Have you ever tried to crawl? To place your hands on the ground, your knees as well, and slowly meander forward. Have you ever gone lower? This time, with placing your stomach, flatly on the ground and slowly meander forward. What if you placed an object afar? Then slowly, even effortless, meander forward, towards the object, or anything else desirable your eyes meet. For over a month, I have been watching my 7-month old son practice the art of crawling, floating forward free of the burden of walking. With his hands and feet, and his knees at times, not touching the ground, he crawls. With each movement at a time, each sense of direction, new knowledge of the limits and possibilities of self is acquired, secured, even kept. Every baby, almost invariably passes through this stage, from crawling to walking on their own terms, even without fear. Some would rather skip the stage and move straight to walking. My baby belongs to this category. Others enjoy the process of discovery as their body readily adapts to movement of their own making for the first time. But no matter the approach, crawling, like motherhood, takes time.
It’s in crawling that we see and learn about ourselves as mothers. Not the complaining self, but the self willing to meander, albeit slowly forward, effortlessly through this journey called motherhood. And what a journey, to learn how to crawl first, to pass through a phase, that requires you to bring your whole being, literally down, to the ground. Motherhood, like crawling, enlightens, opens doors, helps us make connections, with ourselves, within the spaces and the boundaries we find inside ourselves. It is also instructive, as with the directions we take, or the movements we make. How crawling, like motherhood, forces us to stretch, to reach and own every limit, every possibility, we make in a very personal way, interests me. That and the fact that even when we master crawling, the journey ahead has only begun. Babies like my son, who try to crawl with their knees not touching the ground, consistently fall to the ground with each attempt they make. My son is yet to learn how to fully crawl with his knees on the ground.
And it is always about the ground after all. It has always been there for my son to do and use as he pleases. The ground is always calling us, always insisting that we pay homage, to bring our whole being, to kiss it even. For it too has its own purpose. Even the ground, as naked as it may seem, has its own purpose. To learn or build knowledge necessary for moving, to crawl or adapt with every movement, to stretch and secure key resources, all while keeping, its limits or the possibilities in mind. An unblinking witness to our potential. But if we ignore the ground, a fall is certain. Something, my son is learning every day. Keep motherhood like crawling and the ground in mind.