Instructions for the newborn child

You’ve come from so far

Tiny creature of love

Make yourself at home

There are strawberries and hummingbirds

There are breath-taking sunsets and crystalline waters

Make sure you walk barefoot on warm sand

There’s literature, and theatre

And the extraordinary human voice.

There is also horror and pain, racism and bigotry

So, learn to tell beauty from terror, truth from hate

Wander through our world heritage

Crush lavender seeds in your fingers, and then, eyes closed, take a deep breath into your hands

Believe in god, nature or love, some say they’re the same

Go find your soulmates, and cultivate them like a sacred garden

Recognize the universal in our striking human diversity

Respect and cherish the voice of a loved one by your side

Travel by land, water, and air, and make yourself the destination

Praise human creativity, there’s Bach, Shakespeare and Borges, Miguel Hernández, and Maya Angelou, to name but a few

Visit them regularly

They help us make sense of our journey on earth

Don’t leave without a swim in plankton-covered seas

And when things get rough, because they will, find peace in nature

Confide in the horizon of the river, look for the universe in a rose

Choose your battles, embrace a noble cause

Celebrate triumphs and forgive failures

Discover your interests, study your field, life is more enjoyable when applied with discipline

Find creative work

Enjoy the satisfaction of a clever argument, and recognize when others have won

When you are lost and sad, read poetry, or dance, or go for a run

Let the raindrops wash down your tears

Learn to do something beautiful with your hands, carve a wooden toy or bake bread

Honor the truth, and respect children

Hold a puppy in your hands, bring it to your face, and see spirituality eye-to-eye

Trust your inner compass, and when in doubt, confer with someone you love

Create your own rituals and find comfort in them

Lend a hand to someone in need, and feel how empathy fills both of you with energy

Open doors for sheer curiosity

And recognize when you need to move on

Practice solitude every day, in nature

Treasure what awaits you there.

Take solace in the fact that you are (only) a piece of nature, like a tree, or a bird.

And when the time comes, may you look back to a life well lived.

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