i imagine it was a golden september day, the day before i was born, with the harvest sun just starting to slant to the south as autumn overtook the western prairies.
perhaps the blue sky of daytime had a hint of frost in it- because in manitoba it frosts early- but i was born in the dark hours after midnight, when the distant rolling of prairie thunder and the brilliant streaks of summer lightning lit up the thunderheads that towered majestically in the heavens. for that is a manitoba late summer night.
perhaps my mother walked around the house that afternoon, feeling the stirring pangs of her swollen belly, my first eager yearnings triggering the lovely cascade of events that bring forth every child...
probably she said nothing to anyone, until she knew- she knew- "bob, we need to go to the hospital" she whispered, and he calmly, deliberately, brought the car around to the front door and helped her in, whistling in his distracted way but all the while a glow beginning in his heart- "my child is coming! my child is coming!"
my mother had "twilight sleep"- a new post-war birth concept, where the laboring mother was given ether to dull the pain of the birth and remember nothing afterwards. it was thought to be such a medical advance, the forgetting and the not remembering the birth process.
neither, apparently, do the babies of twilight sleep remember- (although they have a disturbing tendency towards drug use- hence the 60's. but let's not go there right now.)
the night i was born, i imagine my Father, and my father, smiled.
His message to me was: "laugh- for in laughter you echo my heart of joy."
i have laughed- i have danced- i have lived for 60 years since that lightning-streaked september night.
and each day has been filled with laughter, even when tears fall. joy comes in the morning- every single time.
it was a dark and stormy night. but it was a good night.