Footsteps or handsteps, perhaps elbow or knee; baby inside nudges, turns, floats, flips. What passes through the tiny mind that has no English thoughts to think? My voice heard now, but how it sounds I know not. Muffled? Like underwater at the pool, the echo of lifeguards and people laughing and splashing? If only sound for memory- no thoughts, no words, no pictures- then does the brain delete it all over time?
What's it like in there? I wonder. Spinning around like an astronaut on the space station? Then it slams into me: I know what it's like! I've nudged and kicked; I've squirmed and swallowed the fluid. I've curled my body around itself. Does my brain hold any of that memory? Where is the sense of closeness to my mother's heartbeat rocking me to sleep? Where is the sense of something, someone, a presence bigger than myself?
Each person around me also came from such a place. This growing belly, moving up and down as I breathe, home to a miracle. The 7-foot basketball player, 300-pound man, old wrinkled woman walking with a shuffle, angry driver flipping me off. A baby! tiny and faultless in the womb. No unkind words uttered. No jail time served. Content once. Each person who ever lived! Miracles. Do we grow up just to forget? Our happy place. Our comfort. Our dependence on someone else for life. We grow up and start depending on ourselves. Mistake! We don't realize we're still floating in space. We're still small and helpless. We still need that presence, that something bigger, to surround us and love us.
Go back, I plead. Remember. Remember, baby.