  I know to pack a winter coat.  I know I don’t need a bathing suit.  I know that both sunscreen and an umbrella are good items to include.  I don’t know much else.  I do know, however, that I am going to have fun because that what’s what I’m reaching for, a great-feeling time with my guy.  Bon Voyage!  I’ll be back in a week and a half!

Here’s my Mystery Trip Poem:

Mystery Trip

Your partner has squeezed it into a box,

tied it tightly with a bow,

placed it under the waiting tree.

In the shade, it remains contained.

You might think you’ve figured it out.

You might rejoice in the plan that is brewing

in the box of your mind –

but when the day finally comes

and you tear at that box,

spring springs from your roots

and, there you are, present

in the present

with a present

you didn’t expect.

 

From Small Beginnings

From small beginnings come great things.  Proverb Quotes

It was intoxicating, this warm tropical wave of emotion that swept over me two weeks ago in the Detroit airport, that left me salty-eyed and stunned.  Moments before, as I had meandered by the bookstore in Terminal A, I spied her name on the jacket of a hard-covered book.  Anne Lamott had written something new.  I love Anne Lamott!  I love her reverently irreverent writing voice, her essays that have been counsel and affirmation for me for decades.  In my thirties, Bird by Bird, her book on the writing life, had provided the push I needed to keep my hand moving across the paper, page by page, day by day.  And ten years later, Traveling Mercies, the funny and poignant memoir she had written about her spiritual journey, gave me pause to contemplate and commit to paper my own spiritual musings.  And now, here she was, my writing friend, ready to play with me again, in the pages of this new book.

I might have bought it no matter what she had chosen for her topic, but it couldn’t have been more perfect.  She pulled me in with the jacket’s photo and she had me hooked with the title, a title wrapped around a hospital tag on the ankle of a newborn baby’s foot.  Some Assembly Required, the little bracelet read.  And at the bottom of the book’s cover, beneath this adorable close-up of the foot and lower leg of a pink-skinned baby were the words: A Journal of My Son’s First Son.  Well, in a matter of moments, the book was mine, and I quickly found a quiet spot, flipped it open to the inside cover, to the words, “Anne Lamott enters a new and unexpected chapter of her own life: grandmotherhood.”  I was so excited, so appreciative; I had indeed found a playmate, a sister on this grandmother path, a freckled-faced friend with a head of frizzy red dreadlocks and words that ring real to me, a sister who had written this book I was now holding, this book that “is the true story of how the birth of a baby changes a family . . .”

That’s what did it.  I didn’t even have to peruse the book’s pages.  I didn’t have to find some phrase of Anne’s that touched my soul.  It was that sentence on the book’s inside jacket, those simple words that pulled me under and left me sputtering.  I, I am going to be a grandmother.  In less than two months, my son and daughter-in-law are going to have a baby boy and he, this little baby, is going to change our family; he is going to change everything.  In yoga, we do a side stretch called Gate Pose, and I often say, as we reach with our fingers as far as we can, that we’re opening an inside gate and that there’s something, something bigger that we’re opening up to, something wonderful that we haven’t even imagined yet.  That’s how I felt as I resurfaced, sitting there in the Detroit Airport, after the wave had pulled back out again, that a gate had opened in me and I had caught a glimmer of how much more love can pour on through.

I remember the day that we brought our kitten home from the Humane Society nine years ago.  It was Fourth of July and we all welcomed her, our adult sons, Chris and Pete, and Shelly, who was already a part of our family, and Cam and I.  Fufu Princess was a fluffy white ball of long-haired furr and wide-mouthed meow, all spunk and spitfire.  She was a Fourth of July firecracker and a sweet little cuddle-bun and we couldn’t get enough of her.  All summer long we rushed home from whatever we were doing to be with our baby.  Chris wrapped her around his neck and taught her to play fetch.  Shelly snuggled with her.  I whispered in her ear, “I’m so glad that you were born!”  We were intoxicated, all of us, and Chris told us that is because babies give off a love hormone and we breathe it in and we can’t help it.  We fall in love.

I’m already falling in love with Baby.  Shelly was home here in the Upper Peninsula a week ago for her parent’s fiftieth wedding anniversary.  And I could have stared at her belly for hours.  He’s in there.  He’s growing.  He’s moving.  And when I put my hands on Shel’s belly, I could feel him change position, and it was almost as though I could feel it in me, something shifting.  So, in the next weeks, as Baby grows, I will read Anne Lamott’s words, appreciative to have a sister friend and guide on this path.  And soon, in a matter of  a few months, I will whisper in Baby’s ear, “I’m so glad that you were born!”

Baby at 28 Weeks

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