I am so excited and happy to welcome you to the world, sweet William. Your grandmother (my sister) told me you were beautiful, but I was still not prepared for the profound effect your precious face would have on my heart.While your Mom (my niece) was working so hard and so bravely to bring you into the world, Bill and I were biking around the Stanley Park Seawall. I had the phone at my side, and I had learned to text in your honour. Back and forth the messages went, as we waited to hear from you. Camera in one hand, phone in the other, Bill and Black Jack at my side, emotions tumbling, one over the other, this young Blue Heron marked the first moment when I really began to worry. It was a beautiful day here in Vancouver, and I thought of all the treasures you have yet to discover.
When we arrived at Lost Lagoon, I saw this turtle resting its head on another, and took comfort that your support system was as strong as the best nursing care and the most loving of families could possibly make it. I didn't know yet whether you were a boy or a girl, but I imagined you exploring nature and taking delight in all of its creatures.
Right about the time this dragonfly came along, so did the wonderful news that you had arrived. Looking back on that moment, it seems that message must have flown via those beautiful wings right into my relieved heart. Later, it was Bill who noticed the baby dragonfly to the right of the adult. Do you see it? How cool is that?
I search back through other pictures taken before your arrival, and add a few here, trying to express the beauty of a new life, fresh, innocent, and open to all the love coming its way. I quote your grandma's words: "Baby boy. Beautiful. 9 lbs.12 oz. First name William :) Did I say beautiful?"
When we were in Steveston just three days ago, I saw a bird that I had never seen before. It is called a Yellowlegs, and like the dragonfly, it has delicate but strong wings and it flies with the most amazing grace. I am 64 right now, but the world continues to introduce me to new and amazing phenomena. It will be the same for you, William. For as long as you live, there will be discoveries to make and many of those will bring you joy.
Here's a ladybug. From me to you.
And here is just some grass, but it is the most beautiful, vibrant green and a gentle breeze helps it to catch the light. I found this quote by Kahlil Gibran and it seems perfect: "Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the wind longs to play with your hair."
Here is a fawn that I saw in Pender Harbour a week ago today. It pranced happily toward me with no fear in its eyes. Your grandma's second text said that you arrived hungry and with huge hands. I believe that is because, like this fawn, you are eager and ready to explore your world. As for those hands, they will need to be big to grab onto all the love and good wishes coming your way.
Lately, the skies in Vancouver have been spectacular. I think they have been celebrating your pending arrival for some time now. Here is my favourite of several sunset photographs taken at Jericho Beach on the 12th of August.
Last evening, on the day of your birth, Bill and I were at Granville Island. There was a boat festival going on, and some wonderful singing of sea shanties. I thought of your roots, of your Great Grandma's Newfoundland heritage, and of how thrilled she would have been to meet you. I left for a minute, and when I returned, Bill and Black Jack were surrounded by these children. I thought then of your Great Grandpa. He would have been so proud as well. People and animals were drawn to him, and he rarely sat alone for long. Bill and Black Jack have that same way about them and I could wish no better life for you than to be surrounded by such gentleness and good will.