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Waiting for a baby

On Monday we walked in the regenerating kauri forest of Titirangi. Our daughter was in labour. On the way home I called in to a little church. It was as simple and still as a pond without ducks, frogs or dragonflies. I prayed for our daughter to be strong and well, full of light and stamina. I wanted the same for her baby, and for the man at her side.

I looked up at the simply patterned window filtering mauve light and thought about our frailty, how lives disappear (this was the ‘soldiers’ memorial’ church) and how those of us who stay alive, who seek depth and meaning, see that life grows increasingly complex, both strong and fragile in turn and simultaneously. The more notice we take of life’s quiet movements and nudges, the more we sense how narrow is the path we walk, the path between now and eternity. We see how all things (plants, people, jobs, things) are both breaking down and striking out anew, how they continuously disintegrate and re-form.

I thought about how uncomfortable life feels some hours, some days, especially when we find ourselves without certainties — between places, between jobs, between roles — which is where life struggles to reconfigure itself, to regenerate. To give birth.

On Monday, our daughter and son-in-law were on the cusp of parenthood: any remnant childishness gone forever. Very soon we would become ‘elders’ to the first of a new generation.

And so it came to pass.


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