For those of you really good at math, 34 years ago today, was 1978.
Noah Timothy Garrison was born that day.
Happy birthday Noah.
You were born in our family home along the shore of Iron Lake just a few miles south of Iron River, Wisconsin. Yep, you actually were born at home. Your mother, Kandi, was amazing that day. We had contracted with Leigh, our midwife, to attend your birth. She was there. Your sister, Jennifer, and brother, Mark, were there. Lynn and Jeanne were there.
It was a beautiful, sunny, light-dancing-on-the-water, northern Wisconsin August kind of day. We had a magnificent birthday cake in your honor that evening. It was loaded with whipped cream and freshly picked wild blueberries. You didn’t eat any . . . well . . . until later when it was transformed into breast milk.
What a fine community gathered with us to welcome you. It was a party, indeed!
Being privileged to attend the births of your sister and your brothers, I remember being awed by the sacredness of this passage . . . Your mother worked so hard to birth you, and your siblings. The birthing of life required so much from her as her body prepared her and you to be pushed from within her into the world.
It is true, she loved you into being.
That day, our Iron River garden was in full growth.
It was harvest time in so many ways.
Earlier in the week, we sat, your mother was very pregnant and radiant in an expectant sort of way, with Lynn and Jeanne and Jennifer and Mark on a magnificent shaded hillside that was loaded with the most sumptuous harvest of wild blueberries I have ever experienced. The bushes were high and full with big blue juicy wild fruit. You could sit in one spot and pick and pick and pick until you had almost a full quart within arm’s reach of where you sat.
The connection of your birth to the earth is stunning.
Anyway, maybe it was sitting on that hillside before you were born, and maybe it was something else, but afterward, I broke out into a horrendous, firey rash from an allergic reaction to something or the other. I remember in the early hours of your life, the only way I got respite from the fire within my skin was to dive into Iron Lake and swim for a while. Then it would abate for a bit. Finally benedryl worked it’s magic for me.
Your mother recovered from the hard work of birthing.
You slept your first few nights, as I remember anyway, in a drawer . . . This drawer pulled from a dresser, lined with the comfort of baby blankets and sheets.
Then, 33 years+ went by and we saw this sign together in Key West
Who could ever have guessed that in the 33rd year of life you, Moses, Patricia and I would have an adventure together in Sarasota and Key West.
Mahi Mahi Mango Cilantro Onion Cabbage Burrito – almost worth the trip just for this.
Stumbling among the immensities . . . you know, the immensities of life and death . . . is where we live.
Thank you Noah.