In-Between to Birth
April 15-16, 2018
Last year I joined millions in watching the live feed from an animal park in New York. A giraffe was due to give birth and the world seemed fascinated. There were various feeds one could follow and several offered advertising with proceeds in the form of pet supplies and food being given to local animal shelters. I happily participated in making my watching count.
There were those, however, who felt it all a great deal of nonsense. “Get a life” was the most common negative comment seen. Some readily admitted to watching in-between commuting and so felt they were not for whom such comments were directed. Others felt they were being mindful to the miracle of birth. I claimed to be a part of neither camp. I watched because I find giraffes fascinating creatures. I do wonder at their evolution and creation for they seem to be a bit in-between the larger mammals and the delicate faces of the smaller ones.
The Rt. Rev Steven Charleston wrote a wonderful blog comment about our being “in-between”. This time last year as I was watching the birth of the giraffe calf so many had eagerly awaited, Bishop Charleston posted this: “We are in-between. Right now, we are in-between Good Friday and Easter Sunday. But in reality we are always in-between in life. In-between is where we live and move and make our reality. We go from birth to death between many polarities: health and illness, joy and sadness, hope and despair. We inhabit these spiritual spaces of transition, constantly moving from one level of experience to the next. It is in the in-between that we discover the presence of the sacred, that creative force that helps us transition and adapt. We are the people of the in-between.”
Watching the young giraffe calf be born, along with millions around the world, I realized that we were all in-between and teetering on the edge of something very similar to world peace. This young calf and his two giraffe parents had united millions around the world, something no politician or political party had ever been able to accomplish. As we spent time in the in-between of a fifteen-month pregnancy and its culmination in birth, we were all feeling hope and fear, joy and wonderment.
Being mindful of our living is something we often fail to experience. The reality of this birth was beautiful. As the calf slowly edge his way out, the mother would welcome him with her tongue and kisses. It was as if she realized her calf’s reality was changing drastically and she wanted to encourage him and comfort him that all would be all right.
It has become very trendy to engage in the practice of mindfulness. The experiences of “being mindful of the moments we live” are said to bring one joy and enlightenment in your living. Life is all around us and while we need to spend less of it online and more of it in person, we can learn from all aspects of it. Every day is a new day and our reality changes with the dawn of each new day. Let us give thanks for this new day and recognize the new life ahead of us all.
The first few days of Easter this year I have looked to past blog posts and themes in an effort to be more mindful of what is and what will come. History is a great teacher if we take the time to learn from our past. Nothing is lost in the present if we take the time to really be in each moment. Each day is a new birth for us. It is our responsibility to live the life we have been given. The future is there waiting for us to make it something meaningful.