A friend and colleague welcomed a daughter into the world, barely two weeks ago. He and his wife gave her the name Brishti, then watched over the last little while, as rain swept through this part of the world in unprecedented quantities, bringing, along with its usual offerings, a new degree of awe at what nature can make of such common, simple elements as...rain.
I said to my friend what I often say to new parents - and mean, to the depths of my heart - that they've performed the ultimate act, one of potentially unlimited beauty and good, and that they will never surpass it. I also expressed my envy. It's not a bitter envy, but it's envy nevertheless. Because I have no children, nor any hope that that will change. I used to dream, and believe, that I'd have many children. And that forward-looking hope still stands as a solid and tangible joy in the arc of my life, which, like all real joys, lingers in my soul even now, long after hope itself has faded, and its fading has been accepted. I remain a joyous father-to-be at heart. And I'm glad to say that it yet informs my walk through life, my work and all my other creative aspirations.
I believe it's true that sometimes the lack of something enhances what we see and value in it. Me, I notice children, and I marvel at the ways and means of their growing into whatever they will become. My work has long been with children who are at the very outer reaches of that state - that is, with what we now call adolescents, and young adults. No, they aren't really children anymore. But it's so true, all that's said and written about the importance of those early years, about the child making the man or woman, about those first years being the formative ones, the molding of which we are never entirely free of. We never completely outgrow the child, do we?
Increasingly, as I near the age of sixty, I see the child who lingers in those around me, and in myself. And I notice that the awareness of that child makes everyone more beautiful....
And so, Brishti - Hindi for rain. Welcome to the world, and to all its forces that will shape and intermingle with you. Welcome to a future that each and every day will bring you something new. Welcome to Living! And may you never grow too fast.