Tuesday, December 24, 2013
The image of Snowy seemed a fitting image for Nativity Eve. At least it’s better than a stork or even the traditional dove! I might have used the traditional creche image of Jesus surrounded by love and dung in a manger, but Snowy represents divine labor—the movement just before birth, into life.
How would you image such a mystery as the very soul of Divinity arriving from the god-knows-where place we call “heaven” to roost in human flesh?
The great swooping snowy owl has power, an enormous wing spread, golden eyes centered and focused with so much intensity it’s frightening—and what looks like a goofy smily face. Really!
I imagine that this was the kind of look I had on my face in the moment of birthing my first daughter, the moment when everything changed. After long hours of ongoing painful contractions going nowhere I felt quite desperate and powerless. Then it happened, the phase I call the big push. My uterus came alive, woke up from its droning labor and began to help me. Together we pushed.
It didn’t take long. With a little assistance from cheerleading nurses and a doctor pulling with what looked like tongs (poor little child) my daughter came into her own life. All pain swept away and I grinned at the wondrous gift of a girl, also at the natural power in my body, power I’d never known was there, Snowy power.
God the Creator must have felt like this, I thought—such a mighty effort, such a stupendous effort to potentiate a whole cosmos of teeming life, such tender exertion to break into each tiny infant body. There is not a single living thing that goes unaffected by Her labor into birth.