THE ARC OF BIRTH

WE ARE PROCESS

From nothing comes something.

From out of profound NOTHING comes suddenly an incandescent, dense explosion of matter, space and time – the Big Bang’s rupture of exceptional heat and protons proliferating into a space expanding through new time.

If we look with a long eye, stand back far enough, we can trace the arc of that first dense explosion to now, to this birth, in one long continuum towards Life unfolding, connecting, proliferating out and out, spreading over this beautiful planet, turning it blue and green, bringing more colour and more and more Life through every more complex interconnection. Standing back, the particulars blur into a beautiful interwheeling of pattern. And then drawing in close again, we can take this birth and trace out all the ways it is connected within those interwoven webs of pattern intersecting.

From that first dense explosion came energy and matter and time, flung out through every-expanding space. Over unfathomable spans of time the underlying maths of the Universe organised gases to draw together into rock, and rock to draw into the orbit of suns. Lightning stalked incandescent over the land and charged particles of gas and raw material, bright electricity joined and split them; hydrogen and oxygen clicked together like magnets and became wet; water flowed from the high places to fill the deeps. Lightning flashed unceasingly across that seething, elemental wetness, for aeons, and again that underlying maths had the very first molecules draw together into single cells to process excess oxygen. Single cells suddenly proliferated; taking in stuff, excreting it out, splitting and forming, moving with tails or shunts or by wriggling through that vast wash of water. One day they bloomed green with chlorophyll, soaking in sunlight and giving out sugars, feeding other cells which gave out gases. Unfathomable time passed again, and single cells began to join together; each cell began to specialise within the larger, simple organism. More joined and more and grew complex; sprouted fins, ran spines down the long axis, flapped gills, rubberised the outer cells, and then turned them into a mesh of iridescent scales. Like rocks tumbling downhill, this organisation into greater complexity and cooperating specialisation was inevitable, the drawing onward of the underlying chemical/electrical maths of the Universe. Creatures heaved up onto the land and breathed air; fins turned to feet, feet elongated and bones lengthened out and lightened to form wings and birds lifted up into the air. Chlorophyll had already infiltrated green across the land, stacked cells upward and unfurled wide leaves into sunlight. Ferns and cycads cast shade over the eggs of dinosaurs. Dinosaurs oversaw the bright unfurling of the first bright flowers: scarlet, blue, gold, magenta bloomed, tiny drops of colour and enormous, flagrant orchids. Continents creaked and groaned over the surface of the earth, ridging up mountains and opening wide oceans. Dinosaurs fell en masse and did not rise. Snow fell on peaks and rain poured down valleys; rich soil washed down and spread over floodplains and the first humans, perched in their trees, watched fire burn on the dry ridges in the wake of lightning strikes and their eyes were calculating. They used the first sounds of the first beginnings of language to cooperate, to question, to experiment, and to plan, together. They practised and honed language to express feelings, explore concepts, share ideas and work together. Our ancestors invented ways in 2D and 3D – marks in sand or on rock, knots in rope or notches in sticks – to share knowledge and meaning across distances and through time. 

Human self-aware consciousness is able to explore and create and express —— which needs a frontal cortex and a skull taped with muscles to create functioning mouthparts, which needs amino acids and calcium, which needs chlorophyll, which needs sunlight, which arises out of the energy and far flung maths of that first Big Bang. Each rising complexity and increasingly complex cooperation is the cutting edge of evolution, drawn ever onward by the pull of that underlying organisational principle of the Universe. 

As much as we are a woman, standing here today, pregnant with child, or the midwife, standing beside her, we are also a continuing on of evolutionary process, as much a verbas we are a noun. A process drawing ever onward, towards more complexity, more interconnection, more radiant and bright-shining Life, even as we bring forth the life of this particular, exquisite baby.

The seed of the Big Bang glimmers and shines in the heart of this birth, twinkling its star dust in the very essence of our cells, in the secret twinkle of our baby’s closed eye, swimming in the deep waters of the womb, as it begins to pulse with the work of birth…