Today's Modern Love column in the Sunday NYT is a beautiful reflection by a pregnant woman, Rhonda Kaysen, on whether or not to have an abortion. The possibility of a child has emerged at the wrong time: they are young, just starting out in careers, taking a chance in a new country, Mexico. A baby just doesn't fit; it doesn't make sense for their well laid plans. The father is ready to terminate. She, at first, also cannot she her way through to having the child. They make an appointment for an abortion.
But then something happens. It is not so much that she thinks about it, which she does, as she comes to see it in a different light. She stops pushing against where life is taking her, and she follows:
...What had seemed like the end of something just days earlier began to feel like the beginning of a different path entirely, one that would still involve visits to Tarascan Indian villages and treks into cloud forests, but would also include monthly prenatal exams and a new Spanish vocabulary, like the word for stretch marks (estrías).
How marvelously Taoist! What seemed like an end is a beginning. A new path, or Way (Tao), had opened up before her and, instead of walking away from it, she moves along it, embracing it, wherever it might take her:
Through it all, my swollen belly has been less a liability than a passport to a whole new world. I’ve found fresh conversational terrain with Mexican women. My hairdresser loves to rub my belly and feel the baby kick, and recently she showed me the scar from her Caesarean section. As I type this, our baby’s new clothes are drying on the balcony in anticipation of his imminent birth. I can’t wait to see where he’ll take us.
"A passport to a whole new world..." Yes, that is what Way can be.
I experienced something similar to this with Aidan, but it took me longer - months, years - to let go and just follow where he would take us. It was not at all what I had expected or planned for, but it was sublimely transformational.