Today, a miracle. Our daughter brought forth into this world a sweet baby girl.
A small lamp casting a soft glow in the upstairs bedroom of a home tucked into the mountains of New York. Two skilled, seasoned midwives. A family gathered round. And then the long awaited moment. Heather giving birth. Our eldest grandchild cutting her little sister's umbilical cord. We were there. All of us. Heather's husband Patrick, their three children ages 4 1/2, 8, and 11 and Dick and I. And then a special, unexpected gift. One of the midwives crossed the room where I stood and, with our baby's vernix on her fingertips, massaged my temples ever so briefly as I closed my eyes to accept her special gesture. Vernix, which is the waxy, cheese-like substance coating a newborn that provides antibacterial protection and is an emollient to prevent skin from drying out, feels like butter. I believe her spontaneity was spawned by a brief conversation we had earlier in the evening regarding a yoga class my granddaughter and I attend. At the conclusion of the class, as we lie prostate on our mats with our eyes closed in a room illuminated only by the flickering light of votive candles and a little lamp, our yogi gently massages the temples of each of her students with essential oil. Calming. Vernix or essential oil. A simple human touch. Profound meaning in the context of the serenity of a home birth and yoga alike.