Reflecting on Beauty: The Flowers of Life
January 26, 2014
Back in October of 2011, my husband and I were living in one of the biggest cities in the world, possessed by our work, our friends and ourselves, swirling around the hustle of city life as autumn leaves, light and free. We were free as could be: healthy, graduated and self-supporting young people. However the acuity in relationships and taste of freedom withered as time went by. Beauty was flowing from our life as does the sand in an hour-glass. So we decided to vivify our existence and do our duties for the human race. We ventured having a baby.
When the time to give birth had come, I was brought into the obstetric department. White tile walls, sterile sheets, personnel in white uniform, smell of aseptic solutions - smell of cleanness, clang of surgical equipment and whatever else was very pragmatic and casual. It had nothing in common with the Sacrament of Birth. All things around me were well known and understandable, belonging to my previous world where career and job ranked high, higher than personal relationships, but at this time I was on the other side of a familiar world. It was the opposite pole. I was not a doctor any longer but only a patient; nothing depended on me at this time. It was a strange and scary feeling multiplied by the lack of experience that is peculiar to the first labor; all knowledge about obstetrics accumulated in Medical school disappeared from my brain. Being a patient was new test for me, and I decided to trust the midwife and obstetrician who helped me as I would like my patients to trust me.
Meanwhile the process of giving birth was taking place: encouraging words of midwives, moans and curses of women, someone had thrown up. I agreed with our ancestors, who were right to banish men, except doctors, from the labor ward. While I had been attending some labors as a medical student, I never found any beauty in labor and in withered just-born babies stained by blood and white vernix caseosa (embryonic grease). My process was unpleasant and hard, I was exhausted and tired. At last I heard the baby crying. It was the voice of my son! In ten minutes the midwife put him on my chest. He was wet, red and withered as all newborns, but he was very beautiful and vulnerable. Great feelings of pacification, and fondness, and happiness filled every cell of my tired body and every place in my soul, that reconciled me with a new world of “being mother” and let me believe in the justice in this universe. All my fears, doubts and unpleasant memories melted like snow in the spring when he looked at me for a second with his muddy, not capable of focusing eyes, and I realized why women have agreed to go through these troubles again and again since Eve. They do it for this incredible and happy feeling that any Creator feels after the end of his hard job, be it gorgeous music, canvas, poetry or something else. They do it for beauty. As any work of art makes this world more beautiful so our children bring beauty and sense in our life. Maybe that is why we call them the “Flowers of Life.”
Remembering this moment, when I laid on the labor bed with my baby, I understood that beauty has to be grown inside us, maturing under your heart like a child, saturated with our thinking and feelings. One day it appears from you, beside you, as a wonderful flower, so intimate and plain.