It is difficult to imagine, prior to experiencing it, how one tiny, fragile life can determine so much of your future simply by existing.
Children have no choice as to how, when, where, or from whom they are born and they come into this world with needs and wants that transcend these individual circumstances. No matter how we may try to shape and guide them, there is some part of them that existed prior to our influence, some essence of their being that makes them who they are beyond our desire or control.
All of these mysterious life forces, the impossibility of creation and survival, culminate in moments of overwhelming gratitude if we allow ourselves to experience it. These moments may be fleeting like a star shooting across the sky, but if we affix our gaze long enough to this tiny miracle, we may find ourselves carried away into another depth of the universe, a place where time stands still and there is only us, there is only amazement. It is in this space that we know ourselves because our selves matter not.
-Robert Van Valkenburgh teaches Taikyoku Budo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu at Kogen Dojo