Oona Beatrix Haggerty. Born August 24th 2009.
A thing of beauty is a joy forever:/Its loveliness increases; it will never/ Pass into nothingness; but still will keep/ A bower quiet for us, and a sleep/ Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing… John Keats. It was difficult to find a poetic response to the exquisite moment of meeting my Granddaughter. A couple of months ago I began to re-read my own mother’s leather copy of The Poems of John Keats. On his tombstone was written [with no name at his own request]: Here lies one whose name was writ in water. The feeling of great joy and great sorrow can melt one completely, dissolving who we take ourselves to be into the same ocean.
Monday night, just after several of us stood in line for, then tasted the best ice cream in Berkeley, Oona Beatrix Haggerty was born in a hospital just a few blocks from the ice cream store. It seems just after I wrote the last posting about waiting for the baby, Laura went into labor – a long labor, but one mercifully, without complications.
Last night I held her and fell into the eternity the new ones carry to us for awhile. Then I felt the hoop of continual life and death, and my new place along it’s curve. I spoke on the phone to Great-Grandmother Gloria, age 87, and felt her up ahead of me. Shabda sang an evening Raga to Oona and she slept. I kissed my courageous daughter-in-law and hugged my son close, savoring our new roles – Grandmother, father, child.
Sweet and low, sweet and low,/Wind of the Western Sea!…/Over the rolling waters go/…While my little one, while my pretty one sleeps.. Alfred, Lord Tennyson.