New Citizens of the World

Look at these two baby girls, these new citizens of the world. My daughter Georgia on the left is two months old and her cousin Evelyn on the right is five months old. They got to play together over Christmas when we hosted my sister Mary Ellen's family, my brother Matt and his wife Rebecca and my mother. Amidst all the cooking and feasting and toasting and laughing and snuggling and 5-Straight-playing and present-opening and celebrating, we took the opportunity to have a family baby blessing for the two youngest members of the clan. My father skyped in and my older brother Patrick and his wife Paula called in on speaker phone from Minneapolis. I felt so happy to have all the family on my side gathered for this occasion as that just didn't happen for my son Xavier's blessing.

We all sat around in the living room on Boxing Day morning and lit a candle for each baby. Evelyn sat on her mother's lap and Georgia cuddled with her daddy. Everyone had an opportunity to say something to the little girls. I began by reading this poem by Nancy Wood from Shaman's Circle.

Birth Ritual  
New being, new citizen of the world, new carrier of cloud wisdom and moonstones, new flame of the universe, new eyes of animals too old to see beyond their footprints, new repetition 
Of old ideas that people thought had died long ago, we stand before you, ready to protect your small breath of life, ready to teach you songs, ready to help you plow the fields cluttered with our mistakes. Your
Recent journey affirms our faith in ancient circles. You are the voice of us who tried to change the world. You are the continuity of seasons and migrations, the best or worst of all that has gone before. New being,  
The ancestors are depending on you to surprise them. Little one, our prayers for you come with love and heartbreak. The world you enter is dangerous and filled with imbalance. Knowledge comes from experience, not from  
Easy answers. Resist those who would have you blindly follow them, dear child of buffalo and hawks, ladybugs and fireflies. Turn instead to the rhythm of waves, the pattern of grass, the shape of clouds, the music of raindrops, and the color of autumn leaves. Strong  
Mountains and saplings await you. The tongues of animals are anxious to speak to you and the river is eager to teach you dance. Learn from the vagaries of winds, the honking of geese, the dance of trembling leaves, and the way that shadows mystify.  
New being, this all you will need to be at home in the world. New being, this all you will need to recognize your song. 
Mary Ellen, her husband Andrew both spoke and then their four-year-old daughter Mabel told her little sister and her little cousin how much she loved them.

Next we played the song Love and Happiness by Emmylou Harris and Mark Knopfler, as suggested by my dad.

You will always have a lucky starThat shines because of what you areEven in the deepest darkBecause your aim is trueAnd if I could only have one wishDarling, then I would be thisLove and happiness for you

My mother gave a blessing she wrote and shed a few happy tears. I was brought to tears thinking of three generations of women sitting together. What a gift.

Then my brother Patrick, aka Uncle Pappy, and his wife Paula gave blessings. Paula referred to the quote about giving your children two things:  roots and wings. 

Matthew read the poem The Honey Bee by Ted Hughes from his book The Iron Wolf. He said he looked forward to summer camp for the little cousins at his house someday in the near future.

Rebecca read from Maya Angelou's poem Now Sheba Sings the Song.
Mother told her secrets to me when I rode low in the pocket between her hips I learned the rhythm of her song...Sunsets and rainbows, green forest and restive blue seas, all naturally colored things are my siblings. We have played together on the floor of the world since the first stone looked up at the stars. Innocence, as riches, plates my skin all carats gold, beckons lust and leers and on the delicious occasion my lover whose talent convinces me away from fear. My hair, a hive of honey bees is a queenly glory crackles like castanets hums like marimbas Oh my movement admits to lip smacking, finger snapping, toe tapping shoulder bouncing, hip throwing, breast thrusting, eye flashing love of good and God and Life. My songs wreathe the people in banners of hope, of wisdom, and some just plain laughing out loud I know the near and distant peaks ridges and crevices, aretes and tors valleys, chasms, gullies of while I am made are strewn with remorse, pain, triumph and ecstasy. I am mate to Kilimanjaro Fujiyama, Mont Blanc, and Sister to Everest. She who is daring and brave will know what to do.
Rebecca and Matthew sang Puff the Magic Dragon and Rebecca wished the girls "wild imaginations."

Thus blessed and celebrated, Evelyn and Georgia accepted kisses, smiled and then snuggled down for a nap.

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