Circle of Life: Meeting the New Grand-Baby in Baltimore

Newborn Claire
Baby Claire

I study the face of my newborn granddaughter Claire, just inches from mine, and realize I’m in a state of bliss.  How can this little being, child of my child, be so beautiful…and perfect?Her small head blooms with fine dark hair, her fingers grow nails so tiny and thin we don’t dare cut them, her mouth, a rosebud, instinctively nursing to sustain life.  Sometimes she smiles, or what appears to be a smile, and I grin back.

Claire is totally helpless and dependent; knowing that, I squeeze her even closer. I want to protect her from any harm, but know I can’t.

She purrs like a kitten when fed and burped.  Her frequent hiccups, an annoyance she chooses to ignore.  I sit with the baby on my lap, her body bending in the middle like a Buddha, head dropping forward and seemingly contemplating the world.  The infant looks as if she is all knowing; yet I wonder what she thinks?

Her presence here seems so natural, like she was always supposed to be.

Today the cherub travels with her parents who attend a memorial service and I watch her big sister, Caroline.  I am reminded of life’s circle.  They mourn the death of a friend’s brother in a plane crash, so unexpected and tragic.  Yet here is a rainbow, new baby Claire, ready for life to shine.

Becoming a parent or grandparent is to have faith in the future, a step that mounts high stakes.  To love unconditionally, with passion and complete acceptance puts one in a vulnerable place, but to hold the finger of a babe, is to grasp hope.

Welcome to the Circle, Claire.

The Circle of Life

From the day we arrive on the planet
And blinking, step into the sun
There's more to see than can ever be seen
More to do than can ever be done
There's far too much to take in here
More to find than can ever be found
But the sun rolling high
Through the sapphire sky
Keeps great and small on the endless round
It's the Circle of Life
And it moves us all
Through despair and hope
Through faith and love
Till we find our place
On the path unwinding
In the Circle
The Circle of Life

Lyrics by Tim Rice, Music by Elton John