When I first thought about this a few days ago, the question felt like it was to simple, to easy, a no-brainer if you will. But the more I thought about it the more revealing the question became as I was forced to ponder everything from our mortality to our progeny as a species.
Babies are beautiful. They smile and we smile, they laugh and we laugh. We cannot help but become reflections of their emotional outpourings, as we gaze on in awe at the marvelous beginnings of a human life. Newborn children are a sight to behold. The way their skin creases and folds as they wriggle, the spark of light and life that shines behind the eyes, even the apparent strangeness they feel beyond the warm amniotic embrace they’ve become so accustomed to, and their awkward movements in an attempted escape, are flattering. Babies are absolutely beautiful, in every color and shape and size they are beautiful.
But I ask you this; why are they beautiful? Is it because they represent the very best and purest of us all? Is it because they embody, quite literally, the continuation of life? Is it because they are vulnerable and weak, fully dependent on us for their own survival? Could it be that we are hard-wired to see them as shining beacons of light and life and hope that we as humans seek tirelessly, the stuff inspiration and a joyful existence rely on?
I believe the answer to all of these questions is a simple yes. They are all those things and much, much more. The vastness and complexity of the universe and all the life contained therein is beyond human conception, we cannot fathom the immensity of it all. All we are left with is the awe that fuels our imaginations and the never ending stream of questions we ponder as we mine the depths of information and gain knowledge of this wild-ride called life.
But just as the universe is beyond our grasp, as the macrocosm of our perceivable reality, so is the newborn child beyond our imaginings. Each new life that arrives represents the infinitesimally small, the microcosm of our perceivable reality, the vastness that extends inward and never-ends.
The beauty we perceive can be attributed to many superfluous things, like symmetry, aesthetics, and personal preferences of all sorts, but the foundation to all beauty is life. Often-times as human beings, with our limited sensory perception, we miss the beauty that is all around us. We fail to recognize it in all the amazing and diverse forms within which it can be found. The cycle of life is everywhere, from the geological depths of Earth all the way to our beloved Sun there are interconnected processes that allow for and incubate life, old and new.
I believe Babies are beautiful for may reasons, but the most notable is that their beauty represents the improbability of this all. They are the awesome byproducts of everything we cannot truly understand. No matter how scientifically adept, or spiritually enlightened, a baby leaves us awe-struck, forced to acknowledge the limitations within ourselves as we look to the stars and dream.
So next time you visit the smallest and newest among us, stare into their eyes, and ponder just what makes them so beautiful!