When my daughter, Noelle Christiana, was born I called her my changeling baby, and in much of the world’s mythology that might actually signify danger or ill-fortune, but I chose to accept the Norse belief that sometimes humans were given special children of special strengths as a reward. I never asked myself just what I had done to deserve the gift, nor did I ask myself the obvious question – “Should I go into the world and search for my human baby, spirited away by the trolls or the faeries?” No. She was my special gift and that was enough.
When she first began to “see” the world about her, the lapping waves at the shore, the rustling leaves in the garden, the wind – she reacted with an excitable thrill as if she had some secret knowledge of the inner world that she was remembering. That is why I called her my changeling baby. And too, she popped into my life in an unexpected hurry, as if she was setting her own agenda, arriving just past 10 and a half months after the birth of her brother. He, for his part, fretted and worried about her, assuming the mother hen role from the start. And she returned the favor at a later date.
When her brother became ill, she set aside her goals, her creativity, her personal dreams and relationships, and became his primary caregiver for his last ten years.
This is her birthday today and I celebrate the gift she has been in my life, knowing that she is now, finally, fully, deservedly, and abundantly becoming her own caregiver.
To Noelle – MANY HAPPY RETURNS OF THE DAY!
“…that sun-glories and star-glories, leaf-glories and bark glories. Flower-glories and glories that lurk in the grasses of the field, glories of mountains and oceans, of little streams of running waters, glories of song, of poesy, of all the arts, may be to you as sweet, abiding influences that will illumine your life and make you glad. That your soul may be as an alabaster cup, filled to overflowing with the mystical wine of beauty and love. That happiness may put her arms around you, and wisdom make your soul serene. This is my wish for you.” – Charles Snell