Beginner's Heart

Beginner's Heart

beginnings, birthdays, and teachers

10359033_10152407968334410_697328744867590552_oToday my amazing, beautiful, beloved and perfect grandson has been here for a year. And I’ve been able to see him several times during that year.

Each time, I’ve learned from him. HUGELY important lessons, like attention. Listening. Focus. Laughter. The importance of touch, and the necessity of love. How you earn it: even with an infant it isn’t automatic, just easier.


I don’t believe everyone should have children. Even though my own — and many of other people’s! — have been a profound pleasure to me, not everyone likes/ wants/ should have kids. It isn’t the destiny of each human being to reproduce.

But I do love kids — of all ages. Babies, however, are the best treat in the world. They smell good, they give you an excuse to shop for toys & books, they laugh unreservedly. They’re honest. And they’re such wonderful  teachers.

hollow tree

via Google


Everyday life is full of teachers — just today I saw a fallen tree, at least 4-5 feet in diameter, w/ a completely hollow trunk. Its centre was blackened and eaten away. Before the most recent windstorm (we have so many in Oklahoma), it stood to the right of Riverside Drive. No one would have suspected it was dead inside, to look at it. And then it fell over… Teacher.

And at the Farmer’s Market? A tired mother grinned when I offered her a chair at my table, leaving Dad w/ the two toddlers. She didn’t avail herself of it, but just the joke made her smile. Teacher.

Trin’s teachings are different: how does everyday life work? Like his daddy’s glasses: what are they? How do you get them on your face? What are they for? Whereas the things that I struggle with — saying the right thing, knowing the ‘proper’ response — don’t exist for Trin. Teacher…


10298910_10152348372292649_14261651692287663_nThere are so many teachers each day. I suspect that’s exactly what the Buddha meant when he said everyone we meet is the Buddha. But my grandson? Who has taught me real unconditional love? (N.B.: that unconditional love I thought I have for my two sons and my husband? Fraught w/ expectation/ history/ culture — not so unconditional after all, in comparison!) He is my favourite.

Happy Birthday, Trin, from your student, GG.

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