Saturday, March 14, 2009

My birth

I wonder what my first moments of life outside my mother’s womb were like. Was I thrilled to be out? Or was I already stocked up with fear?

My mother would have been grateful that I was healthy and had my full complement of limbs, fingers and toes, eyes, ears, nose and mouth. I am pretty sure of that. But what else might she have felt?

Did I give her an easy time of it? Sleep well and long, feed easily? Did I smile? Open my eyes early and often? Did I scream in trauma as I was drawn out of the birth canal? I wonder.

I have a feeling I may have choked somewhere along the delivery but that some midwife would have quickly cleared the airways for me. I imagine that as soon as I was in my mother’s arms and at her breast, I would have been mildly relieved of the trauma of being expelled from my dark and private abode in my mother’s womb and from being soothingly cradled by my mother’s movements.

Birth is impossible without death. The start of something new must mean the end of something old.

Birth And Death

Birth and death, twin-sister and twin-brother,
Night and day, on all things that draw breath,
Reign, while time keeps friends with one another
Birth and death.

Each brow-bound with flowers diverse of wreath,
Heaven they hail as father, earth as mother,
Faithful found above them and beneath.

Smiles may lighten tears, and tears may smother
Smiles, for all that joy or sorrow saith:
Joy nor sorrow knows not from each other
Birth and death.

Algernon Charles Swinburne @ Poem Hunter

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