We’re often told that babies “are love,” so when Eve, was born, I found myself watching her intently, curious to know: were they? Because although when looking at my daughter, I saw this place that’s the source of us all that's heart-poundingly raw and compelling, drawing me in, in such an incomparable way that I was left pulsing with awe at the infinity of the whole thing, I also had a sense that what I was seeing was a human oscillating into being, as a part of her continued to surf the cosmos. And that whilst what I felt, or others in our family felt towards her was a love so powerful and redefining, it seemed to me that as the days bloomed into months, and my daughter spiralled out into her world, she had to learn this thing called love or, at least, grow into what we associate as love.
But to do this, she first had to leave this place from where she’d come.
in 2009 I got to meditate, unexpectedly, with some nuns whilst working in Cambodia. As I sat behind these women, I had my first inkling that their loving and my loving were quite different. Their loving was a state of awareness; something I had a tangible sense of, as I sat meditating behind them. It was a force field that emanated out from them, and could be felt as keenly as a ray of sun on my naked arm.
However, unlike my haphazard claims to love, their love was an ode to something quieter and more mountain-like. Their love was the love that we connect to in those impossible moments of presence. Or when we’re outside, walking in nature, and our awareness is expanded – and there’s no boundary to that. Or the very tender open-hearted love that we feel for our children, or close friends, or dogs, or mountain ranges, or maybe even gurus. It wasn’t focused and narrowed, but expansive and broad. It wasn’t exclusive, but indescribably inclusive. Nor soft and sweet, nor cuddly and reassuring. Nor addictive and fleeting, and I don't think it was particularly personal either. Because love and presence: maybe there’s not much that separates them after all.
And thus another human follows this bizarre formula that our species has come up with, whereby the young grow up thinking of love as an external entity that is either given to them, or denied to them, depending on how they behave, and who they become. Instead of relating to it as an internal source, to which they can always reconnect, and from which they can discover their own bespoke compass which, if they spend time learning to trust and understand, will direct them towards events and relationships that will bring meaningful, extraordinary and magical things into their lives. The compass is never further from their reach than the thump of their own hearts. So that, rather than I love you because you are like this,or I love you because you make me feel like this, the wish would be that they grow up simply loved, because actually when it’s really there, it cannot be taken away.
But because I can only turn to both of my children with more of a hopeful heart than one completely identified with anything like the indestructible nature that it really is, in order to more truthfully reflect back to both Evie and Jack their innate wholeness and goodness, I take them out outside into nature as often as I can. Out to nurse under the trees when they were both little, and now to walk through the woods whenever I can persuade them that yes it really will be fun, because as soon as we get there, out of the car, something in them lights up and I actually have to do very little. So that whilst my children play, their imaginations set free amidst a backdrop of wildness, I just sit, leaning against a tree, watching tehm absorbed in their play, until I am needed, or just get pulled into it, the wish to play not so far away from my heart after all when it is free to be as it can. Out here, under the sky its easier to remember a wholeness that I must have identified with more certainly, not so long ago.
But I forget, and stumble, offering poor caricatures in lieu of simply embodying to my children the truth of who they really are – not so much a personality becoming, but a portal into an experience of infinity – nature just intrinsically gets it. And so out we go, again and again, so that they can refamiliarise themselves with the state they started from, so that they may truly come to understand what love really is: not a thing that so much owns and possesses, but gives and creates in an eternal expansion that feels a lot like curiosity. Because love once allowed, can never be diminished, love’s shape is an ever changing one, blooming near the edges of the universe, only to nudge them out a little bit wider, like a wild mare, whose sniffs tell her that although she can only see so far, her heart knows the sky and the stars that glitter are endless. To the stars then we seek our inspiration, and from one another are reminded: that it’s not only babies who express love, but every heart that lives, and even those from the ethers, who have been, or are yet to come, from them too exists a thread to this field that we’re so damn blessed to experience: because maybe on Mars there’s nothing quite like it, - baby or no baby - and maybe even Venus doesn’t quite have a sense of it - mountain or no mountain - so, maybe, here on Gaia, is the only place we’re going to discover a source more powerful then any of us, yet is us. Maybe.