#YOWO: I've Seen Babies Talk to God



My mother, when she was forty or so,
took a trip to the ground Jews were buried below;

A barbed-wire camp, people branded with stars,

a nation of people loaded up into cars.

There at the gates of a village of the damned,

she fell to her knees and spoke a language no one could understand.


And when she came home she said she’d had a holy experience.


In my mother’s journey she brought herself closer to the earth, and once she was there, she babbled.


Now tell me, what do children do?


In their first few months of life, they listen.

They cannot speak, so they listen to everything the universe has to say,

they listen to the heartbeats of their mothers and hear the rhythm of life,

they put their ear to the ground and as they’re crawling around they hear all the groans of the bones beneath the dirt and the shoots and roots of new fruit coming to meet the light of day.

No wonder babies cry.

If I were to be filled with that much glee, if I were made vessel to the message of the soul which guides and unites this world, I would cry too.

I would wail and howl like the wind in the trees, but like the wind I would dance too, and whisper secrets to those on bended knee who feel all the sadness and loss in a place.


Now tell me, what do children do?


An infant, once it grows too tall to put its ear constantly to the earth, begins to speak.

We don’t understand them,

but just because an incantation is in a foreign tongue does not mean it is not as holy as a prayer.

To me, the gurgling of a child often sound melodious,

like a stream,

like a woman with a guitar,

things running away from their origin, but trying to understand it too.

And this too, is what children do.

They run from the earth, their mother,

they use language to provide leverage for a catapult that will only send them away.

We spend our whole lives trying to get back to the moment we realized that gu gu ga ga-God is the voice in the trees,

in the Earth,

in our mother’s hearts,

and that our da da da Dad

is not some guy who wraps his arms around our mother’s waist,

but a Father wrapping his arms around the world, warming it, bringing it away from the hells we’ve catapulted ourselves into,

back to our home, back to Him,

back to a child with his ear pressed to the ground,

babbling incantations in a language we’ve forgotten.

My mother, when she was 40 or so,
took a trip to the ground Jews were buried below,
and when she returned she professed to know,
a language long lost to this world, laid low
by men grown much too tall for their boots,
who don’t care to listen to children and roots.
And she picked up my sister, crawling down by her feet
and whispered something that made them both weep.
My mother came home, she’d been to Hell and back,
but He’d been there all along, waiting for her knees to collapse.


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