My daughter Laura and I attended the first ever pro-life women’s conference in Dallas, Texas at the end of June. It was amazing! It is grassroots organizations such as Big Ocean that will continue to make a difference and save lives of unborn children.
Why did we attend the first ever pro-life women’s conference in Dallas, Texas the weekend of June 24-26, 2016?
My love for my baby and for all babies carried me there. My love for those who have suffered sexual abuse brought me there. For anyone who’s been broken, fallen, felt worthless or without hope, I went for you. At times, these feelings have governed my world, so in that respect, I went for me.
I met so many amazing people, people from all over the country who support a better world.
I met my heroes, not celebrities or singers from today’s pop culture, but those who wholeheartedly believe women deserve better than abortion.
I met women who regret their abortions and are looking not only to heal, but to heal others. I met adoption advocates, birth mothers, those who have been adopted, abortion survivors, rape survivors, those born out of rape, single moms and gay women.
I met abortion workers who have seen terrible injustices on women and children and who are standing up and speaking out, secular women who support humanity, and politicians on both sides of the aisle,
I met volunteers, mothers, grandmothers, daughters, doctors, lawyers, civil right leaders, clergy and atheists.
Everyone was there to support nonviolence, healthy choices, and the very best for women.
Surfing around on the web, I found this amazing story written by “Nicola E”. About 10 years before this story was written, Nicola and another woman met and became best friends while teaching in the same school. Nicola’s friend was pregnant when they met and eventually asked Nicola to be present at the birth. Her friend gave birth to a little boy she named Michael. Tragically a few months later Michael’s mother passed away and Michael was raised by his grandparents.
9 1/2 years later Michael was a student in Nicola’s class. For a poetry writing assignment, Nicola invited her students to “think back to the earliest memories they have. Most students talked about Kindergarten, or perhaps day care, or vague memories of old toys, etc from when they were about 3-4 years old.” But Michael had a different kind of memory. He raised his hand and began to describe watching everyone from the sky, being in his mother’s belly and being with Nicola as she drove to the hospital for his birth! He described details Nicola had never discussed with anyone including how she stopped for gas, asked the attendant for directions to the hospital, and the song playing on the car stereo during the drive.
Then Michael said the most incredible thing – He said that while his “real mom” was in labor, he asked God if I could be his mom because he knew that his “real mom” wouldn’t survive very long, and he was afraid of being alone on Earth. Apparently he was told that he couldn’t have me for his “real mom” but that everything would be OK and he would still get to be around me during his life.
Michael said that he kept begging for me to be his mother. He watched me go down the hallway from the birthing suite to the waiting lounge to make a phone call from a pay phone (true — there was no cell signal in the hospital), and that while I was there I was very cold so I put on a sweater . . . . By this point the hairs on the back of my neck were standing up. . . .
Michael concluded by saying that he watched me make the phone call and put on the . . . sweater, and that’s the last thing he remembers. He was born about thirty minutes after I went to the lounge and made that phone call.
Later, I privately said to Michael, “Yes, I was at your birth. How did you know all of that stuff?” His grandparents weren’t at the birth and there was literally no way he would have known any of that. How could he make it up? He said that it’s easy, he just had to think back to his earliest memories. He asked me why I don’t remember being born, too and he said “It’s OK, my life did turn out OK. so don’t worry about not being my mom.”
New York City, Anna Adele, my 9th child, and Big Ocean Women! Who can beat that!
Anna and I flew from Phoenix together on March12, 2016 to New York City. We had three days of sightseeing before our meetings with Big Ocean and The United Nations began. Our first stop was The Tenement Museum https://www.tenement.org/ in the lower east side of NYC. This is a walking hands on museum. Our tickets were for two different tours. One was The Walking Food Tour. Anything with food in the title always captures my imagination.
For two hours we walked as our tour guide stopped at some of the oldest diners, bagel shops, Chinese noodle parlors, pickle shops, and candy stores–established by immigrants who hit the shores of NYC over 100 years ago.
Next we toured an apartment, 350 square feet, built in early 1900’s where often more than one family lived. This apt. was restored as it was in the 1920’s of an Irish family. How they did it, I don’t know, but their daily life was fulfilled in most part within those walls.
We loved Central Park and spent many hours there.
We met many wonderful women from around the world. Anna and I have decided the world is a lot smaller now, and many women suffer so much. We are excited to take part in various charities who were with our organization, Big Ocean Women (see previous post). Our church is preparing kits this summer for Days for Girls Organization and we will be helping all we can.
Anna and I gave away 150 books, The Castaways! The Castaways is currently available in paperback on Amazon and is also available on Kindle. In a few weeks we will have this book in Audio–excited for sure!
Life is sacred.
Here we are –our first day at the United Nations. I was asked to participate in a parallel event with Big Ocean Women, (www.bigoceanwomen.org) at the UN Commission on the Status of Women.
Big Ocean is an inter-faith and international network of women who stand for faith, family, and motherhood. We gather in local cottage meetings to learn about our own maternal and feminine gifts and to become informed of the world situation. We dialog with one another and become more articulate. We find ways to reach out and influence others. We offer service.
Please join us at www.bigoceanwomen.org and receive our newsletter. The website is inspiring in itself!
Big Ocean at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women – March 13-18, 2016
Big Ocean took a delegation of 16 women and one man to New York City to the annual meeting of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). CSW is the principal global intergovernmental body exclusively dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women. The CSW is instrumental in promoting women’s rights, documenting the reality of women’s lives throughout the world, and shaping global standards on gender equality and the empowerment of women.
CSW meets annually for two weeks, and representatives of UN Member States, civil society organizations, and UN entities gather at UN headquarters in New York. Member States agree on further actions to accelerate progress and promote women’s enjoyment of their rights in political, economic and social fields.
The Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the amended document Beijing +5 are the standing documents of the women’s rights agenda today. They call for equal rights for women in education, employment, healthcare, and gender equality.
The Beijing Declaration was drafted and accepted during the Fourth World Congress on Women held in Beijing, China in 1995. Hillary Clinton was First Lady at the time and gave an influential speech, “Women’s Rights are Human Rights,” which helped to get the document accepted and adopted.
THE OBJECTIVES OF OUR BIG OCEAN DELEGATION AT THE UNITED NATIONS WERE
1. To STAND.
At Big Ocean, we stand for the family and the maternal gifts of girls and women and to share our Big Ocean tenets with others. As maternal feminists we represent women who see their feminine and maternal gifts as a source of power and strength and the ability to make a difference in the world.
2. To INSPIRE.
We sought to inspire others through our two-hour presentation about how one woman, using her maternal gifts and networking with other women can help achieve the goals of the UN.
We rented a room at the nearby Church of the Covenant for our presentation. In order to draw a crowd, we passed out flyers and spoke to as many people as possible. We were grateful to have the room filled by the time we started our presentation, “Empowering Women to Achieve the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.” We highlighted several women in our presentation who have used their feminine and maternal gifts and have networked with other like-minded women to make a difference in the world and even solve the goals of the UN.
Our first speaker was Carolina Allen, founder and president of Big Ocean who has gathered and inspired hundreds of women to unite and stand for the family.
The second presenter was Sarah Hinze, author and blogger with an unusual collection of stories about and from preborn individuals. Her witness of the premortal identity of each individual is a powerful argument against abortion.
We invited the founder of Days for Girls, Celeste Mergens, and her colleague, Debbie Young, to share how their project of providing reusable feminine hygiene kits to women in 106 counties on on six continents is changing the future of girls and women by allowing them to stay in school during their menstruation cycle. When each kit is given, the recipient also receives education about her reproductive biology. For the first time, many understand that they have been blessed from birth with the biology to produce life. They are taught that they have a choice to be virtuous and save this gift to be used within the bonds of marriage. If a woman embraces this maternal identity, she realizes that this is one way in which she is powerful and blessed. Days for Girls generously donated a kit for each attendee.
Kristine Troger and Alisa Cozzens, sisters from the Washington, D.C. area, shared about the humanitarian work they do throughout the world. One of the major things they do is support one of the few medical clinics in the Kibera slum of Kenya. More than a million people live in this slum and 70% are HIV positive.
Laurie Mefford, Anne Worden, and David Mefford came with us to represent the Launfal Foundation. Rose Ann Gunther started this organization in 1995 and has led hundreds every week since that time to offer humanitarian service throughout the world. Laurie and Anne presented the many projects of this amazing organization. The Launfal Foundation also very generously donated a bag full of items that they make to be given to each attendee of our UN presentation. David Mefford, gave a moving testimonial of how he honors his wife and other women for using their maternal gifts to serve others.
Laurie Mefford, Anne Worden, and David Mefford
3. To OPPOSE.
We seek to oppose liberal policies and ideology which weaken the family and marginalize the feminine and maternal gifts of women.
At the UN, we attended several presentations supporting ideologies which devalue the maternal gifts of women and were able to ask questions and give comments.
The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, the Director of UN Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, and the other panelists who were identified as leaders in the global strategy for women’s health spoke at a high level event called “Every Woman Every Child.” Their message was that every woman and every child should not only survive, but thrive. Of course, we completely agree. We disagree with their philosophy, which was repeatedly stated, that for this goal to be achieved legal and safe abortions must be available everywhere. They also celebrated the successes of the women’s rights agenda adopted in 1995 as the Beijing Declaration. We were concerned at the successes they celebrated that weaken the family and draw women away from recognizing the power of their maternal gifts. Government subsidized programs such as childcare for babies as young as six months and continuing until the child is able to attend public school, before and after school care, birth control and abortions, on the surface look like liberation and power for women, but they encourage women to deny their feminine and maternal gifts and lead them away from enjoying the role of motherhood.
We were able to get into a meeting of women discussing The Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). Again, this treaty on the surface appears to liberate women, but in reality the agenda is to deny the gender specific traits of the female. The following comes from a report by Ali lund;
CEDAW – The Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women
An extreme take on gender equality by making gender completely neutral thus taking away unique gender traits.
It aims to push women into the workforce and even the military draft to make women’s influence equal in those arenas. The way they facilitate this is by providing government-funded preschool and daycare, free birth control, and free abortions. Sweden adopted this treaty and has been implementing it for over 20 years. This pulls women out of the home with children being put into government subsidized day-care at 6 months. US legislature has not yet ratified it, but there has been a great effort to get it passed on local levels. So far it has passed without much attention in San Francisco, San Diego, Portland, and even a city in Kentucky.
They openly revealed their tactic to help radical feminist mayors get elected in every city/state (especially lesbians) who would stop at nothing, even if they had to pass it in the middle of the night when everyone was asleep or hold meetings when people could not be there, to get CEDAW ratified in their cities.
Ali felt impressed to speak out and ask a question during the question and answer portion of that presentation. She mentioned that she is expecting her fifth child, which brought audible gasps, and asked how implementing these programs and policies would affect women who want to stay home with their children. The panelists addressed all of the other questions and saved hers for last. The woman who derisively said she would address her question did not really, instead she brushed over the points of Ali’s question and gave a general response about human rights. They may not have given a good answer, but they and those that agree with them know that they face opposition. Others in the room were exposed to maternal feminism through Ali’s example and either given a new perspective to think about or hopefully strengthened to know they were not alone in caring about the family.
4. To NETWORK.
Big Ocean seeks to network with other pro-family groups. We seek to unite and empower women throughout the world to stand for faith, family, and motherhood.
We met women from several countries who were there, like us, to stand for the family. Our association with these groups continues as we support one another and learn from one another. One such group is Haro from Sweden. Here is Ali Lund’s report about Haro:
We met this pro-family group from Sweden at the LDS Public Affairs office. Because Sweden has had government subsidized day-care for more than 20 years, this group had statistical evidence of the harmful effects of both parents being pushed into the workforce.
It felt like God was putting us in touch with the people who could give us the research to arm us in this battle for the family. These people from Sweden explained how the youth are now suffering psychologically from detachment from their parents and also that the government has taken away parents’ rights to teach their children in the home (especially by homeschooling). They told us about taxes imposed on families if one parent chose to stay home with their children and not earn a salary. They told us about enormous fines imposed on parents who wanted to home school. One man told us how his family had to move from Sweden to Finland to escape these fines that were impossible to pay.
Another group which we were able to connect with was YoungWomen Leadership in Taiwan. This group of beautiful women were seeking women’s rights but wanted to maintain their feminine identity. In this presentation a young student from mainland China got up and said, “I am thankful to the United Nations for teaching me that I never have to be a mother or be married. I know now that I can be powerful and influential on my own.” We were able to tell her that even if she didn’t marry or have children, that her power and strength comes from feminine gifts that are within her. We told her that she could have it all: she could have the joy of motherhood and companionship of family and still be educated and powerful and influential. Afterwards she came up to us and said, “Thank you for your words about motherhood. I have never considered this before.”
We had already established a relationship with a pro-family group of young women from Mexico, BeWoman, and were happy to reunite with them this year. These valiant women who were selected from their Catholic school were there to stand for the traditional family and for the maternal gifts of women.
With courage and faith, our Big Ocean delegates attended meetings and spoke to as many people as possible, striving to understand each individual’s situation and each group’s needs. We stood for faith, family, and motherhood and taught others about the divine, maternal and feminine gifts given to every female born on this earth.
“The child becoming incarnate is a spiritual embryo which needs its own special environment. Just as a physical embryo needs its mother’s womb in which to grow, so the spiritual embryo needs to be protected by an external environment that is warm with love and rich in nourishment, where everything is disposed to welcome, and nothing to harm it.”
—Dr. Maria Montessori, from “The Secret of Childhood,” 1
We have learned much about life after death. Sarah Hinze leads us into the next great area of research–the study of where we come from. –Elizabeth Kubler-Ross
Three years ago I gave away three copies of The Memory Catcher, Sarah Hinze’s remarkable memoir. For over twenty-five years, Sarah has conducted extensive research and thousands of interviews related to near death, prebirth and other spiritual phenomena. She has presented her work in several books, at workshops, seminars, conferences, and on radio shows and television shows. Last month, Sarah traveled to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women with the Big Ocean delegation to share her research. While there, she gave away over 150 copies of the revised and updated 15th Anniversary edition of her important book, The Castaways.
About The Castaways, Sarah explains:
Fifteen years ago my husband and I wrote a book called The Castaways. Since that time almost 10,000 copies have gone worldwide to teach people about the spiritual implications of abortion.
For most of my life, I hadn’t given much thought to the souls of aborted babies. It hadn’t occurred to me that those spirits might be given another chance at birth. But then one of those beautiful, courageous souls was sent to me. And I learned first-hand and through prayer, research, and intuition all about the “castaways” (as Sarah calls them). My daughter’s story is included in the 15th anniversary edition of The Castaways.
I feel sure that my maternal grandmother wanted me to cross paths with Sarah Hinze. In January of last year, I learned that my great-grandparents tried to abort my grandmother. From her earliest days onward, she was told, “We tried to get rid of you.” When I learned this, so many things made more sense. Now I understand, at least in part, why my grandmother struggled so much to love and be loved. I feel in my heart that my grandmother carried a memory of her womb trauma, and I believe it was at least partially responsible for her depressive symptoms. My grandmother died when I was a child, but I feel confident that she and others in the world of spirits have been guiding me to participate as a repairer of the breach in this work.
Other researchers and writers have also documented the womb memories and stories of aborted souls. David Chamberlain, PhD (psychologist, editor, and author of Windows to the Womb) has said:
Who we are is a soul, and the soul has knowledge and wisdom and can communicate. It has a life of its own. You can’t kill it by having an abortion. You can make a course change, or postpone its coming, but basically it’s operating in a spiritual dimension. . . . And in that dimension [before birth] it is no surprise that a soul can think and plan and even have a purpose for being with a certain mother or a certain family (quoted in The Castaways, p. 27).
More compelling than “expert opinion,” however, are the stories themselves. And perhaps the most compelling and beautiful part about these stories is how much love and forgiveness the castaways are able to extend. There is no way to prove or disprove the existence of “castaways,” but their stories are powerful evidence. I invite you to read their stories and let them speak for themselves. Though I do not have the time or space to include them all here, many are included on the website I co-created with Sarah Hinze, theyremember.org, and (of course) in The Castaways and Sarah’s other books. Additional information and stories can also be found within these resources:
Windows to the Womb: Revealing the Conscious Baby from Conception to Birth, David Chamberlain
Stories of the Unborn Soul: The Mystery and Delight of Pre-Birth Communication, Elizabeth Hallett
The Secret Life of the Unborn Child, Thomas Verny
Soul Trek: Meeting Our Children On the Way to Birth, Elisabeth Hallett
Cosmic Cradle: Spiritual Dimensions of Life Before Birth, Elizabeth M. Carman and Neil J. Carmen
I was a very happy young girl. I was blessed with wonderful loving parents, I felt safe in my home. But my parents never taught me about moral values, they didn’t teach me about God and they never talked to me about sexuality, they never told me that my virginity was a treasure and that I should wait until I was married to have sex, that I should find a man that loved me and respected me. All they taught me was that I should have a career, that I should strive to be successful and that I should be attractive, have a lot of friends and wear the best clothes; everything worldly.
When I was 12 years old I was told that there were coming to my school some experts to teach the students about sexuality. My parents were thrilled that someone so capable and educated would teach me about sex because I think that they were afraid or ashamed to talk to me about the subject. Such is the case of so many parents. What these “experts” taught us was about condoms, and practicing “safe sex”. They told us that we could prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases if we used condoms and contraceptives. They said it was 100% safe. I thought it was great that when I decided to become sexually active I could do it without worries.
Later on my parents got divorced and my mom left the country, I stayed with my dad and took my mom’s place; I cooked, cleaned, did the laundry, etc. so my dad was very pleased with me and let me whatever I wanted, I could go out and stay out with friends for as long as I wanted. I met my first boyfriend when I was 19. We started dating and the concept of love that I had was that if you love someone you show him by having sex, so we became sexually active and six months later I became pregnant. When I found out I was terrified. I started thinking about my career and how could I just throw it all away. I thought about my father and how he would be so mad and throw me out of the house. When I told my boyfriend he became ecstatic, he told me that he wanted to be a dad, that he would support me, that I wasn’t going to be alone. To hear those words from a man is so comforting and gives so much strength to decide to have that baby. Unfortunately in the U.S. there have been more than 66 million abortions and the number one reason is the lack of support from the baby’s father and I believe it is the number one reason in the entire world. It is believed that abortion only involves the woman but if the man denies the mother his support and forces her to abort he is also aborting. In this case, however, he gave me all his support.
When I had my first ultrasound I saw a head, two arms, two legs, I saw a beating heart. I felt happy and I would speak and sing to my belly. But as the months went by, my friends would tell me that I was crazy, that I was too young to have a child, that I should have an abortion and that it wasn’t even a baby yet, it was only a sack of cells. I started having second thoughts and becoming scared and so I decided to abort. I wouldn’t tell my boyfriend until after it was all done, I would tell him I had a miscarriage. I went to the abortion clinic and I was so afraid but the worker told me that everything would be ok, that she had had an abortion herself and she was ok and that she had practiced two abortions on her daughter and that she too was ok. I froze my heart to be able to go through with it. Afterwards they gave me pain medicine and told me my life would continue to be as normal as ever. They never told me about post-abortion depression. I wasn’t fine, I became scared, sad, I had nightmares, I became anorexic, and I never told my
boyfriend that I had an abortion, I said I had a miscarriage and he suffered a lot. He had dreams about a girl and he cried and I wondered how it was that he could cry and mourn for that baby but I couldn’t.
We continued practicing “safe sex” using condoms and contraceptives and six months later I became pregnant again. This time I didn’t tell anybody and I decided to go to Plan Parenthood to have an abortion. The doctor congratulated me for being so “brave” and for being one of the very few that go through it without crying. They gave me some cookies; they gave me a massage like I was at a spa. When I left the clinic I felt worse than before, I wanted to commit suicide, I was depressed, I was traumatized and developed trichotillomania, a compulsive urge to pull out ones hair. But I continued without telling anybody. Once again six months later I became pregnant. I was furious; I couldn’t believe I had become pregnant three times in one and a half years. This time I didn’t want to be alone with my guilt, so I forced my boyfriend to go with me to have an abortion. He told me that he didn’t want to have an abortion, that he was happy that I was pregnant again, but I told him he didn’t have any right to decide what I did with my body and I manipulated him to accompany me. During the abortion, he cried like a child and I felt guilty because I couldn’t cry, I had become so hard, my heart turned to stone.
After that I was so affected that I couldn’t even hear a baby cry, I decided to move to another town and start a new life. I didn’t have a job and I saw an ad for Plan Parenthood, so I decide to try it out because I thought that it was every woman’s right to decide what they would do with their body and that it was better to abort than to bring a child into this world to suffer. On my first day of work they were training me to change my vocabulary, they forbade me to say the words baby, mother, father, he or she. They told me that I couldn’t see the sonogram screen and it was my job to make sure the women (mostly very young girls) didn’t see the screen. It was my job to do everything in my power to make sure they went through with the abortion. Some of them were crying and were afraid that the baby would feel the pain but I had to convince them that it was not a baby, that it was only a sack of cells and that it wasn’t capable of feeling. The first time I was an assistant during the abortion I was told that the doctor had to go from one patient to another and every procedure couldn’t last more than five minutes. The process was horrible, very violent, there was blood everywhere, the doctor used a vacuum that is 25 times more powerful that a domestic vacuum, on the end of the hose it had a tool that resembled a blade that was introduced into the girl and randomly moved around in her belly while suctioning everything into a bag attached to the vacuum. It was my job to make sure that all the contents of the womb were extracted. I was taken to a secret room with my trainer. There was a tub where I emptied the contents of the bag; she introduced some forceps into this tub and lifts up a perfectly formed arm. I was able to see every detail, the nails, the creases of the hand and even finger prints. Our finger prints identify us as unique human beings! Then she threw it in the trash. Then she took out a leg and threw it in the trash, then another arm and another leg. When she finally took out the head it was so painful to see, because it had hair, and eyebrows and eyelashes, but the mouth was open as if this baby had screamed for his life but no one could hear him, and I remembered that the doctor told me that the anesthesia was only for the mother. I realized then that that baby had felt every stroke as he was being cut up into pieces. I realized that I had murdered my children. I was deceived into thinking it was only a sack of cells.
I worked there for a moth, I felt like a murderer. I felt so terrible that I started using cocaine, then meth. I lost my home, my cars, everything. I couldn’t face my family; I was a drug addict, a piece of trash. I
lived on the streets, slept in the cars, in motels with many other drug addicts. I used so many drugs that I became so thin you could see my bones under my skin, I pulled out all my hair. I looked in the mirror and I couldn’t recognize myself. I asked “Who are you? You grew up as a princess and now you’re nothing but trash. One day I was left lying on the sidewalk and I cried and cried and for the first time ever, I felt God’s love for me. I sat in the fetal position and cried like a little child and all of a sudden I felt someone embracing me. When I opened my eyes I saw a girl with blond hair and blue eyes that looked at me with so much compassion, and told me that I was loved. She told me that she would take me home. She took me to my mother who welcomed me with open arms and talked to me about God. She taught me to pray and little by little I started to heal, however, I could not forgive myself for having aborted my children. I went to a spiritual retreat and during a time of deep meditation I saw all my three children; a girl, a boy and another girl. They told me they loved me and they had forgiven me. And that’s why I decided to tell my story. I want to honor my children by defending life and becoming the voice of those who are without a voice.
The Powerful Bond between Mothers and their Children
In a few days I will travel to New York City to join with Big Ocean Women from around the world to represent Faith, Family, and Motherhood at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women Conference. While there I will be handing out my books to many people as well as speaking about the need to protect all people from violence, including unborn children.
Women have powerful intuitive and spiritual capacities. Women often feel and know that a child is waiting and wanting to come to them, and as willing mothers, they give that child the opportunity to be born.
For many years I have studied “our very personal journey of trailing clouds of glory and that we do indeed come from God, who is our home. I have written about it through the stories of mothers and their unborn children.
Today on International Women’s Day, I am happy to gift you with a free book, The Castaways, our 15th Year Anniversary Edition. This is a sacred book about that sacred bond between mothers and their unborn children. Please email me today at firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and mailing address and your free book will be in the mail very soon
An example of women and their intuitive spiritual gifts is the following story:
There’s a tribe in Africa that counts a child’s birthday from the day it first appears as a thought in its mother’s mind. On that day, [the] woman sits under a tree and quietly listens and waits until she can hear the song of her child. When she has heard the song, she returns to her village and teaches it to . . . the child’s father, so that they can sing the song when they are together and make love, inviting the child to join them.
The expectant mother then sings the song to the child in her womb and teaches it to the midwives, who sing it when the child is born. All the villagers learn the child’s song as well, so that whenever the child cries or hurts itself, they can pick it up, hold it in their arms and sing the song. The song is also sung when the young person goes through a rite of passage, when he or she marries, and one last time, when he or she is about to die.
Willing mothers understand, as William Wordsworth wrote:
Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:
The Soul that rises with us, our life’s Star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting,
And cometh from afar:
Not in entire forgetfulness,
And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come
From God, who is our home.