Everywhere in nature, birth is an expulsion, the loss
of the safe, known world that has been our home.
(William Bridges)

As any mother -- and any infant! -- knows, giving birth is a harrowing experience. DIFFICULT BEGINNINGS shows us what happens when Yin and Yang conjoin for the first time. A new being is created -- gestated, nourished, hidden until Life demands its emergence.

Amid the apparent mess and chaos of birth, a marvelous interplay of elements conducts the process. In humans, both mother and baby secrete hormones that initiate labour ... and it is primarily the labouring that the I Ching speaks to. The Deep (Water) and The Arousing (Thunder) collide with one intent: to bring forth from the creative matrix a new embodiment of Life. Implicit in the noise and chaos is a timeless, natural imperative. All is well, despite an atmosphere of seeming crisis.

Water over Thunder brings to mind a furious thunderstorm; there are howling winds, shattering hail and rain, lightning that shreds the sky, flooding ... I haven't had children, but I imagine that birthing must feel something like finding yourself under the roaring epicenter of a storm (or as Alice Roosevelt Longsworth wrote, "Giving birth is like trying to push a piano through a transom" ~ ! ~). All storms pass, however, and the promise of DIFFICULT BEGINNINGS lies in the radiant beauty of a new being ...

Last night lightning
This morning
the white iris.
(Pat Donegan)

(The photo is from the marvelous http://paulashouseoftoast.blogspot.com/)


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