And just like that, the world was changed. What might have been just another ordinary year, with its usual hillocks to climb and valleys to cross, became a time of excitement. What could have been just a ho-hum day took on an air of expectation. Lights became brighter. Colors [especially pink] became more vibrant. Ordinary little body parts, like eyes and ears and fingers and toes, instantly became objects of wonder. Even poop took on an extraordinary air!
Ivy Jane is not just any baby. To her parents, extended family and friends, she is unique. No one just like her will ever be born again. That is miracle enough.
Yet, like all newborns, Ivy Jane came into the world bearing a single message. Every child that is born knows the secret of life. The problem is by the time we're grown most of us have forgotten it. Sadly we stay too busy, we focus our attention on other things, and consider "secrets" to be the purview of children.
In those last few nano-seconds before Ivy Jane took her first breath, however, the Creator of all things good, whispered in her ear.
"Love, my precious little one, love," the Great One said, "that's all you need to know."
And so it is.
For when all else fails:
Love is the key that will unlock the mystery.
Love is the salve that will heal all wounds.
Love is the gift that surpasses gold or jewels.
Love is the power that can harness any storm.
Love is the first tulip that blooms in the spring.
Love is the rainbow after a shower.
Love is smile on stranger's face and the spots on an old man's hands.
Love is the wind that whistles through the trees.
Love is the tide that never stops to ask why.
Love is galloping across the open plain on a spotted horse.
Love is the wild Montana sky.
Love is sleeping in your daddy's arms.
Love is the pride in your mother's eyes when you win your first spelling bee.
Love is the dread that fills your parents' hearts when they hand you the car keys for the first time.
Love is the sand and the sea and dolphins dancing in the waves.
Love is what the meadowlark sings.
Love is what comes wrapped up in Christmas paper.
Love is the purr of a kitten or a slobbery wet dog kiss.
Love is saying hello after a long day at work;or saying goodbye after a life well lived.
Love is cheering for your favorite football team even when they aren't so good.
Love is saying thank you.
Love is being patient when learning how to tie you shoes.
Love is that rush of excitement at the top of a roller coaster.
Love is reading a good book, taking a bubble bath, or walking in the rain.
Love is holding someone's hand when there are no words to say.
Love is talking to your mom on the phone.
Love is eating an Oreo cookie.Love is a new pair of shoes and fancy French socks.
Love is a hot cup of tea or a glass full of ice cold lemonade.
Love is climbing a mountain or standing on level ground.
Love is warm, flannel pajamas or a soft, cuddly onesie.
Love is playing hopscotch on a summer afternoon.
Love is catching fireflies later that same evening.
Love is roasting marshmellows and making s'mores.
Love is salmon swimming upstream, penguins standing on a block of ice, and being brave in the face of a getting vaccination.
Love is glint of sunshine on an icicle covered tree.
Love is swinging on a tire swing.
Love is homemade apple pie or gingerbread men.
Love is getting a letter from an old friend.
Love is getting help lugging your groceries to the car.
Love is a big red balloon.
Yes, indeed, love is all this and more ......
Each of us has been given this gift by the Creator. But, like I said before, as grown ups we sometimes forget to remember love is reason we're here. On January 1, 2008, Ivy Jane became our reminder; a messenger of sorts. It's a big job for such a little one, but what else does a baby have to do? Even though she's too small to speak the word, her eyes will reflect love. Her hands will reach for love. Her lips will cry for love. And her ears will listen for love. Our job is to take good notes and [re]learn the message, for it is ageless and endless.
Welcome to the world Ivy Jane.
Thank you for the precious reminder of the glory of love.
Be at peace.
May you always and forever know love and show love.
I can't wait to see you in person. Til then I send you a great big hug.