It's funny how a phone ringing in the night can have you lucid and wide-awake in seconds, especially when it's news of the safe arrival of a new grandson. James McGregor McIntosh was born in the wee hours of this morning - yes, it's been a long day: you don't really slip back into sleep after such news! - and I've been looking at his photos and thinking of the great mystery of life and birth. A new baby is somehow much more mysterious than the child he will become - all that potential, all that personality waiting to unfold but for now held in the precious bud that is a newborn infant.
I've posted a poem I wrote this afternoon here, thinking of it as a conversation with his brother Alan, who is, of course, far too young to worry about such ideas just yet. But I sense that he is still trailing traces of the clouds of glory that he might just recognise in his new wee brother.