Wednesday, October 15, 2008

twins... again!

Actually triplets. While we were at the beach Phred and Ethel had three babies - each the size of jelly bean. Finch babies. It has been a week and the babies are still alive, little messes of feather and stretched skin. Their faces are not yet to be seen ...but the movement in the nest proves their viability. I found this picture of what they look like - exactly!

Something about life, new life, just entrances me. I love it all. New babies, new finch babies, new kittens. I love a plant that grows just because it happened to land there... I love strange old trees that get new leaves, I love calves and messy feathered juvenile cardinals that feed on my lawn.

The cycle of life is one of the best gifts we got on this old earth. While I get older there is a never ending stream of newness that is the promise of tomorrow. Really, for all purposes, I am done. I have somewhat ensured the next generation and my hollow womb will never again hold life. But I share it wildly all around.
In the skin on my granddaughter's face. In the endless dreams of the students at my school. In the finch nest upstairs. The best gift. The gift of tomorrow and this old woman gets to see it emerge.


Anonymous said...

We are currently reading a book by John Ortberg, I found his thoughts on new life amusing and touching;
(First he tells the story of when his wife was pregnant with their first child they took a lamaze class and the teacher talked about using the word discomfort rather than pain, because of the negative connotation of pain- well while she was struggling with the birth he asked her after she screamed a scream he says he will never forget, 'Honey are you having some discomfort?'!!!)

Here are his thoughts on the arrival of his first born daughter-

....What overwhelmed me was the presence of a NEW SOUL. I can't believe there is a new flesh and blood, immortal being in this room who didn't used to exist. She will grow up and we will watch her. She will become and woman. And then one day she'll grow old. This red hair will turn to gray and then to white; this same skin that is so pink and smooth right now will be mottled and wrinkled, and she'll be an old lady sitting in a rocking chair- and it will be THIS SAME PERSON."
"Yes," Nancy said, "And I'd kill for that old lady too!"

'..Every child is a testimony to God's desire that the world go on. '
(From Faith and Doubt, John Ortberg)

Perhaps we can take his thoughts a step further and include all new life...

Thanks for your thoughts, I continue to grab at the nuggets of wisdom you are putting out there!
Keep them coming! - Kirsten M.

Anonymous said...

What is this OLD WOMAN talk?
Maybe working at the college has put your view of yourself out of wack???
My mom is 86. When she goes to the grocery store they always ask her if they can carry her groceries to the car. Her reply?
"When I get old you can!"

rachel said...

i agree with becky - "old woman" is waaaay premature in your vocabulary, marilyn.

Lloyd & Sharon said...

Our fiercely independent 91-year-old aunt has resisted moving from her own apartment to an assisted-living type of room in the retirement residence--even after breaking her hip and realizing she can't manage everything on her own anymore-- because it's "full of old people"!! She even says they are "not her generation" and she's right--not mentally, anyway.

But I can understand what you mean--we are past creating "new life" in ourselves, and sometimes our "maturing" bodies and our kids and our responsibilities make us feel OLD.

Then I guess we have to take our cue from our old aunt, and think and act young, even if we creak while doing it!

She has taught me that it will be a LONG time before I can consider myself too old to serve others or lose interest in activities of life. And that's a good thing!


Marilyn said...

love you leaving me comments friends - here's the thing ... this kind of old I am talking about is the kind of old that makes me see - makes me know... I was young and I didn't know that life was this. Now I do. I watch it every day. Hopefully I am still functioning, but I am not young. Nope. Wish it were not so, but I am not young. What are the other options? oldish? oldesque? laughing

Lloyd & Sharon said...

How about MATURE and WISE?

Perhaps it's "maturity"--the dictionary mentions being adult
"in powers of body and mind; sensible, wise." Perhaps it is being able to have some perspective on what one did or didn't know when we were young, being able to see some reason or purpose in things, being able to see life from a less self-centered perspective, a better ability to see a long-term view rather than just how something affects me right now.

Hopefully maturity (which also mentions the term "middle age"--so we might qualify) and wisdom go together--the dictionary defines wisdom as "experience and knowledge together with the power of applying them critically or practically," and mentions words such as judgment, discernment, prudent, common sense, and discreet. That's how I hope I am growing and will continue to do so!

Experience and knowledge enable one to appreciate and enjoy the cycle of life and new life in particular, and look forward to tomorrow and how it will all play out in the future--and your role in that.

So, MATURE and WISE one, look forward to life and continue to do so until you are 91 (or longer)!