On this first day of spring, I'm thinking about new life.
My husband's grandma just died today.
But amidst the sadness, we talked to our daughters about this being Grandma's wish - to join other loved ones who had gone before her. And we talked of hopes - of what we hope the afterlife will be like for Grandma. It would definitely include choirs, and pianos, and violins, and lots of music. New life.
Derek's parents, aunts, and uncles sat around Grandma's bed. By singing, praying, and acting as her spiritual midwives, they ushered her into a new life in death.
My daughter saw new sprouts coming up from the ground today.
I wondered about being a midwife of new life - how could I encourage the new life around me in all of its forms - new babies being born, new plants growing, new things being learnt, new relationships formed, new milestones achieved, new stages of life. Newness and change are constantly around us.
Sometimes newness can be a bit scary to me - a new home, a new neighbourhood, a new school - because you are leaving the old and familiar. But oh, the growth! Last year, while on sabbatical in France, our daughters went to the local school there. This newness was not really welcome, but at the end of the first full week, our daughter prayed at lunchtime, "Thank you, God, for new experiences." Derek and I looked at each other with tears in our eyes. Who would have known? And the growth that occurred because of this willingness to risk, to step into newness, was incredible.
So this spring, I'm looking for new life - in the earth, in my family, in myself. I'll try to embrace it when it comes along, and try to be a midwife of new life in others. We'll see what grows!