I heard grace murmuring in my belly, a vibrating roar building as the wall of muscle tightened and tightened against the cushion of fluid and baby within.

I heard the roar in my belly, forcing its way through my chest, my throat, and out of my mouth. I called and called as the sensation rolled within and thousands of years of evolution drew together in my body to bring forth a human child.

I looked into his eyes, his furrowed brow, and knew this child. I was of him and he of me, as we were of the water in which we sat and of the air we breathed and the leaves rustling in the dark outside. His hands and my hands were the midwife’s hands and his sister’s hands and his father’s hands and all of the hands that ever grasped and held and touched. There was no me; there was only everything.

In the morning light I would cry with the realization that this experience of oneness was over, gone, never to be recaptured. I was grateful to have felt it at all, but the absence of the oneness left me feeling small and alone, except for the warmth of the baby at my breast and the knowledge that even he would move away from me over time.

Where does the oneness—the feeling of being part of a whole, vast creation—go when it leaves? Or is it always there and the feeling only recedes so that we can get the dishes done and feed ourselves instead of standing in awe at every moment?

Why does the oneness feel so far away, so elusive most of the time? Why can I not access it intentionally but only accept it when it comes upon me?

The daily connections are so disappointing in comparison with that spontaneous oneness. Why must we be planets orbiting one another, both tied together and held apart by our own gravity?

This post was inspired by a prompt from Karen Hering’s Writing to Wake the Soul and from an image from Ramona Ausubel’s No One is Here Except All of Us.

6 thoughts on “Grace

  1. With this one, CJ, you have stopped me in my tracks, spun me about and captured my imagination. When oneness transcends our physical separateness, it can be a state of beauty—or perhaps, for those inspired by the divine—a state of grace. Though many individuals may not have reflected on it directly, I suspect that most have occasionally struggled with the juxtaposition of separateness and oneness and a desire to recapture the latter.

    It seems likely, that the security of oneness is a more frequent reality for a child (and one who is raised in a secure and loving home). In my experience, as we grow up, we are more likely to grow apart from these intensely secure relationships, perhaps because we become too complex, or perhaps because we move away from our childhood roots. Either way, your short posting taps into a faucet of thought and emotion.


    1. Thank you for your comment, Ellery.

      I hadn’t thought about this in terms of age, particularly childhood vs adulthood. I think it makes sense that children would be better able to access the vulnerability required to let go of our ego to realize the “oneness.” They’re also less far away in time than adults are from the stage in which they didn’t differentiate between themselves and the people (and perhaps things) outside of themselves so it’s not as far for them to travel from “I” to “all.” I suppose that would also make those feelings of oneness more commonplace and perhaps less profound than they are in adulthood, which might explain why I can’t remember many of them from my own childhood now. My own children seem to have a strong sense of oneness alongside their strong sense of self. I hope they can hold onto that as they grow up.


    1. Thank you for your comment. This isn’t the only moment of grace I’ve experienced, but it’s the most intense and the one that always comes to mind when I think about grace (and the moment I try to bring to mind when that same little human is putting lollipops in his sister’s hair while she sleeps).

      Liked by 1 person

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