Reflection for Miyka’s Dedication

Yesterday we had a small worship service celebrating the arrival and life of our new daughter.  Here are the words I shared.

Dear Miyka’ela Luwalhati Katalina,

We are always either
educating or hindering the development of our fellow creatures; we are
always being uplifted or being dragged down by our fellow creatures.
Education is always mutual.  The child teaches her parents what her
parents omitted to teach her.

Your presence in my world humbles
me, and places me in the ancient ritual of fatherhood.  It is something
I was never certain of, and now in the moment, I thank god for the
spontaneity of courage and hope that grounds me in my parental role and
responsibility.  I learned early on to try to approach things with hope
and courage, not to let fear take away my power in this world.  I pray
that I am able to pass on this gift to you.

Childhood is a mixed
blessing for us all.  In many material ways I loved mine.  It was full
of freedom, wonder, love, and a lot of the outdoors.  But little specks
of sand creep into our beautiful shell even in the best of conditions.
May you endure these with the strength of a lion, and the patience of a
saint.  Indeed I believe one day you will be teaching me something new,
and I promise to look forward to it.

You are a part of our
family now Mikya’ela, with your energetic kuya, your passionate nanay,
and me, your ministerial and intense tatay.  May you find your place
with us, and we with you these next years.

My prayer for you is this, drawn from the words of early feminist Unitarian Elizabeth Cady Stanton

You are a momentum of God’s creativeness
May you believe in yourself
May you delight in understanding more than admiration
May you open your eyes to the life of the other
May we your parents tenderly and reverently respect your primeval joy
May you trust your spontaneity
May
you feel sure that God is loving you better than she loves herself; is
sorry far more than angry with us when we are doing wrong, and that
God’s will is to cultivate the gifts and passions within us. 

My
heart feels like the eagle flying across the coastal mountains of
Oregon along the Pacific Ocean, singing the news of your arrival.  My
hands feel like the rivers of the Pacific Northwest, flowing and
winding their arms around you with fresh pure water.  My eyes are like
the sun, which sometimes sleeps in rainy Portland, but otherwise gleams
and looks with great care and attention into your life.  My mind is
filled with dreams of mogwai, and the good deeds of children who
prevented the gremlins from taking over Kingston Falls.  My body is
like a fallen evergreen, a bed of nutrients from which your tiny
precious life may feast and grow.  My love wills you to be wild and
free, and be close when we need one another.

I love you
Miyka’ela, I love our family, Aimee, Gabriel, our relatives, our
friends, and all of us together.  Thank you for being.

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