This piece was inspired by the writer Karon Luddy (check out her out on Amazon here), who recently posted the following Wendell Berry poem:
When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
After reading this and feeling the call of the wood drake resting, I knew one had to find its way into a painting. But why the title, you might be wondering? There was something sweet about this bird, and he felt at bit James Taylor-ish to me, and the song popped into my head and attached itself to the painting. And recently, I've been thinking about babies.
I am past the age of having babies.
For many years, I mourned this fact, avoiding babies and puppies and kittens and their sweet smells and softness, overcome by sadness at the loss of this ability. No more wild kicks in my belly. No more exquisite moments of tenderness with the very innocence of life itself. It was much harder than I anticipated. I was saved from this baby drought by my grandchildren, who brought back the bliss of giggles and playtime and noisy toys and Halloween candy and freed me from mourning. If only they lived closer to me (or I closer to them).
What is it about babies (human and otherwise), that squeezes our hearts and releases sweetness and joy? I was delighted to find that part of the neuroplasticiy exercises required...required me to watch videos of laughing babies every day. Why? Because it releases tension, floods us with good feeling chemicals and helps us heal. Try it for yourself: babies laughing at dogs. Good, right? How about puppies? puppymashup. The Boston Terrier eating cracked me up. :)
I might be past the age of having babies, but I am the perfect age for enjoying them.
This post is dedicated to baby Norah, newly arrived in Listowel, Ireland and already causing grownups to smile, make silly sounds and fall hopelessly in love.