Standing round the bed watching a new baby take its first breaths is a moving and affirming moment in any life and family. A new beginning, a new breath and a new hope. Unstained by history and surrounded by love, you watch them struggle with the light and a fountain of new sensations. Each moment you have carries some of these hallmarks, but in time they are lost or cloaked in the memory or thought about all the other moments you’ve had before.
One thing a new baby never says is, “How do I get out of this one”, at least you hope not, but as life proceeds it is a thought which is common to us all. As a young man, full of thoughts and analysis about the world around me I was shocked by something one of my family did. At that age all I had was the “Cartoon Book of Wisdom” and it painted the options of life in very broad strokes.
In time, of course, error piles up on mistake, and almost as an act of self-preservation I was forced to become more tolerant of the follies of others
Finding something new to experience can refresh and inform that which has gone before. I am always reminded that, after a time, in the grimmest and most desolate landscape, ravaged by fire and churned beyond recognition, a small new shoot can be seen pushing through the wreckage to affirm a new beginning.It has no knowledge of or interest in the carnage which preceded it and continues undaunted towards the light it seeks. It is driven by instinct and unmarked by the surrounding signs of disaster.
In the race of life most of us are not apparent winners and pant and gasp onwards as some track genius strides forwards towards the finishing line and loud applause, or at least we think so. Possibly he is running away from something else and it is only our own fears which make us think he is in the same race as ourselves. Comparing ourselves with some other man, as in some race, can often make us lose the sense of our own identity, and even falter as we pause in wonder or horror at his progress. Perhaps like a new baby, we should just reach for the light without hiding the beam behind comparison or knowledge of our own failures.
There is no shame in being who you are. Wether I see a man strutting forward full of self-confidence, or huddled in a doorway begging for bread I always think we are all bunglers in our own way. It’s just that some of us are better at hiding it than others. Remembering that can make us less judgemental, but then we are a lot more than that.
Whatever age you are, those who meet you for the first can open up a chest of possibilities when they look in your eyes. That new promise, like the baby whose birth you celebrated, needs nurturing, whatever environment it finds itself in. If you think you are alone, you are not: hope is never alone. Be fearless and doors will open to opportunities you always felt where beyond such a person as you. I don’t care were you’ve been, or what you’ve done. I look forward to meeting you at the top of the mountain and sharing the view it affords us all.