A baby has to be one of the best bridge builders in the world. Take a baby to any country, any church, temple, or mosque, any political rally - and people from different backgrounds and different world views will smile and coo at your little bundle of joy.
I hadn't thought a lot about babies in recent years . . . until now that I'm expecting my daughter to give birth to my first grandchild next month. Now I'm remembering everything I experienced as a new mother, nearly 28 years ago: the joys and the challenges, the tiny clothes that are so quickly outgrown, and the favorite picture books. I'm pulling books and stuffed animals out of storage, dusting and washing them. Knitting booties and a tiny hooded sweater. I can't wait to meet this new little person when he enters the world, and I'm revisiting the mind-boggling questions that new life brings up.
We all started out as babies, but very few remember a single moment from that first year of life. Fewer still remember where they were before they were born. Where did we come from? I'm not referring to the dance of sperm and egg and how they got together to create the physical body that we inhabit temporarily. I'm talking about the eternal part of us, the part that connects us all, that we recognize in the face of the little child who trusts us to love him or her unconditionally.
As babies grow, we realize each one has a unique personality. Each has a mind and a soul, an ego and emotions. Many believe that everything we are comes into being at the moment of conception and starts to grow at that moment. Many others, including me, believe that we have lived before, and that each spirit enters a baby's body from another world, bringing with it a plan and a purpose for this particular life.
When my daughter was a newborn, I talked to her and asked if she remembered where she came from. If only she could have told me about it! By the time she could talk, she had of course forgotten. I'll probably ask my grandson the same questions, just because it's fun to wonder about. Someday, when we all return to that place, we'll discover that we really do all come from One Source - and we'll wonder what all the fighting was about in this world!