Once upon a time I wanted to be a teacher. Then I thought that maybe, once I finished my bachelor's, I would get my masters in library science and become a school librarian. I never rule out possibilities, but, to date, none of these events have occurred. Still, I feel this calling, stronger and stronger these days, to work with children.
I feel called to be a mother, but this "You must work with children" calling seems somehow separate from that. I keep asking, "Well, Universe, how should I work with children? In what capacity? Please lead me to it."
On Sunday morning, I was walking the dog. Normally we pass by the cemetery, but this time I ventured in. I went off the path and wandered along the periphery until I reached a remote corner of the cemetery and this statue of Our Lady of Fatima. Holy Mary, Mother of God. I got on my knees and said a prayer.
As I set about wandering again, I kept stopping to look at certain gravestones. It seemed that every one I looked at was that of a child. One belonged to a baby who did not survive the first day. I said prayers for each of them. I assured them that each moment of their lives, however brief, was a gift to the world and to their parents, who I am sure wouldn't trade their time with them for anything in the world.
Each time I stopped and saw the all too brief dates on the stones, I wondered, "what am I to do with this? what am I to learn from this? how am I being guided?" I left the cemetery with those questions still unanswered.
Yesterday, I was browsing the internet and came across information on becoming a doula. Suddenly the meaning of my walk in the cemetery came clear. The gravestones aren't there as a reminder of death, they are there to celebrate a life. If I become a doula, I can be a part of this birth, death, birth cycle...this spiritual journey... I could play a role, however small, in bringing life into this world. Life, no matter how brief, is a precious gift. What a wonderful way to work with children, to serve children.
I have not acted on all of this, but I am listening and mulling over the call.
Are you a doula? Has a doula been present at the birth of your children? I'd be interested in hearing about your experiences.