As if discovering something foreign, these tiny hands move over each nearby surface. At night during her last feed, is where I notice it the most. Perhaps it is because I am purely focused on her in the half lit room, that I am so engaged by this developing sense. With eyes closed, barely awake, as she feeds from me, her fingers caress and feel their way around. Over my skin, they slowly move over the different textures of fabric or searching for my own hand to touch. Her entire hand barely wraps around a small section of my finger, but that is all she needs to feel comfort. She places my fingers across her face, making me stroke her delicate features. It is here, where I realise, it is like I am rediscovering my own sense of touch and the beauty of the new.
How often now as adults, do you stop and enjoy the texture of your food on your fingers, the stunning colours of a flower bed in a park or the way an hundred year old tree casts shadows through its leaves. Or maybe it is the bright, shiny lights on a Christmas tree or the smell of the pine that can transport you back to each year you were little and rushed to see if Santa had left you some presents. Or what about that amazement at hearing some rock or classical or dance music for the first time-can you remember how it made you feel? As your body wanted to move and sway with the rhythms. Can you remember not caring where or when you could dance without someone watching you, judging you? When you unaware of the outside world, only taking in what was right in front of you.
We all become so consumed by the chaos of our daily lives, that it is not hard to forget to take in the beautiful details that surround us. The frost that covers the grass on an early morning rise, the smell of freshly poured coffee, a sunset on the beach with the salty air caressing your face, the softest touch on your skin, the history of a book that was written years ago, the grass between your toes, the sound of an acoustic guitar in a large, open space. So many things that happen every single moment of every single day that we sometimes miss because we are too busy just to stop and be present. All the different perspectives happening all at the same time, all experiencing it differently or not at all.
Now I have my daughter Bonnie, it’s like by seeing the bewilderment in her eyes at every new thing she sees, smells, feels, hears, tastes, I too, get to live that with her too. Today, I showed her a snow globe and it was like I was remembering seeing one for the first time-wondering just how it could snow in such a tiny space. How did Santa or his elf capture the snow and bottle it just for me. Having her, is making me more excited about Christmas than I have been in years. Because there is something about the magic of the season that kids live for. Now I get to have that too.
I am grateful for the simplicity of just being in these little moments with her, with my husband, with my family and friends. Like breathing air for the first time, I feel new and alive with all the possibilities of rediscovery. I get to see the ocean for the first time again, I get to see art in a gallery with new eyes, I get to watch a puppy jump about and think it is the coolest thing I’ve ever seen, I get to smile a million smiles that are true and sincere and I get to give cuddles and kisses all day long…well until she doesn’t want me to-but I reckon i’ll give it my best shot.
So as we move towards another year, take stock of all the things around you and be grateful to have so many luxuries as many do not, like presents under the tree. Love all of those people who are important to you and tell them that every day, and be human to those strangers on the street as after all, that is what we are-human with faults and stories and baggage, but love (even when it has been pushed to the darkest corners). Search yourself deep down as if you too were a baby and learning about the world, forgetting that there can be war and hate and all sorts of stuff that makes some people so much worse than just being on Santa’s naughty list. Pretend you were starting at day 1 and give yourself a break, putting all the stress and hurt and anger aside, and just be.