The Miracle of Birth
What is about the birth of a baby that has everyone so excited and amazed (there are some horrible exceptions) ?
Let’s start with the downside. And I’m going to take a very soulless view here.
The mum has just gone through 9 months of uncomfortable and difficult times. Her body blows out. She vomits. She will tire frequently. There are financial pressures put on the family. Sex lives are affected and all sorts of fresh challenges are faced. Particularly if there are other children in the family and challenges.
Then the birthing experience. Hours sometimes days of pain and suffering. The sort of pain and suffering that the staunchest of men could not handle. Just one look at some of the youtube videos and the science behind shows how really strong men are…
The stress, the anxiety, the late nights and then birth. Dignity is cast out the window. Pride is destroyed and the goddess, the sex object is transformed into a sweating, crazed, agonised glorified factory.
Then the baby arrives.
It doesn’t arrive with rainbows. It doesn’t arrive clean and polished. It doesn’t land smelling of roses. It arrives as an alien, sticky, stinky howling mess. Its fury of being ejected from its house by the landlord is maddening to it. From the ultimately comfort zone to a cold hard white world with strange gigantic looming faces in a haze. I’ve woken up a few times like that with serious hangovers.
The first person to come near me is in mortal danger!
I mean thinking about it. You have spent the last 9 months in luxury. Absolute luxury. Perfect temperatures. All the sustenance in the world. You can stretch and grow. You can kick away if you wish. Slurp. Crap and wee whenever you want. And your room is alive. And you are 100pc connected with the goddess. No wonder we men are desirous of that sacred connection with women. For a brief fleeting moment we can become the God again. Completely vulnerable and completely loved and connected.
This god. The water god. Plugged in. Completely comfortable is sucked out of the vortex and out a narrow passage that really fucking hurts. It hurts the baby and its head. It hurts the mother. It even hurts the father. Let me explain. We love that sacred place where we enter and connect. And to see anything happening to it is very painful. Selfish. I know. Damn. Selfish. But true. (Maybe that’s why Dad’s were shooed away a long time ago so the sacred ritual could be witnessed by the feminine and the feminine alone)
Back to bubs. They are furious. And they howl. How will indiscriminate rage. For they have entered the cold hard world. They know it more than we know it.
And so the howling follows with an exhausted mother who, her first act, is to put the shrivelled stick raisin alien creature on her breast until the rage is comforted. Meanwhile coats shuffle around and fathers and family throb with anxiety and excitement, consciously and unconsciously not know what side is up and what side is down. The smiles on the faces are beaming with the glow of the sun. But underneath they know the shadow is cast at the same time.
Responsibility. Anxiety. Vulnerability. And the list goes on.
Every sun casts a shadow. To every light there is a darkness.
And so that is one way of looking at the birth of a baby.
So why the unbridled joy? Why the magical impulse to produce? Why the requirement for a perfect couple to inject a little deity into their lives?
Here’s why I am writing this.
I was in Jakarta the other day. Business and pleasure. In that order (I think). And I wake up to the news of the birth of my niece Baby Octavia. What a way to wake up. The joy was intense. I had a smile on my face for a very long time after, which is not an easy thing to do for a neurotic adventurer like myself. What was this strange joy that pulsed through my body. It felt like. Love. Agape. Enlightenment. Spiritual Fire.
I hadn’t felt this for a long time. No, not since the birth of my own children.
What is it about the birth of a baby? It transcends getting high, getting successful, getting wasted, getting things, getting off and getting somewhere.
Look you could easily say its biological and make that case. But that is tempered with the dark side as pointed out above.
So there is something else.
I had to go looking back to the old tales to find the answer. Why did the Magi seek out the birth of a child in the East? What was the marker that they followed? They followed the star in the sky and it lead them to the child. Then what did they do?
They gave gifts. They rejoiced and they left.
Why did they rejoice? Why did they fall down? Why did they spend all that time? Why did they offer the gifts?
What about the shepherds who in the night they had the same revelation about the birth. They went to see the baby and returned exceedingly joyful.
The birth of a child is a spiritual thing.
It is a miracle.
It is a metaphor for the salvation of ourselves. It is the continuing the lineage and the human species. The wise amongst us worship the babies for this reason. They are the future. Through them lies immortality and the core purpose of life. The wise men and the shepherds represent those who are aware of this. We look to the skies for enlightenment and direction. The shining light in the dark world guides us to the miracle birth and what happens.
We are reborn.
We are taking directly back to the moment of innocence.
You remember that scene in Children of Men with Clive Owen? What a beautiful, beautiful, beautiful scene! There is war and destruction and pain and carnage everywhere. Utter Chaos! But then. The baby is born. And the chaos stops. The fighting stops. The worst of humanity is put on pause. And it took the voice of a baby crying and they all Knew It!
Everyone stopped. Instinctively. What beauty, what an insight.
I love that Christmas Carol. The Little Drummer Boy. It brings me to tears every time.
Come they called. A new born king.
And the little drummer boy. What could he bring? He could bring nothing. But he could bring his drum. He could bring his heart. He could bring his truth. He could worship the baby with his best efforts. What was the reward?
The baby smiled. The baby smiled!
That is the reward right there.
The quickening happens within the mother. But the quickening happens in your soul if you are conscious. If you are open. If you are hearing the song of the universe. If you still believe in miracles and magic. If you wait that leap of faith. You will see the un-seen. You will know the un-knowable. You will hear the un-hearable.
It’s there happening everywhere. Little bright lights to a Dark World.
One smile at a time.