I met my granddaughter for the first time last weekend. She was all of six days old. Arriving on the scene at a mere six pounds, six ounces, her physical presence on this earth was seemingly diminutive. Alternating between sleeping, nursing, and filling diapers, she was completely dependent on those around her. She was content to be held. Her dark, brown eyes roamed the room soaking in the colors, patterns, and textures – seeking to make sense of the amazing new world around her. When things didn’t feel quite right, she would let out a squawk. This simple utterance brought an immediate response. She was making herself known. With no experience or training, she soon had those around her trained to meet her every need.
I held her in my arms – so small, she barely extended beyond my hands. Yet, in that single moment, the world around me stopped. My entire being focused solely on that precious, delicate, little life. Moments like these – those possessing the power to bring the hustle bustle of the world to a screeching halt – are fully embodied with the holy.
In an age of texting, I had pictures on my phone within the first minutes of her young life. Proud grandpa that I was, I carried those images of my new granddaughter wherever I went – freely showing them off to everyone I met. And all would stop and look with me. There is a strange babbling that comes to the mouths of otherwise dignified adults when faced with the image of a baby. They cooed and ahhhed and declared this new little life a beauty. No argument from me.
There is something about the precious helplessness of a new baby that causes everyone to stop, embrace an inner gentleness, and breathe in the sweetness of the moment. Seems to me if a baby were to be placed in the arms of world leaders, we would soon find peace on earth. While her physical presence is slight, the power she casts on all those around is enormous. Welcome to the world, my dear Aminata. I love you, and thank you for wielding the kind of power to slow down the dizzying pace of the world enough to soak in your sweet essence.