15 Masa’il 167 B.E. (Baha’i calendar)
Soundtrack in my head: Beat Pharmacy, “Nature’s Disco”
A few hours ago, I was engaged in an animated Christmas Day phone conversation with my dad in Albuquerque. At the end of the conversation, I put down the phone, stepped out of my bedroom, and saw an inkjet printed sign taped to the bathroom doorway that said “Samantha is in labor. Please use this bathroom as little as possible.” A new housemate was on their way.
My housemate Samantha has been planning a home birth here at the co-op, We’ve known about this since summer and the time has now arrived. I knew that her due date was this coming Monday, and I knew the chances were high that the child would be born this weekend. Nevertheless, the sign definitely threw me for a loop. I still found myself scratching my head, wondering what I should do, as if there was something I could do.
I walked downstairs and I saw some strange but likely beneficial herbs boiling in a large pot, and I knew they were related to the birth. Then I saw the midwife and said hello to her. She’d come to a house dinner a few weeks ago so she could get a sense of us and we of her, so I was not the least bit surprised to see her. Her assistant arrived a few minutes later. They both looked serene, calm, and happy, which eased my nerves.
As my co-op house’s secretary, it’s my job to copy down the upcoming house meeting agenda from the whiteboard and forward it via email to my house members. Two of them are out of town. So I started the email, and as I did, I notified them of Samantha being in labor. Then I said, “Now here’s the house meeting agenda. (How did you like that transition? Smooth as a Chicago pothole.)” At the end of the email, I quipped that the arrival of the new housemate wouldn’t likely have an impact on our policies regarding house meeting quorum, because such policies don’t actually exist right now.
I remember earlier in the year, a housemate talked about how she hoped she would be here for the delivery of Samantha’s baby. I replied, “Well, I don’t think she’s installing bleachers in her bedroom.” Now that the time arrived, I found myself wondering what a single guy like me should be doing when his housemate is in labor.
I noticed that soft music was emanating from Samantha’s bedroom, and I realized the best thing I could do was tune in with that energy. So I walked into my bedroom, put on some of my own soft music, turned on only the Christmas lights in my room, lit an incense stick and started doing some writing and praying. I’ll be going to sleep soon, and my sense is that this house’s population will have increased by one when I wake up tomorrow morning.