Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished. Lau Tzu
Beneath the children’s squeals of laughter, beneath the chorus of conversations, beneath the wind through the trees that line this carless street in downtown Boulder, it is a droning, buzzing ancient sound that I hear. And it brings me comfort, this earthy vibrating music emerging from the long wooden digereedoo that the man with the woolen cap is blowing into. I am sitting on a metal bench next to a woman with a French accent who is talking to her companion. I am sitting on a metal bench on Pearl Street, waiting for Baby.
Today, I am really waiting for Baby. Cam flew back home to Upper Michigan yesterday morning, with a reservation in hand to return to Boulder next Friday for a second visit, one where he would meet his grandson. And I intended to follow him this morning. That was my plan, to claim a few days at home, to teach yoga and take care of business and get my hair cut — and, I, too, made reservations to fly back west for Round Two. Late last evening, my bags were packed, and I was in bed almost asleep when I got the call. A few hours earlier, Pete, Shel and I had been sitting at a Mexican restaurant, joking that perhaps the spicy food would do the trick. And it sort of did. Pete was calling from the hospital. The amniotic fluid was leaking and labor was being induced and I knew I was postponing my trip, that I was staying put.
Yesterday morning as I hiked along the Boulder Creek Path I thought of Baby, and of Shelly, how I might miss the actual birth day, and, it was then that I looked down and saw a round granite rock, a smooth pink-flecked stone that fit perfectly in the palm of my hand. I clutched it as I walked along the path up into the canyon and I thought of things that made me feel good and I sent this energy into the rock. And later, I gave it to Shel and I told her that it was filled with feel-good energy and my love.
At noon today, Pete walked out into the waiting room, and told Shelly’s parents and me that it was going to be a long day, that we were better off going outside, finding something to do. He’s turned out to be a wonderful coach to his laboring partner. He’s cool and calm and clear. And it’s our job, we grandparents, to do the waiting. Although, I’ve gladly taken on the role of errand girl, buying sport drinks for Shelly and coffee and sandwiches for Pete, I’ve mostly been walking and sitting — and of course waiting. The clouds have blown in now and it is cool here on my metal bench. The woman with the French accent is no longer sitting beside me, and I’m looking over at a little boy as he toddles up to a sculpture of a beaver and climbs on its back, while his father steadies him. Two women wearing khakis and carrying backpacks, eat ice cream out of dixie cups as they walk on by. Throngs of people, locals and tourists, young and old, fill this space with the music of life on an ordinary summer Sunday in downtown Boulder.
Except it isn’t ordinary; there is the sound of the aboriginal digereedoo permeating it all, something primal and instinctive, and there’s a woman a few miles away sitting in a rocking chair, wrapped in blankets, holding a rock and breathing into this ancient primal rhythm, and there’s a baby in the midst of being born.