Recently, I decided to write an article about someone who deserved to be commemorated. The first person to pop into my head was my five-week-old granddaughter, not some famous person who had accomplished great deeds.
What I found most startling about this newborn, called Lila, was a look of utter surprise as she surveyed the world for the first time. In the Maternity Ward, when Lila turned at the sound of my voice and looked at me, her eyes widen suddenly in recognition. It was if she thought,
“Ah, so this is what you look like. I remember your voice.”
She remembered the sound of my voice from her time in the womb, and at 6 hours old, finally put a face to that voice. Lila had been thrust out from the safety and security of the womb into a huge, cold world, with bright lights and loud abrasive sounds. She was and is wise, an old soul who connects with my spirit when we look at each other. It would be an unnerving experience if it were not so profoundly sweet.The words of C.S. Lewis reverberate within me:
“You do not have a soul. You ARE a soul. You have a body.”
Although Lila’s body is helpless and fragile, she is a person, albeit a little person with a definite personality. The looks we exchange with each other are not fleeting, but penetrating, because our eyes truly are the windows of our souls. Without words, we recognize each other as sisters, fellow travellers who have come from God, who are made from the same stuff. This soul knows I see past appearances, right to her true self, just as she sees past my appearance right to my core, my inner spirit.
So I salute this brave person. .In fact, I salute all infants for bravery, in the face of powerlessness, as they begin their life on earth.