The most transcendent experience I have ever had was giving birth to my son Jack. Both in the moments leading up to his entrance and in the realization of what my body was capable of, I found a new hope in God, in the cosmos and what my own life could do. The nine months of waiting prior to meeting him eye to eye was a practice in believing without seeing. Despite the biological evidence and all of human history to back up the truth that there was actually a child inside of me, it was not until Jack arrived that I truly understood the precarious work of nature in bringing forth life.
The whole notion of planting seeds, waiting for them to emerge from the ground and then watching them grow was a process I had never done very easily before giving birth. I have worked in and even managed community gardens in the past but always in teams of people who would do the planting and the waiting, watering and the monitoring of growth. I never wanted to do it because I was afraid that my hands would be the ones which caused the seeds to fail. This fear should have kept me from trying to have kids, however it just made me less careful since I never thought it would really happen. When I saw the positive sign on the pregnancy test I was both overjoyed and relieved that I could also participate in nature's life making.
February 2017, I gave birth to Jack without any medicine. While labor was excruciating, I did not want to miss out on any beauty that might accompany the pain. I wanted to believe that I could do a hard thing. Giving birth everyday is not possible (luckily), however I believe a similar experience of transcendence is achieved by planting seeds and watching them sprout. If my body can produce such life, perhaps my hands can too. If I can live through labor pain, than maybe I can endure disappointing seasons of drought or seeds that do not come to fruition. Can the hope in things that grow and the wonder in the mysteries of God be enough to breath joy into the everyday? My wager is, yes.