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New Life

Today I received some photos of the newest addition to our extended family. My cousin’s wife in France has just given birth to a gorgeous boy called Léon. He arrived three weeks’ early, and was obviously keen to be getting on with his life outside the womb. Mum and baby are doing very well, and my aunt and uncle are getting their heads around the idea that they are now grandparents a little earlier than planned.

As I browsed the online photos, and looked at each picture of this tiny new life, I was of course transported back to the birth of my own son some 28 months ago. Seeing Léon resting peacefully against the warmth and comfort of his mother’s skin took me straight back to that amazing feeling when my own baby, fresh out of my womb, was placed on my breast seeking its first taste of milk. I felt such an unbelievable sense of wonder, joy and contentment…and honestly, relief too. I still find it incredible that our bodies can work these miracles and create a whole, brand new person. As mothers, we are aware in so many ways, of this life developing and growing inside us. The scans then make it very real, not just for us but for our partners too. But for me it was that first moment when I saw our baby that the reality of our creation was made bona fide. Here was the little miracle in person.

It is rather ironic that last week I was writing about loss; the loss of someone and the space they occupied, to find that a week later it is the subject of life, or new life inspires my words this evening. Like the vacuum that must be filled, each departing spirit makes way for another. And with this new life, there are so many possibilities. As Henry David Thoreau said, “Every child begins the world again.”

I love how new life reminds us that there is always possibility. There are constantly new choices and opportunities to see afresh. I am fascinated and have often wondered – because I can’t actually remember - how fantastically new every little experience is for a baby. Each new face, each new fragrance, every new texture is something to be explored, to be curious about. I think we would do well to sometimes come to experiences with that same sense of wonder and curiosity:

* It allows us not to take things for granted

* Everything is possible and our judgements and prejudices don’t get in the way of what we see and hear. There is simply ‘what is’.

* We can come to the experience with an open mind

* There is always something to learn

How refreshing is that? Here’s to new life and welcome to the world Léon!

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