Sometime in the lost black middle of the night Gwyn peeps and I stagger from my own bed into hers. The covers have slid down to her feet. I extract the stuffed menagerie and tuck us both in—I wrap us in this warmth that keeps the frosty night at bay. Gwyn’s body is a breathing comma. She returns to dark sleep.
For the minute or two of consciousness before I join her there, the soft rise and fall of her back presses up against me. She’s all heat. During the day she flings her energy about by jumping and talking and making dozens of paper dolls, but at night that energy silently radiates. I soak in her heat. It expands into the cave of our covers. In this vast frozen night, in this world of biting deadly cold, Gwyn’s heat is God’s heat. Or God’s heat is what we generate together, a refuge of silent, pulsing life. Continue reading
Five hours into our week-long family vacation, Gwyn said, “I want to go home!” This wasn’t a new refrain. When she’s excessively tired or hungry, she sometimes says it when we’re at home, bustling around the kitchen or getting ready for bed. Emily and I have speculated that “home” is a pre-birth memory for Gwyn, and today received confirmation. “Let’s play I’m home in Nanny’s womb,” Gwyn said to Emily this morning as she crawled under the covers.
In short order she was born once more.
Nanny is Gwyn’s biological mother. That Gwyn remembers her womb so viscerally, so fondly, feels miraculous. At firs Annie didn’t want a baby inside her although she came to care for it responsibly and with love beyond her years. Perhaps, though, it wasn’t Annie so much as God who made a home for Gwyn before this one, wrapping her in warm water and sending her a steady stream of nutrients. Perhaps the home Gwyn remembers is pre-womb, even, a place of origins and ends, what Christians call heaven. I like to think Gwyn remembers being immersed in God.
Regardless, at the core of her being Gwyn knows home. She knows complete comfort, complete unity, somewhere, somehow. I like to think we all do, although most of us have lost our conscious awareness.
This, I believe is the foundation of Gwyn’s spiritual life, and everyone’s: A memory of home. Her journey as a human being is both away from this home and towards it. The more she draws from this source, pulling divinity forward into her being, containing in her body the love of her origin, the more she will grow in spirit. Over and over she will be born. –Elizabeth Jarrett Andrew