Celtic Spirituality in Kentucky

Saturday, May 09, 2015

Undeserved Giftedness


It happened on an early November night
With plenty of frost on the grass,
My parents made love.

A ripe egg was waiting form my father's sperm,]
And, suddenly, presto! there was new life
In the universe, encased in one small cell
Which immediately
began to multiply and grow.
I was soon anchored,
-snug to be fed  for the next nine months.
Hundreds, thousands, then millions of
Replications of the original one celled organism
proceeded, each with a diverse destiny,
Most carefully engineered
by my new and unique DNA.

By Christmas of 1928, in only six weeks,
my tiny heart
Could be heard beating,
to help me grow.
I must have known by
my mother's new awareness
That my heart would ever be moved
by the sounds of Christmas,
that I would always be fascinated by
the season of Advent
writing Advent poems
for half a century.

a rogue cell took off, wild and untamed,
But my alert DNA sent out
 a guerilla fighter cell
to eat and destroy it.
Miraculously, I was born
healthy with some
Ten billion healthy cells,
to be marked only
By big ears.
"The better to hear you with" said the fox.
To become
A professional listener.
Billions of replications have to occur, each
At the right time
 and begin something new well.
--A nose, an ear, a liver, a brain,
It does not always happen
that way. With some--
One out of twenty babies
some rogue cell
Was not captured and destroyed,
 --a missed opportunity
By one DNA program-filter.
I was born July 12, 1929,
healthy and helpless
Needing my mother's
loving care immediately,
Soon replaced as her single focus
by four sisters
In the next six years.
By the time I was born, billions of cells
Did what they were supposed to do.
I had no agency.
I did not deserve any of it.
A female gift met a male gift,
A mother and a father were created,
And here, incredibly, am I,
Undeserved giftedness to the world,
To my world. Noblesse Oblige.
Recipient of so much
Undeserved giftedness,
I must give back.

There exists no one just
Like you or me in the universe.
How did we happen to meet?

Neither of us
Had to happen yet
We did.
And here we are!
There is no gift like
The gift of life.
Noblesse Oblige.

Celebrate it:
-Raise a glass:
"La Cheim!" (to life!)
(Jewish greeting).

Paschal Bernard Baute,
Advent, 2015.