A Mother’s Whispered Song

Branwen climbed into bed with her children and spread her cloak over them. Propped on an elbow, she brushed lank curls from small foreheads and looked into the dark eyes that peered back trustingly into hers. In whispered softness, she sang them to sleep.

Little fire, starry light, guide me on my path tonight
On waves of dreams, as you sleep, ‘cross the seas, calm and deep
Farewell to troubles, lay them low, sing the seamaids, soft and slow
Little star, flame above, sail away the night, my love                      – Eye of Blind

For several years, I had the great privilege of serving families in need. As part of my work, I was invited into homes and lives to guide, teach, nurture, and when I could, to gather baskets of memories brimming with new ways of being and believing in the world. At most, I accompanied parents and children on their journeys for mere slivers of time, and yet in the collection of hours and days, I was witness to great suffering and love, desperation and hope.

Those who travel the helpers’ path are granted gifts. Not gifts wrapped in paper and laced with ribbon that we set on a windowsill and forget with time, but gifts that reside within us, that alter who we are and how we perceive our world.

We live in a time of divisiveness. Our politics shred our world, and unfiltered rhetoric spews like bile into the air, toxic with deception and blame. It is no wonder that we are losing our ability to listen and behold each other with open minds and compassionate hearts.

Branwen and her children live in an abandoned house by the sea, but they could live anywhere: in the mountains of China, on the plains of Africa, in the arid lands of Syria, or simply around the corner. Everywhere, mothers like Branwen touch small foreheads, peer into innocent eyes and sing their children to sleep.  What would happen to our world if we became still and quiet and listened to those whispered songs?

94 thoughts on “A Mother’s Whispered Song

  1. This really made me think about my grandmother, even tho she wasn’t perfect. I do miss her now that she is gone, its funny how you never think about it before they are gone. She too had songs that she would sing with me some she remembered and some she would read from her little book. She would teach me a few of them and not that she is gone I feel that is the closest thing I have to her.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m so glad that the post brought back some special moments for you. They sound lovely. I think that’s often how it is for us. As kids, we don’t understand how precious those moments are. As a grandmother, I understand that dynamic and enjoy those special moments with my grandson, knowing that someday down the road he’ll remember them. ❤ Thank so much for visiting and leaving such a lovely comment.

      Like

  2. parentinghindsights says:

    Such a beautiful blog. As a mother myself I can totally relate and as a daughter who never had a mother sing to her, I understand the beauty that was missing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. askriverbed says:

    WOW – What a find! This is so very touching and resonates deep within every mother. What a gentle, winsome picture – thank you!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much for the lovely comment. I hope we continue to relate across cultures and recognize the basic humanity in each other. We have to keep pushing for a better future for all the world’s children and families. ❤

      Like

  4. Khaya Ronkainen says:

    Powerful write, Diana!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. inesephoto says:

    Thank you for this message, Diana! So often mothers are not welcome. ‘Why do they have children?’ – a usual question directed to a poor family.

    Liked by 2 people

    • That seems like such an odd question, doesn’t it? A disconnect with the human story of love. Thanks for reading. I hope your weekend with rife with love and peace. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • inesephoto says:

        I have heard this question too often. A couple of decades ago in China they were forbidden to have more than one child by the law. If a family emigrated, the first thing they did was to have one more child. It was such a blessing, almost a miracle. Your post makes me think of mothers of any background. Wishing them happiness.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Annika Perry says:

    Beautiful thoughtful post, Diana. Listening, caring seems to be a commodity in short supply these days and yes, deafened by the sickness of selfish egotistical narcissistic needs of the few…I hope the good of the many will prevail. Your work, among that of so many, is the pebbles in the lake that are felt across the world. One young mother once said to me in despair of her baby son that he just takes, takes. Quietly I tried to ask, didn’t she feel that he gave her so much – that unquantifiable unconditional love that gazed upon her everyday was worth the world and more.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Annika; you have a wonderfully open heart. With rare exception, the love that parents feel for their children is universal, and therefore so is the worry, despair, and grief. Behind ever statistic, I can’t help but know that there are children and families caught in the metaphorical and literal crossfire.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. reocochran says:

    Diana, so true of most mothers and fathers! I love that you went into people’s homes and helped them, dear.
    As a preschool teacher, we visited each home of the 24 students we had, my teaching asst and I. There was always something positive we could focus on, mother who likes to sew, sing, cook, share her pots and pans. . .
    The parents have hopes and dreams full of promise and see futures of child’s productive lives. ❤ The songs in the nursery, the stories read in rocking chairs or perched on beds display more than what is evident in the news and vitriol being spewed.
    I loved the mermaid and baby in the art you chose, too.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks for reading, Robin. That’s so sweet that you went to all the homes and looked for something positive. I think most parents do the best they can and sometimes an encouraging word goes long way. ❤

      Like

  8. Such a beautiful, timely post. Thanks so much for sharing your hopes and dreams with us!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Beautiful post. You’re right when you say that those who follow the helper’s path are awarded gifts…One of them is insight.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Antonia says:

    I completely agree Diana, there is too much noise covering up what is really important. Very touching post!

    Liked by 3 people

  11. What indeed? And never a truer word spoken,

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Val Boyko says:

    When peaceful loving messages bring about increased readership, higher ratings, more investments and a boost to the economy … we may get there. Alas, it is fear that fuels the world we live in nowadays. The more fearful we are, the more we buy into the messages that we gear in the media.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Nurse Kelly says:

    Just beautiful. Really felt who you are in this. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  14. What a wonderful song it is too…..I also work in areas in my town where people are in need, the very young, and the elderly. Working with these people, spending time with them has truly enhanced my life with those intrinsic gifts of which you speak. There is such a need for compassion in this world, maybe someday people on this earth will finally get it right. Beautiful post, Diana.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. The gifts one get from helping a child are the easiest to stack and carry: in your heart.
    A lovely image – a lovely story.
    The thought of the world chaos is defeating, yet even a little pebble thrown into a pond changes things.
    If each just reaches out to those close by – on the block, in the community, in the county, and on …sooner or later the caring will cross and weave people together.
    Great post

    Liked by 2 people

  16. dgkaye says:

    Wonderfully written message here Diana. A time to search our hearts and remember compassion, while spreading awareness is essential. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Steven Baird says:

    Beautifully written, Diana, and vital words, now more than ever. I’ve been following this election more so than usual, but with curious and disbelieving eyes and ears (witnessing the proverbial train wreck). So this is a welcome balm to all that outrageous rancor. Thank you. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I watching this election and I am not sure if we all still live on the same planet. How can be so divided? How can hate weigh more than common sense?
    I am almost scared to write these days, I fear I won’t stop.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Al Lane says:

    Beautiful post, Diana. More compassion is always the answer x

    Liked by 2 people

  20. I know the answer to that, but I wish it were different. Nature and the world abhores a vacuum. Sigh.

    Liked by 3 people

  21. A very timely message in these troubling times, Diana. It gives me hope. xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

  22. tric says:

    Your writing really touched me. Beautiful and food for thought in the current climate.
    It reminded me of those I have met through the years and carried their stories with me. I’d not thought about how much they had changed me, but many have.
    I think when we look for tragedy and hate we find it, but if we keep looking for the good in people we will find it.
    I’ll never give up on people and thankfully when I’ve been in need I’ve found ears and hearts.

    Liked by 3 people

    • There are wonderful people everywhere, Tric, and honestly, I think we outnumber those who are careless and lacking in empathy. It’s hard to watch the news and see children and families suffering without it breaking my heart. So we speak and act out of kindness and compassion and share that whenever we can. Hopefully, we’ll change the future. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  23. thefeatheredsleep says:

    Exquisite. A world of beauty and sadness. Just so wonderous and as Mother Wintermoon says, your compassion is outstanding Wallace x

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for the kind comment. I think there are millions/billions of us who feel this way, but our voices are often drowned out. I hope that if enough of us speak, eventually we’ll be heard 🙂 Peace, my friend.

      Like

  24. The emotion in your post comes through loud and clear. One thing we should remember is that rhetoric and vile language are an everyday part of so many lives that to them it is normal. That’s not to say we shouldn’t voice our objection to such things but to understand that many in this world do not live a life where profanity and abuse aren’t a part of their everyday lives.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I know, and that’s so sad. Profanity doesn’t bother me much, but the abuse and inability to feel empathy is disturbing, especially when directed toward children. The vast majority of humans start their lives with a capacity for love and joy, and then the adults of the world beat it down. Some adults don’t know better, but the majority do. The lack of action on the part of those who know better is unconscionable. Just my two cents. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  25. This brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for being present and being you. I’m grateful our paths crossed. Your awareness and compassion is a blessing. xoxo

    Liked by 3 people

  26. Beautiful as always. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  27. The V Pub says:

    We are fortunate to live in our community. But, as someone who had lived in the inner city, it’s not lost upon me that people are in need, no matter if we can see them. To that end, my kids do work in soup kitchens, partially because I want to instill compassion in them, and also for them to understand gratitude.

    Liked by 2 people

    • That’s wonderful, Rob. I think volunteering is great on so many levels. It builds self-esteem, reduces depression, and, as you mentioned, instills life long values of kindness, compassion, and gratitude. To me, those are huge contributors to happiness. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  28. A special message and one that needs to be heard! Lovely

    Liked by 1 person

  29. balroop2013 says:

    Love the emotions that overflow out of this piece…sheer poetry in lovely shades of humanitarian love! Thank you Diana, for whispering this message across the globe. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Meg Sorick says:

    So eloquently spoken Diana. Natural affection, basic humanity is being trampled by hate and greed. Everyone stop and listen indeed. Thank you for this.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for reading, Meg. Blogging and connecting to wonderful people across the globe gives me hope. But the lack of empathy that views people as objects and statistics is horrifying. I worry for a world that is unconcerned for it’s children. On that cheery note, have a lovely loving day. 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  31. Love this, Diana! So true about the vileness surfacing in our world. Every bit of generosity, compassion, and understanding is needed to counter it. Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 2 people

  32. Heartafire says:

    Intriguing and thoughtful read. We are teaching our young people to abandon civility and respect those of us who are pained and bewildered dont know what to do about the hate filled rhetoric and actions. Though politics is not my thing I would implore everyone to look into the eyes of these innocents and realize it is up to us to do all we can to stop the bigotry the misogyny the hate speech. Thank you for this moving post Dee

    Liked by 3 people

  33. Beautiful and heart warming. You have captured world peace in this post. I pray many people read this.

    Liked by 3 people

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