Nine years ago today on my birthday, an amazing little being came into our lives, the first of four blessed additions to our family.
Six years ago, on her third birthday, I wrote a letter to Sophianna which I posted here: https://inaspaciousplace.wordpress.com/2010/08/24/happy-birthday/
(Sophie at three-years-old takes to the dance floor.)
Today, as she turns nine, Sophie is still dancing.
All children are miracles of grace; but there is something about grandchildren that is hard to explain.
As I watch our now four grand-daughters discover the world and grow into the fullness of their true nature, I am touched by the wonder of their lives and the beauty of their being.
They are extraordinary little people, each unique and special in her own way.
It is a wonder to me as I turn 62, on the day Sophie turns nine, how much I experience in these little lives the extraordinary mystery that is the dance of life.
For me, more of life has passed than is yet to come. For Sophianna, Isabel, Linnea, and Eleanor, everything lies ahead. Their world is filled with possibilities and fantastic visions.
Sophie is going to move to Salt Spring Island and build a glass house on the lake. The rooms will have glass walls and be built deep into the water so that from her bed she can watch the fish swim by. She will finance her life by growing healthy produce and selling it along with the fantastic handi-crafts she will manufactures and sell for a great profit.
The dreams for all of her tomorrows are limitless.
Recently, grandma and I took the three oldest of our grandaughters to the waterpark; the youngest is still too small for such adventures. But the other three reveled in the joy of being outside, climbing, running, jumping, and being officially authorized to get wet. Especially, the three-year-old never stopped. She ran and ran and ran, from one exciting activity to another. She splashed, she slid, she jumped.
This force of life never stops. I see it in all four girls. It is stronger and more real than anything that might ever try to bring its defeat.
My prayer for Sophie as she turns nine is that she may stay deeply conscious of this irrepressible life-force. I pray that she may be able to look beyond the multitude of distractions that will inevitably clamour for her attention as she grows older and continue to discern the deep rhythm of life that causes her now to dance with such beauty and abandon.
There is nothing more real or more precious than this song of life that in Christian tradition we call “God” and say we see embodied in the person, life, and teachings of Jesus. This melody will accompany these little girls through life. This power will sustain them on their journey with the wisdom, beauty, and truth that is their true nature.
As a grandparent I long only to encourage these little beings to hear the mighty song of love that I experience so clearly in their lives. For however many more birthdays we share, I hope I may be able to affirm in Sophianna and her sisters the confidence, wisdom, and love that reside at the heart of their being.
They are icons of love, beacons of light in a world so often dark and confused. These little lives shine with a truth that is greater, more enduring and more powerful than all the horror that constantly preoccupies us as the world rages on its incomprehensible path of violence and intolerance.
Happy birthday Sophianna. Thank you for the beauty that shines in your life; keep on dancing!