Primordial Soup, DNA, and BeautyPosted: August 24, 2013
I grew, inside my mother’s body, from a single cell. In that time, I created all the eggs I’d ever have—my contribution to future children. We existed like that, three generations, nested together like Russian matryoshka dolls.
Before I left my mother, I left a little bit of myself in her body. My fetal DNA still lives in her and most likely will until the day she dies. Before my children left me, they left their DNA in my body, no matter how briefly they were with me. Children to mother, mother to child, cells pass. My children may even share some of their DNA with each other.
We go on, overlapping, coexisting, decade after decade in this way. Maternal lineage. Life from the primordial soup has spun an intricate web. Life breaks, rejoins, splits, and twists, year after year, generation after generation.
I spent some time tonight looking at old pictures of the Taters. I still had (and have) a mountain of things to do but couldn’t help myself after the first peek. I know that they’ll look back on these pictures as adults and ask me… What was it like back then?
It is easy for me to get caught up my daily struggles. The never ending cacophony, the endless needs, the repetition… Having children has been a constant tug-of-war between surrender and restraint, them and myself. Each moment flashes bright and hot, yet so ordinary on the whole.
And yet, in this tug-of-war, I realize, we aren’t actually separate beings. We never have been separate. We all exist together, permanently connected through our genetic code. Kindred.
So too, is the human family. We all share the same coding. The same coding that has been splitting, merging, twisting, rejoining for thousands of years. Whether by God’s hand, nature, random chance… However one chooses to see it, for me the beauty remains unchanged. Life is art, in the most fundamental way. Who am I to question it? Who am I to know what is right, correct, normal, or ideal?
When I think of things this way, 47 or 46 chromosomes seems so inconsequential, I almost laugh. Joyful laughter. There’s reality in the day to day, and I don’t know what the future holds, but I still feel like I’ve been let in on a fundamental Truth. We are all exactly as we should be, down to every single cell.
I might go watch my babies sleep for a bit now. I’ll resist snuggling them, because I won’t want to wake them, so I’ll just watch. Before I know it, they’ll be breaking away from me. It’ll be another exercise in surrender and restraint, as I wait for our lives to twist and rejoin, twist and rejoin, until the end.
I hope my children look back and see what I see now. Life is exactly as it should be.