vi. Desert Sweetness

 

“An ongoing, emotional, nurturing relationship with the baby and toddler enables us to engage in interactions in which we read and respond to the baby’s signals….Through these reciprocal interactions the child is learning to control or modulate his behavior and his feelings….We can now make the case that it’s this early reciprocal dialogue with emotional cueing…that leads to the growth of the mind and the brain and the capacities to reason and think..”1T. Berry Brazelton and Psychiatrist Stanley Greenspan, The Irreducible Needs of Children, from p.5-9

In the beautiful dance of reciprocal interactions between a child and its primary caregiver, Baby cries out, and Caregiver responds; Caregiver acts, and Baby responds. So the two dance intertwined, receiving response and sensing love, and this interactive dance forms the behavioral patterns, molds the nervous system, establishes the sense of self in the child.

So the Maker sets Yara Shalem apart, birthing her out into the desert to lovingly parent her there.

 

The Maker set Yara Shalem apart, birthing her out into the desert to lovingly parent her there: Out of Eypt I called you.2Hosea 11:1 NIVTwisting up and alive you sprouted from my hand: I birthed you into the desert; I taught you to walk,
Taking you by your arms;
But you did not know that I healed you, [that it was I who] drew you with gentle cords,
With bands of love,
I stooped and fed you.3Hosea 11:3-4 NKJV

Manna and quail became your lesson of daily dependence; your formative years spent in intertwining dance with pillar of fire and cloud. Exchange of gesture and emotion flowed between us; by day and by night you learned response to me, and I learned response to you.4Brazelton and Greenspan, The Irreducible Needs of Children, p. 5-9

 

We met each other; we gazed, forming each other, apprehending moods:
call and response. A thousand tendrils unfurled between us, knowing glances, tested boundaries, the dance of discipline and friendship between parent and child, life-giver and life-receiver–through the gathering moments we learned one another.

 

I learned to yield myself for your comfort, experienced a love that, even after a long night, would hang over your soft, sleeping form to listen to you breathing, to watch in awe at the unfolding of your soul.

The Maker drew Yara Shalem out into the desert and kept her there for the sweetness, the two alone in the day and night intertwining dance of mood, gesture and response, in the rhythm of gathering manna and quail, folding up of camp and restanding tents. The nervous system of a nation, the sense of self formed in reciprocal interaction as the Maker carried us between the shoulders,5Let the beloved of the LORD rest secure in him, for he shields him all day long, and the one the LORD loves rests between his shoulders.—Deuteronomy 33:12 NIV engraved us on the palms,6See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands.–Isaiah 49:16 NIV tended us like a nursing mother. 7Isaiah 49:15 NIV The Maker became the bedrock sense of self to anchor every future response and action: what was not a people became a people.8You have now become the people of the LORD your God–Deuteronomy 27:9 NIV From nothing, the Maker created something,9the God who gives life to the dead and calls into being things that were not. Romans 4:17 NIV knit together the selfhood of Yara Shalem.

References   [ + ]

1. T. Berry Brazelton and Psychiatrist Stanley Greenspan, The Irreducible Needs of Children, from p.5-9
2. Hosea 11:1 NIV
3. Hosea 11:3-4 NKJV
4. Brazelton and Greenspan, The Irreducible Needs of Children, p. 5-9
5. Let the beloved of the LORD rest secure in him, for he shields him all day long, and the one the LORD loves rests between his shoulders.—Deuteronomy 33:12 NIV
6. See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands.–Isaiah 49:16 NIV
7. Isaiah 49:15 NIV
8. You have now become the people of the LORD your God–Deuteronomy 27:9 NIV
9. the God who gives life to the dead and calls into being things that were not. Romans 4:17 NIV
...Learning the dance...

…Learning the dance…

You move, I move

You cry, I respond

I smile, you smile

I am learning you & you are learning me.

We are learning this dance together

Heart beat and heart cry interlaced,

Our language is now our own and no-one else’s as one learns to respond to the other.

–Casia

One response to “vi. Desert Sweetness

  1. Sarah

    Interesting – I had never thought of the time in the desert as a time of the “baby” “imprinting” on God. Hmm. Beautiful.

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