I’m sitting at Cafe Latino flipping through The Advertiser, writing this.

Page 1: IVF PRICE FIGHT (surprisingly, it recognises conception as “the miracle” of life.)
Page 15: More “gender war” stories
Page 16-18: Big issues facing females, “opportunities for women” stories

Is it no longer enough to say, “I’m a mother”, and hold your head up high? And yet, only the dullest soul would miss the cry behind the noise: we want time with our families.

I’ve just come from the 40 Days Prayer for Life, quietly praying with my Catholic friends outside the Mareeba Pregnancy Advisory Centre. I may not identify with every aspect of their spirituality but, what wisdom & faithfulness they’ve had being a witness to human dignity. Hear these:

Let us pray that we may go quickly to support pregnant women.

Let us pray for those who mistakenly advocate abortion, who wrongly believe it is a cure for poverty and hunger, that they may learn to trust in God’s providence.

Let us pray that our spiritual and political leaders will be fearless in proclaiming the primacy of the Laws of God.

Let us pray for those who assist pregnant women and girls in their time of fear and loneliness.

Let us pray for parents who welcome new life in spite of hardship.

Let us pray for people who are suffering from the trauma of abortion.

Let us pray for parents who love and care for God’s exceptional children, sick and handicapped babies.

Let us pray that the Holy Spirit will enlighten and strengthen members of the courts and legislatures to protect the right to life from conception to natural death.

On the right is Marguerite, who set up shop next to Cafe Latinoa chamber of death (my words not hers) to be a witness to the value of life and family. A map of Brazil lines the wall – a place I feel connected to through the capoeira that has enriched my life.
Why Latino, I asked her.
Family comes first before everything for them,” she said.

It is said that the best thing a girl can be is a good wife and mother. It is a girl’s highest calling.

My mother certainly fit her other passions and wishes around serving her husband and raising her children, creatively and diligently making space for her teaching gift at home. I hope you receive for your sowing tears a forever fragrance in your fields, mum.

To all ordinary women – ordinary mothers – around the world, your motherhood is of great value. Happy International Women’s Day.

P/s: You may be interested in Janine’s reflections on Mareeba – a place where many are robbed of, and some willingly give up their motherhood.