Most every night, I stay up late-late, long after everyone else is sleeping. I fly over the internet, looking, looking, trying to find something beautiful or restorative to share with you here at TMV, so either you go to sleep with a beautiful idea or image, or wake up with one.
Tonight, finding something beautiful in this wide and groaning world, was easy. Because there is Jiang Xiaojuan, a young provincial policewoman.
Jiang is 29 years old and is the young mother of a little baby herself. Her child is under six months old, and is still being breastfed.
When the earthquake that killed over 50,000 people in China occurred, Jiang’s town was devastated. She put on her uniform and went out looking to help. She first found one weeping baby, and then another young infant… and took them to her breast.
She now is nursing five orphan infants whose mothers died in the earthquake. And she is nursing four other newborns whose mothers are homeless and traumatized… when a nursing mother is severely shocked, her milk flow, you might say, is shocked too and can stop flowing.
As a mother who nursed til her offspring was practically old enough to go to school, and as the mother of a grown daughter who while nursing her own child also gave her nourishing milk to my ailing elderly father (expressed, not nursed)… I feel certain we stand with many mothers worldwide who salute Jiang Xiaojuan profoundly.
It’s a mystery women don’t often speak of publicly, what it’s like to nourish another human being… or many… from one’s own blood and bones. It is, one of the greatest honors in the world.
I think, despite the restrictive and suspicious regime of China, it’s people like Jiang who really represent the true spirit of modern China, the compassionate soul.
Tonight, it was easy to find a beautiful story to tell you. I would that it were as easy on all other nights too.
(And no, some of you guys, she only nurses babies. Real ones.)