A young grandson just ten days old. A new mother and father. So much worry. So much questioning. So little confidence. So much responsibility. One young life just ten days old oblivious to all the love and affection surrounding him.
Another journey. Unique to each.
For the mother nine months of growing this life. For the father nine months of accompanying the creation. For the child time is timeless. No markers. No way-points. No clock ticking. No days passing.
For the mother so many questions. For the father so much waiting to help. For the new life just the present moment. One moment and then another. One feed and then another. One sleep and then another. One gripe and then contentment. For the mother one learning after another. For the father one new change after another new change.
One life surrounded by love.
Cradled and cuddled. Bounced and jiggled. Comforted and nurtured. Nothing too much. Not sleep deprivation. Not crashing any and all routines to respond and adapt to this new life. Not even food and personal hygiene come before nurturing this new life. And each cry, each whimper, each stirring, each sleeping, each feed, each nappy, each absence of bowel movement noted and logged. Unconditional love responding in the moment to the moment of this new life.
A journey unique to each.
We have older grandchildren. Only two – three years into their own unique journeys. Now the journey is of independence. Of fitting in, of being a part of, of learning routines, of learning language, numbers, letters, of learning mealtimes and what is and what is not, of learning bed-times and what is and what is not, of having to go to nursery, of having to be away from home, of being loved or not (?) at a distance.
Each life surrounded by love.
And now my own journey is of knowing my own moments, my own normal compared to my not-normal. My responsibility to be responsible for my own health and ill-health. My responsibility for my own wealth of poverty. My responsibility for living a life acceptable to the others who pay for my time and expertise. My choice to love those we created decades ago. Each life still surrounded by love. Each journey still unique to each.
Love does not change. Not inside where love lives. The journey does not change. It remains unique for each.
But I change. You change. We cannot live cossetted and cradled. We cannot live with all others caring for our every whim and whimper. We have a body that requires testing and strengthening. A brain that requires stimulation and challenge. A soul that embroiders all that is each of us around a life of learning and growing and falling and getting up again. A journey that seeks out another to share our journey, to share their journey, to create life of love.
We crave choice. We crave the freedom of choice. The freedom to be unique. The freedom to grow unhindered. The choice to become community. The choice to live.
I see journeys. I see choices. I see uniqueness even where sameness is required. I see you and I see me. New lives still. New lives still growing. New lives always. And that awareness, that connection, those relationships are beyond science. A science that responds to the whimper of mankind as parents respond to the whimper of a new life.
But now add love. Add awareness. Add soul.
And I am complete.