One misty day in December, with a multiple rainbow gracing the sky over the fruit orchards, Elysian was born in that bus, among the apple trees. There were nearly a dozen witnesses, including family, friends, and the local Methodist pastor and another pastor who was a midwife. The miracle of birth happened without a hospital. With just boiling water, clean towels and a sterilized pair of scissors to cut the umbilical cord.
It was not my mother’s first birth away from hospitals, since I was born in a house on Ashbury street in San Francisco, the midwife unavailable, with my father, Don, catching me as I entered the world. Elysian’s father, Kerry, also caught him, the way some fathers have been there to deliver their children down through the ages, pure and natural.
Later, Kerry would help deliver two more children, almost entirely, if not entirely, by himself. Orion was born on a snow covered mountain in Oregon (Cougar Mountain, to be exact, near Saginaw, just a short drive from Cottage Grove), when the phone lines were down and the roads buried. Raven was born on another mountain, in a log cabin owned by friends who also lived (FAR) outside of suburbia.
Witnessing this amazing event is an experience that is unparalleled and should the opportunity arise for you to experience the live birth of a human child, even in the sterile surroundings of a hospital – do it!
Remembering the compassion I experienced during the birth of my brothers, I was moved to apply that empathy to everyone I met. Knowing the origin of all human life, I could not separate myself from any other person, knowing full well that they had come into the world the same way I had and contained all of the same elements of humanity that I possess.
This innate connection that we all share is universal and it is the impetus behind our ability to cry during a movie with fictional characters living out fabricated stories. But those stories touch us to our soul. Some movies have probably changed your life! Changed the way you see the world and think about it. It is through films that we create a bedrock of shared experiences that truly connect us all. Even though only a small percentage of the population is naturally empathetic, we all understand what it is to suffer heartache, be scared half to death, tremble with joy, and become blind with fury. Life seems to have many similar trials for all concerned and films give us the distinct pleasure of re-experiencing those journeys in a variety of settings, from mundanely real to fantastically surrealistic.