Friday, June 17, 2011

In the Beginning...and Beyond

This post is adapted from an earlier version (April 22, 2010). It has been revamped, rewritten and reposited to suit the topic at hand-HSB, aka CM2's graduation.
In the beginning God created heaven and earth. 
The Earth was void and without form and darkness was on the face of the Earth 
God’s spirit moved upon the waters 
God said let there be light and there was light 
God saw that what he had done was good and God separated light from darkness 
It was morning and it was evening, the first day…
                                                                                            Genesis (Bereshit)1:1

Today is HSB, aka CM2's, graduation practice and I began to think about that first line from the Bible. Everything has a beginning and everything has an end. We celebrate the milestones in our lives with pomp and circumstance and parties and a very big chocolate fudge cake. We remember what makes our children who they are and we remember what makes us who we happen to be. Life has a way of keeping us on our toes and wondering what will be the next shoe to drop, but then again there comes a time when all you have to do is enjoy the moment at hand and revel in your child's accomplishments.

It does not matter whether you believe the Bible was written by the hand of God or by the hand of man. For the important point that is made in Genesis is that it all begins with the Earth. The Bible does not start its story about the dominion of mankind over the Earth or the animals of the Earth. It begins with the creation of the Earth. How everything upon it was lovingly made by the hand of God, that each and every blade of grass is a testament to the beauty and wonder of life. We as human beings are charged with its care. We are the last things made in the Garden of Eden and there is a reason for that, for we are not supposed to be the usurpers of the Earth’s bounty, but its guardians.

Even if you believe that the Book of Genesis was handed by God to the people of Israel at Sinai,was written by scribes in the court of David or written and rewritten by prophets and rabbis over millennia, does not matter. For the intent is still the same. Ancient man knew and understood what it meant to be a part of the world around you. They knew what it meant to be part of the rhythm of the seasons and the caretaker of the land. It was sacred to them. There is a reverence in those words that so many in our world have forgotten.  We rush about our modern lives forgetting who we are and where we come from. We forget to stop and smell the roses and enjoy the beauty of a thunderstorm, the chirp of a new born bird, the song of a cricket seeking a mate, a kitten discovering a ball of string, a human baby learning to walk or  child learning that they can control the world around them.
You know that I can still remember collegeman’s face when he discovered that he could stand upright. We were at my parent’s house and he had been “cruising” the furniture for months. It wasn’t a big deal for him. He held on and off he would go. He, then like all 11 month olds, would fall right to his knees and scoot off to his destination. Well my parents had a little dog; she had been abandoned and followed them home one day. A tiny misbegotten animal, which had been sorely mistreated wherever she had been, we knew she was not wanted for there was no collar or tags to identify her by, someone had just thrown her away. Instantly that pup and my mother bonded. (The dog has been gone for years now and my mother still misses her.) Well, collegeman left the safety of my parent’s couch and headed for the bookcases. There was that little dog, all 15 pounds of her right in his way. Collegeman instead of holding on to the bookcase held on to her and lifted himself up. Looked down at her, looked up at us, looked down at her, smiled and patted her on the head, thanking her for the hand-up. He realized that he was now taller than the dog. His smile was immense. He never crawled again.
It was a beginning of a new adventure for collegeman, and a new adventure for me. If I had not learned to run yet, I definitely learned to run at that moment. For he just didn’t walk he ran. Giggling and laughing and raising toddler hell wherever he could. That day the light was turned on for collegeman and it was good. Later on in life there would be another light that we would need to kindle; a light that a disability had tried to extinguish within my child.But as with everything that he does, collegeman pulled himself up, looked down and thanked in his own way those that helped him up. He thanked those that had given him a hand-up and proceeded to raise some kind of hell. He thanked those who gave him a hand-up by being who he was meant to be. (Right now he is level 85 warrior in World of Warcraft.)
HSB, aka CM2, had his own way of turning to the light. He waits and fights the world around him. He decides that he doesn't want to do something until he does it. It can turn you upside down and inside out until that boy decides to proceed, yet once he puts his mind to something he is on his way. Case in point, the boys had bunk-beds with a warning that children under 6 years of age could not go on the top bunk. CM2 never went on the top bunk. Didn't even try. Then the morning of his 6th birthday, you guessed it, I found him on the top bunk. School was always hard for CM2. Attention and impulse issues along with the social problems always gave him a terrible challenge early on. But First grade was truly tough. This child would not read, not a word. We knew he was so smart, there was no reading disability and could not figure out why he couldn't read. Well it turned out that he just didn't want to. Once he decided to read, he read at such a high level that he surpassed the schools testing levels. The same happened with using a razor at the barbershop. Not one to get his haircut in the first place, CM2 announced that on a particular day he would allow them to use a razor and lo and behold, he reminded them that they could now use a razor on the day of that haircut. The light for CM2 goes on at his calling and noone else's. That is he lesson I learned about my son over the years.
Everything is a beginning I think. Everything that we experience for better or worse is an opportunity to turn on a light and separate it from the darkness. Ancient man knew that humans were endowed with this remarkable ability to mold and shape their world. We are given a set of gifts as we enter into the world and it is up to us what we do with it. When we learn to walk do we thank those that helped us up or do we mow down those that get in our way. When we grow do we grow straight and upright or do we sink beneath the darkness and destroy that which is good. What do you do with the gifts that you receive?
Genesis speaks about respecting the world around you. Thanking a little pup came naturally to a toddler; even one we did not know at the time was autistic. Perhaps it is a lesson we all should learn and try to remember going forward. We are given a chance to shine with the light. We are given this opportunity to allow the blessings of the Earth to be bestowed upon us. We need to thank the Earth and protect her. We need to remember that we are but temporary custodians of this planet keeping it safe for the next generation and making sure that it is safe and whole and cared for with our whole heart.
The Earth provides us joy, warmth, food, shelter, and sustenance. It provides us beauty by which to rest our souls on days when we think we could go on no further. It is a gift to us. It is how we stand upright to carry on. It is God or Mother Nature’s hand-up to a weary parent dealing with overwhelming issues and burdens. The irony is that we think our problems are so different than the burdens of generations or civilizations that came before. But they really are not. All people throughout the ages wanted a good life. All people throughout the ages wanted happy and healthy children. All people wanted to love and be loved. All people throughout the ages wanted the freedom to be who they were meant to be. But the one thing that they, ancient man, did that I fear we do not do enough, is stop and see what is around us and marvel at Earth’s glory and its wonder. So while we tackle our day to day existence and go about our world in our so very modern society, with our very modern problems, I hope that you head the words of the prophets, or God, or Mother Nature and listen to the wind. Try  to worry less about the future and marvel at the greatness of your child on that one particular day, at that particular moment in life.
By the way I will let you know how well I keep my worries in check as CM2 goes through the graduation ceremony. Honestly, and this being as honest as possible, I  make no guarantees that I will take my own advice.
I know I couldn't believe it was Ozzy too.

Until next time,