“The passage from nothing to the complex body of the fully grown individual is one of the constant miracles of life. If we are not struck by the greatness of this miracle, it can only be for one reason, that it occurs so often under our eyes in the experience of everyday life.” (J.S. Huxley, The Stream of Life, 1926)
In the quote above, Huxley comments on the creation of a baby in utero and his/her subsequent childhood and development into an adult. I immediately thought of the Godly Play Creation story where the storyteller begins by asking the listeners about the greatest gift they have ever received. The story then unfolds by explaining that some gifts are so big and so amazing that we hardly recognize them as gifts anymore. The sun, the stars, dry land, the ocean, etc. are all larger-than-life gifts that we take for granted.
When I read this quote on Montessori Teacher Training, I was struck by the similarity in thought. The fact that a baby develops into a toddler, then into a child, followed by a teenager, and finally into a full-grown individual, is indeed nothing short of a miracle. But because we see it everyday, we tend to forget how truly remarkable this process is.
Let's take a step back on this Lenten day and think about our own childhoods, recalling both the pleasure and the pain, and the gift of the children who are now in our lives. Let's thank God for the gift of childhood and be dazzled by the Maker's creative process in the children around us.