A friend has become a grandmother for the first time, but because of the pandemic, she cannot hold the baby. This inspired me to write the following letter:
Welcome, new one,
Many, many people on this wide and wondrous planet are so very glad that you are here. We aren’t able to be with you right now, to cradle you next to our hearts, to coo over your beautiful eyelashes, to count your precious fingers and toes, but our arms are aching to surround you with love. You see, you’ve come at a strange time.
Each of the billions of people who live on this one round ball we call Earth, is a separate, unique individual. Just like you, we all have strengths and weaknesses, gifts and challenges. Some of us love onions and others can’t stand rock and roll (truly). People communicate with each other in hundreds of different languages and sometimes we even understand each other. We wear different clothes and tell different stories about how the world came to be. We create miraculous things: music that makes people cry; films that make people laugh; machines that allow people to fly; medicine that helps people heal; rituals that bring people together; weapons that tear people apart; words that give people hope; even food that makes people feel loved. We feed one another when we understand there is plenty and, sadly, we fight one another when we think there is not enough. We have been trying, for a very long time, to make this place a paradise where everyone has what they need and can share the joy and beauty, but we haven’t succeeded yet. We know, in our hearts, that no one person can fix the world by herself and that each of us plays a necessary role. Including you.
But right now, the many complicated feelings that humans experience—that you will come to recognize and feel yourself—are overshadowed by a single big fear. We are all afraid of getting sick, and we fear making others sick. We know that we will all die one day, that we aren’t brought here to live on this planet, in this reality, forever. But we hope that when we leave, we will do so with the people we love standing watch and without a lot of pain to distract us from saying goodbye. The sickness we are afraid of doesn’t allow that kind of dying. So we are afraid and strangely, our love for one another is keeping us apart. We know that if we come together and laugh together, dance together, hug each other, kiss, we can give the illness a chance to get into our bodies. It is a cruel disease because it makes us lonely.
We want to be with you right now, but the disease won’t let us. So, I’m writing you this letter and hoping that one day my words will act a little like a lullaby that makes you feel loved.
Welcome to our world, little one. There are miracles ahead and there is beauty.