I would like to share two beautiful stories with you, which speak to our purpose in life. The first story is from the Jewish tradition but retold with such beauty by Christina Baldwin, in her book The Seven Whispers (2002), that I will quote her rather than paraphrase the story.
There is a legend in the Hasidic tradition that says that when a baby is conceived an angel accompanies the soul into the womb and lives with the fetus for the nine months of gestation. Here, in the blood-thumping shelter of the mother, angel and soul speak of the life to come and decide together on the purpose of this incarnation: What is this soul coming to contribute? Who will help support this purpose? What challenges will be faced? Where comes love? …
Just as the birth pangs begin, when the soul must fully enter the baby-self and the angel return to heaven, the angel reaches out and presses its finger against the baby’s lip. We still have this mark, an indentation that runs sweetly from upper lip to nose. The philtrum is the angel’s last gift. “Hush,” it whispers to the stirring child, “now you must forget.” And all the while the womb bears down around us, pushing us out into the waiting world. Here we come, imbued with purpose and arriving in amnesia. Newborn.
The second “story” is an actual account of a conversation I had with my fitness instructor, Tara.* We were waiting for the rest of the group to show up for our hike and she began telling me about her daughter, Davan,* who has an extremely rare genetic disorder called Pallister-Killian Syndrome. Davan has the body of a five-year old but developmentally, she is like a newborn. Her vision and hearing are also impaired. Davan attends Kindergarten at the local neighbourhood school, which is an inclusive educational setting. When some other parents were questioning Tara as to whether or not Davan should be at that school or at a “special” school, she replied, “Davan is here to teach, not to learn.”
Everyone has a purpose in this life. It’s wonderful when both child and parent “remember,” and can share that with others. Think of that each time you notice the angel’s imprint just above the lips.
** not her real name