Twelve years ago today, a brand new human being came out of my body. She took her first inhale, and her first exhale. I was privileged enough to watch it. And in that moment, I was a brand new person, brand new.
Everything I did from that moment on felt new because I could see it through her eyes, imagine how it must be in her mind; the beginner’s mind.
Mundane every day occurrences became forever new and exciting. I watched her experience the feeling of water on her skin as she got her first bath, giggling and splashing. My showers were never the same after that. I watched as she marveled at the magic of a light going on and off as I touched a light switch. I will remain forever amazed by the invention of electricity. I watched as she took her first steps, looked up at me all smiles, and opened her arms for a hug. I am eternally grateful for my arms and legs.
Because of her, I had the opportunity to relearn everything I thought I already knew. And I learned that I knew nothing at all. All of the ideas I had, notions, impressions, none of them were real. They were only in my head. She stripped everything back down to its most basic, unencumbered by my opinions and mental modifications, and showed them to me as they really are. Always new, and always changing.
She continues to amaze me every day of her life. These twelve years have not yet taken away her beginner’s mind, and I don’t know if the years ever will, because she was born a Zen Master. She was born knowing the secret of the universe: that there is no secret, and we all are the secret.
Every morning, I walk into her room to wake her up. I lay my hand on her shoulder, and kiss her on her forehead. She opens her eyes, and she smiles. She starts every new day with a smile, with no worries, no expectations, no preconceived notions.
Every day is a new day, a new chance, a new adventure. Every day she is my brand new human being.