Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Spring in Our Step

It's that time of year and spring is well underway with the summer looming over the corner like the next wave of an ocean rhythm; it's waiting to bring us a surprise.  What I love about summer is that no matter what we are doing it sort of forces us to slow down and stop.  Indeed, it is a season of yang and heat and movement but when we move too much in the summer we feel it and we must sit and rest.  Things are hotter, the concept of hydration becomes a close friend again, and ultimately we are involved with less required activities than during the average course of the year.  Vacations are carefully planned, taking up valid space in our datebooks and planners, and it's almost as though biologically we know that we must give ourselves a break to prepare for the impending wintery cold months.  One may certainly wonder, "How, dear, do you even FEEL the summer in lowly southern California?"  And I would respond to the inquiry by stating that the summer is definitely felt energetically out here.  Though we have mild autumns and winters, which make me pine desperately for the snow, our springs and summers are politely intriguing, peppered with more colors than a rainbow can contain, and ultimately bathed in that 'feel-good' sensation we all get from one thing or another that makes us stop and say, "Yes.  THAT is what I needed."  It also doesn't hurt that I was born in the summer, my body is used to that buildup of energy that comes as July approaches and another humanly measured year gets added to this 'age' thing.  So it wouldn't be entirely inappropriate for me to be excited and terrified and ecstatic that this July I will be creating another age to grow beside me and add years, the way I do, the way we all do, while I watch in utter amazement with my jaw hanging wide.  Our daughter will be born this July and we are preparing bit by bit this little outside world of which she will become a part.  However, all we can really prepare are things like crib bedding, diapers, changing tables, swings, strollers, car seats, etc. while we wait to see her reaction to our weird little habits we've picked up over the millennia.  I'm almost certain she will laugh at us, knowing that the womb is a much less awkward and intimidating place, a safe cocoon that she can deem as far away from the world as she sees fit.  Yes, our child likes it in there.  And it would be a lovely pleasure if I were to climb in there and join her just so I could remember where I came from.
I take walks.  Long walks.  Sometimes Jack comes with me, but often I am alone.  In Los Angeles, it may seem that walks around the city are tirelessly dormant and beige, with no real satisfaction of nature or clean air.  What is difficult to realize (I sure didn't know it when I first moved here) is that, though large, LA is filled with little pocket-sized communities and neighborhoods that bring that small town feel to this huge abundant city.  I have found a walking route that I stick to and it travels through our little neighborhood of Mar Vista with which Jack and I have truly fallen in love.  Mar Vista has its own neighborhood association (complete with president, secretary, treasurer etc.), neighborhood watch, public library, fire station, and police station, yet it takes up a total of maybe 15 square blocks.  So we walk though the town on this little road called 'Mountain View' from which, when you look to the right, you can see downtown LA and, when you look to the left, you can see the ocean.  While I'm on this walk, which is blanketed in thousands of flowers and paved roads, perfectly groomed lawns and little league fields, I cannot help but slow myself down and think think think.  I used to bring flash cards and study but have since realized that if I'm not conscious of my walking, my baby is not conscious of it and it could decidedly ask, with a large amount of argumentative proof, if I were on a walk at all.  So I have since just walked and looked and talked to her.  It's glorious and is perhaps the best decision I have ever made regarding this pregnancy.  
The other day I was walking my usual route, which is an even 5.1 miles, and I connected with our little girl.  I wondered what it must be like for her, enamored by the fact that fetuses can decipher the difference between real and artificial light, as I walked through the sunny streets of Mar Vista.  Almost immediately, I felt a little sad for her, a little sad for me, and for every other human on the planet, as I realized that this wonderful world of womb that is so protected by nature and guided by God does not get to be consciously remembered by the human species. Of course, we remember it in other ways with our subconscious minds as we literally carry out habits throughout our lives that we developed in this watery womb, we relive our mothers' ups and downs as she was building our lives for us on the outside, we connect with warmth and water and nakedness and security.  But we don't remember what it must have been like to have everything a pinkish hue, scrunched up and close to the rhythmic dance of our mothers' bodily functions, pressed against her diaphragm, pinned against her pubic bone, upside down for months in this floating world which seems more normal to us than bedsheets seem to our mothers and fathers.  I thought about how every single human being on this planet who is alive and who has lived and gone has had an experience of being in a womb.  Of course there are millions who did not realize that the outside of that womb was extremely less than ideal, and there are many who learned after birth that this outer world could be even more glamourous and fabulously overflowing with love and abundance.  I realized that, if we look back at the history of the species and did the math, perhaps the world has seen an even number of both these extremes.  I tried to think of all the 'huns' of the world, the Hitlers, Husseins, King Henrys, the Darfurs and the Congos and the south-central LAs and realize that all of these people spent a fair amount of time kicking their mothers from the inside and deciding that there was nothing better than that pink fleshy soft bed in which they were floating.  It really helped me to connect to humanity a bit and find the strength to see the good side of the evils. It forced me to revel in my discovery of the REAL differences between nature and nurture while seeing the world as a balanced whole for the first time.  I wondered what my baby was thinking. "This cord thing is just in my way, or I love my connection to my mother.  Why must I be constantly upside down, or those people on the outside walking around on their feet outside of water have NO idea what they are missing."  It was here where I also realized that judgement is man made.  Babies in the womb really have no concept of a greener grass and so must be deliciously content with all that is their precious life thus far.  I was able to lift my judgements of these evil creatures for a bit and see them under their skin for what they really were, vulnerable humans who just wanted a bit more time in the womb.  Wouldn't it be fabulous if we could all revert back to our state of mind in the womb and just exist like that for a few minutes a day.  Wouldn't it be grand if we could lift the judgement and the stress and the money and the 'needs' we are convinced must consume us?  I wonder, then, what kind of world we would have. Or do we need the evil to exist in order to string the beauty and peace in the balance?  Do good and evil REALLY TRULY exist?  Or are they just entities we have created to hide our vulnerabilities as humans?  Do they help us to?  Or are they simply a product of our frustration at leaving such a healthy, pink, self-sustaining, naked waterworld?  I returned home, climbed the stairs to my apartment, and thanked my baby for being so wise.   

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