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The Whole Village was cheering

girls' soccer goodbye ritual

photo credit: woodleywonderworks

There is a great story about a nat­ural labor over at Dooce. In part 2 she is talk­ing about her assis­tant who just had a baby. She had a bunch of peo­ple in the labour room being com­pletetly silent between con­trac­tions and then jump­ing into action and cheer­ing and help­ing dur­ing the contractions.

The cheer­ing and push­ing and growl­ing con­tinue for what seems like a cou­ple of min­utes, what must have seemed like eter­nity for Katey, and when it’s appar­ent that the con­trac­tion has ended, the room imme­di­ately sinks right back into silence. No one talks. Every sin­gle per­son is focused on Katey’s next move.

And that is when I got com­pletely choked up. I can’t believe that every­one was so respect­ful of what she was expe­ri­enc­ing. Can you imag­ine if through all of our hard times we had peo­ple around us who were silent in honor of our strug­gle and then jumped into action to help us when they could?

It reminds me of a true story I read about a Native Amer­i­can Viet­nam Vet who came back from the war totally trau­ma­tized. When the peo­ple in his home town, on the reser­va­tion, saw how trau­ma­tized he was, they called their med­i­cine man. He had every­one get their rat­tles and drums and they danced and sang and rat­tled around him for days until he was bet­ter. The whole village.

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