Joyce and I are sitting on the plane before take-off to return home across the country. Deep fatigue has set in. I’m in the window seat and Joyce has the aisle. There’s an empty seat between us, giving us luxurious space to spread out. Okay, I planned it that way. It’s a secret picked up by couples who fly a lot. It works about half the time. This time it didn’t work. A massive man walks up the aisle. I watch him as he glances this way and that. Then his eyes settle on the seat between us and I know the gig is up. Gentleman that I sometimes am, I offer him my window seat, which he fills to overflowing. The cross-country flight threatens to be very long. I am pressed against Joyce (well, that part’s not so bad). A nap, which I very much need, seems out of the question.
Then I look up and there, peeking over the seat in front of me, is a very small face. I hadn’t noticed the mother and baby sitting in the row in front of me. She had been surprisingly quiet. And now she was eying me with curiosity. I smiled. She smiled. I made a funny face. She laughed. The games were on. For most of the flight, except when she napped, I entertained her. But, even more, she blessed me with a touch of heaven. She lifted my spirits. She opened my heart. Not only did the plane fly, but so did the time.
That’s what babies do, but only if we let them. I had a choice. I could have groaned inwardly, “Oh no, just what I need – this baby will probably cry and fuss the whole flight.” Instead, I opted for “baby therapy,” letting the baby’s divine energy work its magic on my soul.
I have to admit, I’m primed for “baby therapy.” Our first grandchild was born January 14, 2011 to our daughter, Rami and her husband, River, in their little cabin here on our 16 acres. Little baby Skye has been an integral part of our lives from the moment of his birth, which Joyce, our two other children, Mira and John-Nuri, and I were blessed to attend. In the early days and weeks, Joyce and I took turns walking him in the front pack while River was in graduate school and Rami needed a break. While I walked, I sang every spiritual song I knew. Was it for him? Yes. Was it for me? I think more so. His tiny body pressed against my heart inspired songs and prayers of gratitude.
Sometimes I’m hard at work in my office. Keeping up with emails used to be hard enough for me. Alas, now there’s Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Yelp, our blogs, and other assorted forms of “social network marketing.” It can be overwhelming, even though Joyce, bless her heart, now helps more than ever. I don’t even realize how intense it all is, until I hear a tapping on the window of my office door and look up into Skye’s thoughtful face, peeking out from Rami’s pack and peering at me through the glass. It’s amazing how fast that precious little face causes a 180 degree change in me from mental to heart-full. Wow, the sheer power of baby therapy. But that’s not all. Looking at him, I see him recognize me and break into a thousand kilowatt smile. In case you thought a smile was done by a face alone, watch a baby smile. It includes their whole body. It sends millions of tiny rays of light in all directions.
Next thing I know, I have been magically transported out of the office and into the living room where Skye is now lying on the floor. I put my face just above his and we gaze into one another’s eyes. There is a peace in his eyes that truly passes all understanding. Sometimes I am looking at a baby, sometimes a wise old sage, so deep is his gaze. At six months old, his movements are somewhat jerky as he reaches out his hands to touch my face, the sublime touch of an angelic being. His facial expressions have a kind of transparency that’s hard to describe – it’s like looking at something ephemeral that’s tentatively exploring a denser realm. But it’s the feeling of unconditional love that blows me away – him for me and me for him. I am a different person after every interaction with this bundle of preciousness. And that is baby therapy!
Now here’s my invitation to you, dear reader. You don’t have to be a father, mother, grandmother or grandfather to receive baby therapy. Like me on the airplane, or a food market, or just walking down the street, keep an eye out for babies. If you look for them, they’re everywhere. Just stop and say hello. Tell whoever is with the baby that they have a beautiful baby. (And what baby is not beautiful?) Every parent or grandparent is thrilled to hear these appreciations. They will stop and give you a chance to interact with their baby.
Even better, maybe you know a relative or a friend who has a baby. Don’t miss out on this glorious opportunity for baby therapy, of being blessed by a touch of heaven on earth. And what parent doesn’t need help, perhaps to hold their baby while they get something done, perhaps to babysit so they can have a needed break. Being with a baby is a natural antidepressant. You will feel more inspired about your life. The closeness to that heavenly energy will move you closer to your bigger dreams and your life’s purpose.