Another Generation

by Ken on July 14, 2008

As members of the human race, each of us should be forgiven for that occasional romp into the world of baby pictures.  There is no more universally shunned venture than to be  coerced into the viewing of these common images.  Well…..except for one’s own baby.  Come on, that one is really special; can’t we all agree?.

Yes I know. I’ve had the little people paraded before me over the years – and I’ve stifled my yawns and said how cute the pointed headed little things are…. well .. you know what I mean.

But these little folks grab us in different ways. Few of us are not,  to some degree, appreciative of these wonders of nature – who come out with 10 fingers and toes (almost always) and display human qualities that just could not be learned so thoroughly in their brief time on earth. There must be something wrong with the pervasive premise that we all spring from mud. A poor observation indeed.

I would doubt that any, from the most ardent atheist, to the most reverent of people can view miracle of birth or watch a child discover his “new” sounds and movements; watch that little being smile, or frown or cry; or see him open his mouth to his “first” sight of a spoon (though never having seen one before), and not, if just a little bit, wonder how it could all be.

And to witness a new generation come into being, to see the older generations, including your own, moving through the field and even seem to disappear over the horizon, one begins to get a nearly mystical feeling of eternity.

My new love is named Ely. I don’t live in her town so it took me a couple of months to really look.  At first she represented, to me, my son’s venture into fatherhood. But not much more – I’ll admit.  Seeing David and Melika in the hospital took me back to my own time, as a new father, as I held him in my arms in the delivery room actually thinking of this day, 30 years hence, too far into the future to be real, when he would feel as I felt, there, gazing into the eyes of my firstborn.

And so it came to be.

The actual passing of such times reminds one of the inevitability of the inevitable.

But then, in a couple of months, a picture of Ely came to me in my email. And I looked. And as love is so inexorably connected to communication and to ones recognition of what he already knows, I touched her through my eyes and fell in love. It took about ½ a second. Just hit me square between the eyes – as she gazed back with a human wisdom beyond that acquired from mere books or the age of a body.

And now I am hopelessly hooked.

A granddaughter!!!! How can that be?  Hell, I was a kid my self so recently. I still am – if I dare tell the truth. But the grandpa’s role is passed to me by my son – just as he passed the role of fatherhood to me those few short years ago. You keep changing me, David……..Thanks!

The feeling I feel is one that anyone knows. Any who has lived, any who has been human.. All of us – we just know. Regardless of age – we just know. Deep down – all of us have done this time and time again – and we know.

Ely comes into a world that I helped to create. I think she did too. Did we do okay? What kind of world does she inherit?.  What will we all inherit ? Something tells me that each of us inherits the world that we help make. We ignore it not only to our kids’ peril, but to our own.

Little people like Ely help us, if for a single moment, but for a lifetime if we are wise, to become less self-centered.  They help free us from that myopic view so entrapped by the powers of the present and what’s immediately around us – and venture into the realm of survival as more than ourselves. We realize that our reach extends through layers of more and more of life, of our families,  our groups, of mankind and even more. These layers are like concentric circles each layer expanding towards greater awareness and survival.  If we reach and reach, who knows, we might get a true glimpse of ……. well, you know….God.

These are my thoughts; and they are wrapped up in this little child – not even 15 pounds sopping wet.

So Ely – I welcome you.

And may I have the wisdom, insight and strength to help make this a good world for you. It’s my hat – my responsibility. And may you do the same for yours.

So…..please forgive my little video – of course its corny. But you got to admit. She is special… really…..don’t you think?

Ken Risley

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