Welcome, My Son

By Edna Lister

This book is dedicated to those uncrowned Queens, the Mothers of Earth who have struggled past seemingly insurmountable obstacles to hold fast to their Ideals


The gently closing door restored silence in the book-lined room. A portrait of a hauntingly beautiful woman graced a long library table near the young man’s chair. He’d obviously inherited her large, mysterious violet eyes. He rested his elbows on the chair’s arms and let his head sink heavily into cupped hands, as if he could no longer bear the weight. He stared at the worn edges of the yellowed letter and faded blue book his father had placed on his lap.

Michael Matthews Jr. had always taken the privileges of his upbringing for granted. Expecting nothing less, he cheerfully did as he pleased, and remained wholly absorbed in his own plans. Mike had nonchalantly accepted his father’s gifts, favors, indulgences and love, returning only a casual affection. His attitude wasn’t exactly selfish. Yet, he’d never been denied what he wanted to have or to do. He was unacquainted with gratitude, and unschooled in the need to curb his own will or sacrifice his wants when they infringed on others. It had never mattered before, but it did now.

The last twenty-four hours of self-revelation had been bitter for Michael Matthews Senior. He’d accepted responsibility for his son’s lack of appreciation, acknowledging that his generosity and lenience toward his son were self-indulgent. Seeing his beloved wife each time he looked into his son’s eyes had made him soft in discipline — Claire had died barely a month after their son was born. Seeking to make up for the mother that his son had never known, he’d innocently given too much in material comforts, and asked far too little consideration in return. Worse, his lavish, permissive love sprang from his own desire to be loved, in return for losing his cherished wife.

Silently he leaned against the closed door for support. They were unmistakably father and son, sharing a tall, lean physique, handsome features and blond coloring, though the man’s temples were silver gilt. His ravaged face revealed emotional agony and sacrifice, yet was illumined with the exaltation of prayer. He’d purged his heart of old grief, whatever Mike’s decision. To help his son, he’d been forced to reveal secret places in his soul. He had suffered greatly while deciding he must make the woman in the portrait real to her child, their child, for his son’s sake.

Sixteen years earlier, he had deliberately closed and locked certain doors to memory, unable to bear the commingled pain of loss and joy in rearing their son. He’d chosen the seemingly easier course, and edited all references to Claire from his speech. In cowardly fashion he’d sloughed the task of answering Mike’s endless questions about his mother to Molly, their housekeeper and his wife’s companion. “You’ll have to ask Molly. She knows.”

His vast amorphous grief had hardened into an exhausting iron cross. Never had he realized how heavy a burden his hidden sorrow had become. Slowly he climbed the stairs to his wife’s day room, which had witnessed nearly all his mourning. It felt good to go there in freedom from sorrow now.

He hoped that Mike would read his mother’s journal and emerge cleansed of all rebellion against discipline. Having done his best for his son, he placed the burden and the outcome in greater, more capable hands than his own.

Mike also felt purged by the recital of his mother’s life and final months. How romantically his parents had met, how they had courted, wed, made a life together and waited years for his arrival. He’d never seen his father look so young, or heard him speak in the tones he’d used to describe how beautiful, gentle, loving and kind she always was.

His dad described how he’d found her on the couch near the nursery fire, smiling and lovely, but beyond the gates separating two worlds. Days later he’d discovered the journal and a letter she’d written him just days before she died. “She gave everything to have you, to give you to me,” his father said.

The story had fallen on Mike’s consciousness as from a great height, and had etched itself on his heart. These last intimate hours between father and son had broken an inner barrier of self, freeing him, but leaving him mute. He’d wanted to tell his dad how ashamed he was about his recent defiance, how he understood this appeal to honor, and was eager to obey his wishes. Although he wanted to assure him of his gratitude, and intensely needed to tell his father how much he’d changed during the story of his mother’s life, he’d been unable to move or speak.

What had seemed an unwarranted restriction of his freedom had vanished. The door to his soul had begun to open. This new, painful depth of feeling startled him, yet he welcomed it with complete trust in his father’s judgment. Then he lifted his gaze to the beautiful woman in the portrait, his mother, fascinating him as always. He remembered lonely childhood vigils, believing that if he stood there long enough, silently enough, she would touch him, speak to him. Molly had given up trying to change his ideas about waiting for his mother to speak, and had coaxed him away by describing her sweet nature. “She just went to sleep, smiling,” Molly had always said.

Only now did the mystery behind her eyes reveal a capacity for loving self-sacrifice he’d never recognized. It seemed a miracle that his mother had written this book for him so long ago. She was speaking to him from across whatever abyss lay between them. His reverence was as great as his father had prayed it would be, and his approach was as consecrated as love could make it. He was about to open the door to an unseen world and penetrate its mysterious secrets.

Instantly the sun shone through heavy massed clouds. One ray touched the old blue book’s cover, causing “Journal,” stamped in dulled gold, to gleam. The golden shaft seemed to originate in some source of greater light, illumining an upward track for a lonely, lately confused boy. Could this sudden radiance be pouring from a mother’s loving hands? Was it a benediction of promise, a great love bathing him in glory? It was the message he’d waited so patiently to hear. His heart beat with high anticipation as he opened the aged letter.

Claire’s Letter

January 22, 1913

My Beloved Husband,

My body’s strength is fading with each day of the new year — everything earthly has assumed a dreamlike quality, until only Heaven’s beauty seems solidly real to my soul. Hourly I pray that my “call” comes before you realize my vitality is rooted solely above.

I’m glad and grateful that neither you nor Dr. Allison suspects I’m leaving. He’s faithfully kept his original promise not to alarm you. I’ve known for months that I wouldn’t remain long after our son was born. Finally, seeing him in your arms, I fully realize that it’s no sacrifice to trade my earth life for him, but a special privilege granted me by the One to whom all lives belong.

Yes, my dearest Michael, I’ve chosen to do this. Please understand, my beloved, I’ve done what I desired to do with all my heart, mind and soul! And I tell you now that if the decision were mine again, I’d gladly make the same choice.

You’re bewildered, I know, perhaps hurt and shocked. You may feel I’ve failed you in keeping this secret, the only confidence I’ve not shared in all our years together. Perhaps I’ve been a coward to hide it, but knowing that I must leave has been hard enough to bear without witnessing your anguish in being forced to choose between me and our son. I could not endure having you try to say goodbye.

Michael dearest, your love’s tremendous fulfillment through fatherhood intensifies your grief. I know this because I’ve spent these last precious months with you conquering my own sorrow and self-pity.

How well I know the depth of bitterness and rebellion you feel against life and its seemingly unfair choices. Yet I also know that soon you’ll want to hold something I treasured, and you’ll recall my blue journal, which you’ll find in my desk with this letter.

As you read this, I pray you’ll feel my love enfolding you. You may even feel my presence. Be assured that I’ll be near, if Heaven allows! You’ll seek our son as you read my journal. In the name of our abiding love, I ask you to forget self and grief to cherish this most precious gift I leave in your care.

Let love’s brooding, yearning mothering quality, now laying dormant within you, unfold and wrap its strong tendrils around our son’s heart — so that he may never know any sense of loss, though he is motherless.

I never dreamed I could feel greater joy than before his birth, when he was uniquely mine. Yet watching you shelter him in your arms has made my “cup run over.” The joy of having the child of our hearts’ desire has become my reservoir of spiritual strength to finish this life.

It seems odd now that I started this journal for our son. I was selfish enough to want his mother to be “real,” more than just a few stories or a portrait. Sometimes I’ve written to tell him how much I loved him before he was born, and sometimes to tell you how I’ve treasured our love. So, in writing the journal, my two loves have become one vast love for you both. I’ve created no masterpiece, but have recorded much of my heart in these pages. As the journal grew, I learned more about myself. I realized this journal reveals the secrets of my soul in greater measure than all my love has ever given you.

Dearest Michael, my beloved husband, I’ve learned that a Universal Plan of Life does exist. None of our efforts are wasted, and we lose nothing ever. I know we will meet again in a place already chosen for us. We will be apart no longer than is necessary for you to finish your life’s work, as I’ve finished mine. I believe we’ll even learn to treasure the experience of this enforced separation.

My dearest husband, I love you. Three small words, yet they hold my whole world! I love you with a lasting love, burning with the same wondrous flame that kindled in my heart when we met. I’ve always felt cherished and beloved by you, together or separated. I carry the love-light in your eyes and your tender smile as my comfort, rejoicing that such love as ours must continue forever.

Remember, I leave as a proud wife, crowned a queen of glory by your love. I leave you on earth confident that the line of love-light that joins our souls is strong enough to last eternally, and to draw us into each other’s arms again. This is my absolute conviction. Please, my beloved, let it be yours.

With all my soul’s love reaching, and with all my future still belonging to you, my beloved husband, I am your wife, your


Claire’s Journal

May 22, 1912

YOU are coming! My joy is overflowing! We shall have a child! Finally, after fifteen years of longing and heartache, our doctor confirms that you’re on the way! After all our disappointments, I wouldn’t tell your father until I knew that this time it is the truth and a certainty. You are my hoped-for supreme gift to my beloved Michael, your father.

Since we lost our first baby, I’ve reassured Michael’s fears. Following each examination, I told him the good part, half truths. Dr. Allison’s verdict has always been the same. He could find no reason for my barrenness, which he deemed just as well, considering my heart, weakened by a childhood bout with rheumatic fever. I’ll “last a long time with care,” he says, but childbirth would dangerously exhaust me. He agreed to downplay the risks of motherhood, “unless something unforeseen happens.”

Ten years ago, while I visited family in the East, I had a famous heart doctor examine me. I’ve never told anyone his diagnosis. Beyond the rheumatic fever damage, my heart has an underlying defect. Childbirth would be too great a risk. This, my closely guarded secret, stirs an old fear and whispers a warning: What if I don’t survive? Am I really brave enough to face this without leaning on Michael’s love for support?

I’ve held to my inner assurance that you would come to us one day, so I’m confident that I’m strong enough to bring you here safely. My desire for a child has sent roots deeply into my heart while I’ve waited for you. No wonder I feel a sense of wholeness for the first time in my life.

You can’t be quite as real to anyone else while I carry you so closely under the wings of my heart. You’re real, and this triumph of full possession is mine alone! Therefore, I now vow to allow no fear or self-pity to dilute my exquisite joy in your coming. Nothing can diminish the jubilation that thrills me, and I’ll accept whatever may come.

As I sit in my favorite place on the terrace overlooking the lake, I feel touched by unearthly radiance, an inner glory almost too great to contain! I’ll be a mother, your mother! The world could offer me no greater honor.

I’ve spent my whole life preparing to fulfill this mission. Though you’ve tarried long on the way, I’ve remained certain that you would arrive someday. Every outer condition has denied my unalterable belief. Yet now I know you’re coming, and my faith soars, doubling itself in power to fuel my lifelong conviction that my firstborn would be a son.

I wonder, are you content with your choice of earth parents? Our love and longing for you should make you confident about coming to us. As your parents-to-be, our love for each other makes us responsible for your new life, but beyond providing your way to earth, how else do we influence you? How much do we contribute to the real you?

I know I don’t build your body, although I can maintain healthy mental and emotional conditions and furnish food to supply your needs for bodybuilding. I don’t create your identity, although I aid in naming you. How is your body built? What great Creative Plan makes it possible? Do you create your own complex, beautiful form? Does someone in your invisible world help you, or do it for you? Where do I find the answers to such questions?

Darling, before anyone else knows you’re coming, I, your mother, welcome you to earth! You shall fulfill our dreams and desires for a child, the living expression of our beautiful love.

I’ll wait until our favorite hour following sunset, and use the most beautiful words to tell your father that you’re coming. Our joy will erase the years of longing as our love blossoms to fulfill itself as you! We’ll look upward into the millions of glittering stars that entice our imaginations into the source of their shining. Would we ever look beyond earthly matters if not for their brilliance? We shall extend our vision into an unknown universe.

Does a door exist to your world beyond, which we of earth believe is so impenetrable? My inner “knowing” says I’ll soon enter that door. I seek so many answers. I want to know what’s behind that door and would love to solve these mysteries. Do curiosity and pondering prepare us for whatever comes afterward?

Perhaps it’s good to be left in a reflective mood, ever seeking to penetrate that vast and lonely silence for answers. However, I would like to know where you come from — the new spirit of life that is you as you are now, you embodied as our son, the you of earth! I am so happy!

May 23, 1912

All day I’ve relived last night’s precious hours. Just at twilight, when earth assumes a mysterious quality of beauty concealed in daylight, I told your father that you’re coming. My beloved’s eyes filled with tenderness as I described my visit to the doctor, but he didn’t comprehend the news! All my romantic plans crumbled, and I had to say bluntly, “Michael, Dr. Allison says we’re going to have our baby. … Michael, we are going to have our son!”

Then his eyes shone with indescribable light as he finally understood. He couldn’t speak, but his delight was the only answer I needed! I couldn’t help the tears that suddenly streamed down my face. Yet they soon dried as he drew me to my feet and gazed into my eyes as deeply as he had on that day long ago when first we met.

Our love has been ready and waiting for this flowering since our first days together, when we discovered that we both desired a large family. Our disappointments about being childless have been keener because of the depth of our desire for children.

Now the single strand lacking in our marriage-for-love is smoothly welded in, and in those hushed and holy moments, we needed no words to make it complete. His joy was as boundless as I wished, and no foreboding intruded on our hours of pure glory.

Michael held me as we watched the last rose-tinted cloud turn slate blue over snow-capped Mt. Rainier. Our souls mingled in a fusion of love great enough to last throughout eternity, of this I’m sure. The chill of the late spring evening had brought a stiff breeze across the lake. We lit a fire in the library, and talked and planned away the whole evening. We spoke, looked into the fire, then spoke again — all about YOU, little son, so wonderful and so very dear to us already.

We added a balcony to the southeast corner guests’ suite, which we always have planned would be a nursery. We built your wading pool, large enough to float your boats but shallow enough for safety. We talked of your first pony, your childhood and your college education. It was our way of rejoicing about your coming.

Last night was a special memory that I’ll treasure forever. Today, prayers soar from my heart to high thrones in Heaven above. Oh, may I have the grace and courage to keep my vows of silence about my fears and dread. I pray that these “waiting” days become gems of beauty and loveliness for Michael to remember.

If Heaven allows me to remain with you, I pray I’ll be wise enough to teach you the difference between brief glittering self-satisfactions and life’s lasting joys. I pray that I may love you lavishly, without trespassing or imposing on your love in any way. I must be strong enough to discipline you in self-reliance and honor, while always showing you the ways of unselfishness and compassion for those who are less fortunate. This is my idea of what would make you a man just like Michael.

Your father, my little son, is rare, born to be a father, unlike so many who become fathers thoughtlessly. Michael, for years so torn between his fears for my safety and his desire for a son, will be a perfect father.

I heard an added tone of tenderness in your father’s voice on the phone today because of YOU! At times, weary with the long wait for you, I’d thought I might never hear that sweet tone, drawn forth from a man’s heart when his wife is going to become the mother of his child.

A man may love his wife dearly, but he pours this special quality of tone upon her only when the door of the children’s room in his heart opens. I know this, you see, because I now love Michael in a new way — as the father of my coming child. So, little son, I’m delighted to give to you such a father — whom I proudly present to you!

Dear little son, the thrill of being used to extend your life from “there” to here is unspeakable! I feel light enough to take off at any moment, too buoyant for gravity’s anchor! I remain wrapped in special radiance, which I feel is a protection and the source of my present ecstasy.

Today, on the terrace, I’ve watched our mountains from every angle. Not every day do they all reveal their beauty together. The mighty Olympics stand in white robed majesty, while the Cascades run swiftly from the north to make obeisance at the foot of towering Mt. Rainier. I take it as a special benediction that they are more magnificent today than I’ve ever seen them, confirming that all my hopes for you, my little son, shall be fulfilled.

How can I ever make you realize how important you’ve been all my life? How near to Heaven will you’ll bring me during the coming months?

The fragrance of thousands of blossoms fills the air, bathing me in their heady perfume. Birds have caroled their ecstatic songs the whole day long, and I’ve missed none of this lavish display, which exactly matches my exalted mood. Everything is more vivid today. As I write, the tall trees to the west delicately trace shadows across the page, as if an invisible hand is writing a message that I can feel in my heart, but am unable to interpret into words.

The morning light has faded to dullness as vaporous clouds begin to veil our mountains (a filmy haze can shroud them so suddenly). The shadow at Mt. Rainier’s base is deepening to a heavy purple that slowly climbs, as if to overtake the tenuous gray clouds.

O, snow-capped peaks! If you could know how high you’ve lifted my soul today! The summits seem to recede as the veil ascends, but my soul follows to rest atop the highest peak still glowing in the light. I’d like to shout with joy and make you hear me! Nothing could prepare me for this glory. Though I’ve always known I’d be overjoyed to have a child, my jubilation defies description. My joy-capacity seems to be expanding! It’s almost too much to contain. I suppose one grows to meet the needed stature for great sorrow or great happiness. Do joy and sorrow, when magnified so greatly, become the keys to unlock the door into the unknown?

Baby son, so tiny and unformed in body now, do you know how very much I love you?

May 24, 1912

Yesterday afternoon we saw the doctor together. Michael’s spirits soared when he heard Dr. Allison’s verdict: “No socializing or extra activities for the next three months.” Such precautions are only sensible. This is the critical period for me, having lost our other babies in the third month, which justifies my desire to be alone with you! I want to become acquainted with my new motherhood, and enjoy pondering all these fascinating questions. I promise to catch up on the reading I’ve saved till I’ve “enough time.”

Exactly as if we’d received exclusive inside information, last night we discovered that we both call you “our son.” We discussed it sensibly, telling ourselves we mustn’t allow the “son” idea to become fixed. We laughed when after an hour or so we heard ourselves calling you “son” again. We decided you could never be anyone else but you. You can only be our son, for whom we’ve waited so long. However, I’m puzzled and intrigued that Michael feels as confidently about this as I do. I wonder why?

Oh! and your father brought nursery wallpaper samples home last night! I’m sure he desires to have the world hear about you — he wants to shout it, so everyone can hear about his son. I hope no buried fears are driving him. While I pray his concerns never awaken again, I couldn’t be better pleased with his delight. I wonder if some unconscious foreknowledge, warning him of the shortness of our time together, has caused him to do this?

He fell asleep while telling me that he wanted us to sit by your nursery fireplace, enjoying our dreams of you together. I couldn’t have asked this of him, lest it remind him of old fears, so I’m deeply grateful he wishes it.

After a long nap, I return full of dreamy speculation and questions. I want to know where you are now. Do you have a body, or are you just a formless spirit-mind roaming in outer space? Are you conscious of what’s happening here? Are you the “invisible” playmate of my childhood, the face I’ve seen in my adult dreams? Are you conscious of us as parents?

Do you stay outside my body now? Do you cramp yourself into the tiny space I provide for you? Are you conscious of building your new body? If not, how is it being built? The more I ponder, the more certain I am that I play no active role in this. Doctors can observe and describe what they’ve learned about laws governing growth and providing the best environment for development and birth.

However, no doctor can prescribe anything and say, “This will form your child’s body.” All my years of preparation leave me ignorant about how to bring you here safely, and where you’ll come from. Since I may depart this world as you arrive, I burn to know the answers. I’ll not allow myself to dwell on possibly leaving earth when you come, but I do want to be better prepared than I am now.

I’ve lived with the thought of you all my life and expected you fervently. I recall my first conscious memories, seeing you beside me, my playmate, though invisible to others. My mother never discouraged me, but listened attentively. She said, “Perhaps, darling,” when I told her you’d promised to someday be my little boy. Strangely, of our many conversations about you, I remember only this one clearly.

I never questioned it until I began this journal, knowing you’re on your way to us. I don’t doubt, but I do wonder about the ways of Heaven. I’m certain that my playmate, the boy in my dreams, and you are the same child. I’ve seen no one like you on earth. I’ve known you always, yet now you feel new and strange. At times, you feel wonderfully close, as if we’ve always been together somewhere. So, I ask, are you coming to fulfill the promise you made when I was small?

Does becoming a mother grant passage into an unknown universe that seems irrational to ordinary thinking? Does mother-love transport one into a dimension between “here” and “there,” in which one can see an indescribable domain with the eyes of soul? How am I to find answers to all these questions? I can think of no one to ask.

I would like to believe that as I lend my body to this great creative process, a door opens through which I may pass on pure faith because my peculiar emotional state opens it to the mind’s eye — not that it’s supposed to remain closed to mortal eyes! I definitely believe someone somewhere can unfold these mysteries, if only I knew where to find the key to unlock the door.

I know this strange restlessness springs from my deep inner joy and love for your father, and this new and most extravagantly growing exaltation about being your mother. So, I’ll call it glorious, since it arises from such love. Can you hear my heart singing its beautiful love song?

May 25, 1912

My little son, fulfillment of all promises, how can I ever describe this joy that burns within as a steady flame? All my fantasies of motherhood’s glories are as nothing compared with the reality that’s burst the frozen bonds of my grief about barrenness.

Joy spills through my heart’s wide-open doors to fill the whole world with a golden light. I’m awed by the mysteries I sense hiding behind everyday life. The world has a hushed quality of deep expectancy. Everything I’ve felt, even the questions I’ve pondered, has been a prelude to a revelation.

I must tell you what happened! Last night’s sunset was a magnificent spectacle, a huge mass of upthrust rays, its brilliance almost blinding. We watched the vast glaciers atop Mt. Rainier shade from rose-pink to deep rose red. The lake below changed hues to match, the whole gradually deepening into the exquisite mulberry tint one so often sees in western sunset skies.

Your father and I were deeply content, and the sunset matched our hearts’ exaltation. We watched until stars dusted the sky, seeming close enough to pluck. None of my earlier questions were bothering me as we prepared for bed, and read awhile. I fell asleep easily, and was not conscious of going anywhere.

Completely relaxed, I found myself floating above what seemed to be a lovely garden, though a pearly radiant mist swirled and embraced me from every direction. As it parted for an instant, I sensed vistas beyond an ordinary garden.

The mist enveloped me again, until I could see only the beautiful mist itself, though an unearthly light pierced its changing colors. As it faded, I saw I was right in both impressions: It was an immense field, but was also an informal garden. I thought someone must love this garden very much to keep it in such beautiful order. Not a wilted leaf or blossom spoiled its perfection. Paths crisscrossed, randomly wandering between low, blooming shrubs and flower beds.

Although whirling haze still obscured my view, at times it left ever-widening pools of clear light. I felt myself slowly descend nearer the flowers. I seemed to recognize the perfume of earthly flowers for an instant during those first blissful moments. The underlying fragrance was like the delicate scent that follows the fall of early evening dew.

Then flowers emerged in form and color. All was fresh and bright, as if gentle rain had just washed their tiny flower-faces and exquisite leaf-garments, kissing them into loveliness. Thousands of bluebells danced atop long stems, as if in time to some stately rhythm. I somehow knew their bells were ringing in joyous freedom! I could faintly hear muted music, like fairy carillons, as I concentrated on listening.

Miniature rose bushes, their half-opened buds in every color imaginable, set the background for other flowers. Pink and blue forget-me-nots, violets, white and pale orchid to deepest purple, were scattered among the roses, as were slender lilies of the valley, snowy white and palest pink. Only the bluebells, azure to indigo, were taller, swaying gaily above them all. The colors and shades remain vivid in my mind’s eye, but words fail me in describing them now.

Suddenly, the mist cleared, as if someone had removed a blindfold. I saw diminutive figures, children wandering across the Field of Flowers! I thought they must be almost two years old, but none seemed much older. Many toddlers sat and played among the flowers while others romped in more active games.

They all wore the same style doll-like costumes, ankle-length tunics fitted from the neckline to the waist, flared slightly to the hem, sleeves belled at the bottom. The delicate, velvety fabric shimmered in pastel flower shades, as if illumined by soft light. The girls’ sashes and bows and the boys’ tasseled cords were in deeper shades of complementary contrasting colors.

I saw all this as I came to rest quite naturally on a pathway in their midst. No one paid me the slightest attention. The silence continued, although their lips were moving. Some carried flowers with stems almost too short to grasp in their chubby little hands. Others beheaded flowers, squeezed them in their tiny palms, then dropped them to begin again, while others tried to weave flower garlands. The scene might have been earthly, but for the children’s clothing and the silence.

My feet seemed not quite to touch the path as I drifted at what would be a slow saunter on earth. I can’t call it walking, for I wasn’t conscious of using my feet at all! As I floated farther, I heard the first sounds besides the bluebells’ music — childish voices laughed and chattered distantly.

I felt wide awake. That’s the peculiar point of this whole “dream” — everything in it felt completely familiar! I still feel as though I’ve often been there before. The echo of children’s voices faded, but I knew something was happening within this vast silence, if only I could hear it clearly.

I found myself standing on a grass terrace facing the large door to a very wide one-story white building bordered by gardens. I felt as though someone had called me to enter, although I heard no voice — so I pushed open the door and stepped inside. The room, which was quite wide but not too deep, was carpeted in a thick white rug and attractively decorated with many chairs, all covered in a lovely matte white fabric.

It appeared empty at first, then I noticed a white-uniformed nurse standing to my right, who held a large book and a pen — she smiled as if she knew me! Another nurse, who held an infant, sat in a chair to my left, as if she were waiting. She was watching a glassy panel high on the wall opposite, just to the right of another large, partly opened door.

Then I saw a third nurse seated at a desk near the rear door, below the glassy panel, which displayed writing that periodically changed. She was writing busily in a large book and seemed altogether absorbed in what she was doing.

The nurse who held the infant wore a squared cap with a blue cross on the front. She smiled at me. Her smile and that baby in her arms drew me like a magnet. I stepped nearer, hoping for a glimpse of the infant. She spoke at once, taking her eyes off the glassy panel for only an instant, saying, “I’m waiting for his call. He’s due on earth any moment, and I’ll be taking him to his mother.

“We take them at the last minute so the pain they must endure with the birth of the new body won’t overly disturb them. He’ll awaken in his new body after they release it from the confining quarters within the mother’s body. Isn’t he sweet?”

She smiled again. I nodded and smiled, as if I knew all about it, which is strange when I think of it now, for I do have a haunting memory of the place! Someday I’ll recall it, if I can only spend enough time quietly pondering. Right now, it’s gone.

I remained beside her chair, unmoving, entranced with the sleeping infant and the thought of a delighted mother on earth, until I heard someone call a name. She rose swiftly and went to the nurse with the book and pen. Softly she said something that the other nurse wrote in the book, then she and the baby disappeared through the door I’d entered.

All this took only seconds. I considered following them to see where and how they went, but hesitated. Trepidation filled me. Was I an intruder in this lovely place? The nurse seated below the glassy panel said, “Welcome. They’re expecting you.”

The rear door opened wide and another nurse, young and quite lovely, beckoned, saying, “Come with me, please.” Her voice was clear and flute-like. She wore a light blue uniform (their uniforms were fitted from the neckline to the hips with widely flaring skirts). Her small cap was round, decorated with a midnight blue cross that glowed!

Although I felt wide awake and could see everything clearly, my thinking was quite vague. I did register that somehow she was important to me, so I went to her. She took my hand in hers and I immediately lost all sense of not belonging there.

She said, “We’re in the General Call Room of a Departure Assembly Group, which includes four buildings for infants and toddlers whose bodies have developed from a few weeks to three years old. You must understand, this is only one Assembly Group of many just like it.”

She led me out the rear door, through a vine-covered pergola, which inscribed a square within a beautiful rectangular garden between the first and a second low, domed building. A large fountain in the center sprayed water that appeared to be sparkling rainbow lights! Tall flowering hedges enclosed the garden’s remaining sides.

We entered the other building, a duplicate of the first in shape and size, but the semblance ceased there, for the entire room was filled with four rows of peculiar-looking bassinets — and each held a slumbering baby! The ceiling dome was fashioned of some iridescent, opaque glass through which shone blurred rays of light that seemed to carry waves of some soft far-off symphony. The effect was like the lingering overtone after chimes have been struck lightly.

The light rays concentrated above each bassinet, constantly changing into a myriad of colored beams. I stopped, my mind full of questions, which my Nurse answered before I could ask them.

“Do you see the rays of light shining through the dome above? Those countless rays continually shower all babies who come to us prematurely. They mature, under this treatment, exactly as they would have gestated within their mother’s body on earth.

“You see, they’ve developed according to the Law of their lives, which they’ve set by the degree of effort they exerted to obey Law. This includes the soul’s striving to awaken the available mental and soul faculties, which it had opened during all previous lives. Some develop to the limit of three years, some to only nine months of proper gestation, others to points between these. This facility houses infants whose bodies have been allowed to develop up to six months of age.

“This Departure Assembly Room is for babies who will be born on earth during the next two weeks,” the nurse explained. Some of them are on call within the next few hours. We put them to sleep here for two reasons: To spare their mothers the anxiety of physical discomfort, and for the child to accumulate strength. The birth ordeal is often more strenuous for the child than it is for the mother.”

We crossed another garden exactly like the first. Its colored light fountain also broadcast soft music-muted voices. The next Departure Assembly Room contained tiny beds instead of bassinets, and the infants here appeared to be about a year old.

As we walked from the front to the rear entrance, the nurse said, “In this building, the rows of toddlers on your left are nearly a year old, and these on your right are one to two years old. The first two rows in the next building hold toddlers up to three years of age.”

Again we entered a garden, which was also decorated with a fountain surrounded with tiny birds, in plumage like unto Paradise, whose beautiful singing was as soft as zephyr breezes caressing the ear! Instead of crossing the next Assembly Departure Room, we turned right toward a wide-open archway at one end.

As we walked between the rows of bassinets, my Nurse told me amazing details. “These babies in the third and fourth rows all came to us after premature birth the last time they went to earth. They’ve never awakened since coming here, although we allow their bodies to develop to three years, as you see.

“We place them in these glass-domed bassinets, which we use here instead of earth-incubators. Specially trained nurses feed them, and massage them with oils. Because of the time needed to restore them to life after their unfortunate experience, we must bring them to special Reception Stations on the Degree between the Children’s Realm here, and the Youth’s Realm just above.

“If they come here during the first weeks of gestation, before the body begins to take true form, we take them to an ‘unacknowledged’ premature Reception Station. If the child’s body has formed enough for the mother to know whether it’s a boy or girl, the Children’s Council considers it an acknowledgment of motherhood, and we take the tiny form to a Reception Station on a higher Degree.

“All work in infant care here, from the time they leave earth until their return, is the duty of these special nurses of the Blue Cross Legion. Each takes her orders from the Great Guard in charge of her child. Overseeing them all is the great Children’s Council, which formulates the individual life-plans, ratifies personal choices and issue orders to the Great Guards. Earth calls them Guardian Angels. Guards and nurses all work together in six-hour shifts to broadcast the regular statements of general moral and ethical values, twenty-four hours a day.

“Blue Cross Nurses assist here, under the direct supervision of the child’s Great Guard, who remains near earth, helping the child to build its new body. The nurse whom the Children’s Council has entrusted with the child’s care, stands beside the bassinet every two hours during the final two weeks. She personally makes powerful suggestions, which are positive statements that impress the child’s memory cells with word-pictures describing the perfect courses of action during its earth life. This, of course, is special work.

“The same nurse makes the suggestions to the sleeping child throughout the time before it arrives on earth. These specialized lessons begin the second the parent cells join, and continue during the nine earth months of gestation.

I’m still thrilled about what she then said! “The same Great Guard also cares for the child’s mother-to-be. When the call comes from the Great Guard on earth that the new body is ready, the Blue Cross Nurse conducts the child to him. She stands with the infant beside the mother, whispering the last instructions until the Great Guard is ready to help the babe breathe into its new body.”

I’m surprised, for I hear your father calling from downstairs — I’d no idea it was so late. I’ve been so absorbed in recording this “dream-experience” that the time has flown. I’ll have to finish my story tomorrow.

I know that nothing can ever dim my remembrance of it, little son. How I wish I could share it with Michael tonight!

May 26, 1912

I’m still tremendously excited about my “dream.” Surely this is only a small portion of what I could learn about this creative process. For now, I’m content to ponder and assimilate what I’ve seen.

This is the truth my eager heart has been demanding. Heaven must veil such truth to hide its glory from unbelieving hearts and prying, skeptical eyes. I’ll continue writing about it, hoping that no one will interrupt me until I’ve finished. God is so good to me, and I’m so happy.

I leaned toward a bassinet and gasped, for the infant inside looked like a French porcelain doll, utterly exquisite. My Nurse said, “This baby girl was born at seven months, lived in an incubator for two months, and passed over three days after being taken home. She’s a special case, a soul who needed only to practice building a body. This soul has rarely gone to earth life before, so she’s inexperienced in body-building, and couldn’t finish developing the brain properly. Such souls as this are drawn by the yearning love of the parents, the mother in this case.

“This child’s parents were an ill-matched pair, who’d met and married quickly. The mother’s completely ‘untouched’ beauty and her great blue eyes attracted him. She desperately desired the experience of motherhood. He told her he was finished with their marriage while she was still in the hospital. She said, ‘Let me show you how much I love you for just two weeks.’ This type of request is against the Law.

“When a soul, such as this man, has nothing left with which to pay a debt, his inablity to meet such a demand could embroil him in a vast soul debt. His acceptance of such love would put him in her debt, with no way to pay.

“The Great Council has four alternate plans remaining for these parents, who will divorce on earth.

“Life will offer the man additional opportunities to overcome his selfishness and lack of empathy. He’ll undoubtedly view some of these experiences as harsh lessons, but he may awaken to repentance. It’s possible that he’ll marry again later and welcome the fatherhood experience.

“The Great Council’s primary plan for the young mother is more hopeful of complete success. Eighteen months after she’s physically recovered from this failed attempt at motherhood with the wrong father, she’ll meet the young man who’s destined to become the father of this child you think so lovely. They’ll spend long hours sharing their dreams for the future and ideals for raising children. Theirs will be a love match with a single and high goal. This will occur as scheduled, if the young mother doesn’t indulge in a bout of self-pity or act in an impetuous way, both of which have been her ages’ long problems.

“When we lose a mother, meaning that her body is unable to fulfill the gestation, the Great Guard and the Blue Cross Nurse must supervise the child and its attendants here until the soul can return to earth. Usually the soul returns to the same parents or, rarely, to a similar couple who are ready for a child.

“These children never awaken here unless a family group member claims them, either someone already here or one who remembers the lost child when they come over to us. We take all ‘claimed’ children to the regular nurseries at once, where they receive the same care, but awaken at the completion of the nine months of incubator gestation. If the child is older than nine months, we gently, gradually rouse it. If an earth-mother grieves about the loss, as this child’s mother has, the Children’s Council considers it a claim, and we take the infant to the regular nursery when it arrives. They all grow up there together.”

Entranced as I was with her explanation, I was also conscious of crossing another broad expanse of lawn, divided by paths, and landscaped with flower beds and shade trees. Marble benches and cushioned deck chairs were scattered about. Nurses sat or walked, and even lay on the grass. I knew without being told that this was their recreation garden.

As we turned left on a wide path and walked toward a broad avenue, I heard again the same children’s voices that had greeted me on the Field of Flowers. I heard no harsh or shrill tones in their shouting and melodious laughter. On the slope far above the playgrounds was a great White City, beautiful beyond imagining. Lights played over each spire, minaret and dome until they all sparkled as if built of rare jewels. A slight upward incline allowed me to see so far.

Grouped above us were many clusters of playgrounds, six circles surrounded by low hedges. Merry-go-rounds, sand boxes, slides and swing sets filled the circles. Each smaller circle enclosed a large round lawn with a fountain in the center. It sprayed colored water-like lights, in which songbirds bathed and trilled. The larger center lawn held four miniature tennis courts, several croquet sets and ring-toss for older children.

I counted twelve nurses, who were uniformed in light blue. Their squared caps, of the same color, had white crosses in front. A head nurse, uniformed in white, wearing a round cap with a blue cross, supervised each circle. They obviously all loved children, for the little ones ran to them for hugs and affection. A nurse gathered a little boy in her arms, held him close and spoke gently until she satisfied the child. She opened her arms and he quickly ran to play.

Nurses, wearing white uniforms and small flared caps with red crosses, were busily on their way in transit, but they didn’t seem to work in the circles.

Another nurse, who sat close to the fountain, spoke to a group of young nurses nearby. She wore a shimmering deep blue uniform and a large flared cap, its blue cross edged with silver. I decided she must supervise all six circles, for she appeared older than any of the others. I watched all this activity in an enchanted joy.

As my Nurse led me toward a wide avenue, she explained that they called the nurses’ uniforms “robes,” and that the shapes and colors of caps and cross insignia designate the different nursing legions, what work they are engaged in, and their rank. She said the nurses who wore a red cross work with earth children only, bringing them to the Children’s Realm.

She touched my hand to attract my attention as she pointed to the avenue. A regal woman in a deep blue robe was coming toward us. Her flared cap resembled a crown with a shining gold cross. “Here comes your Nurse Mother,” said my Nurse.

I wanted to ask why I needed one, but I was too busy admiring her beauty, dignity and general loveliness. Earth might call this Nurse Mother middle-aged, but nothing was “aged” about her. She looked sweetly mature, youthful and gracious.

She stopped several times to speak to nurses, interested in whatever each had to say. She flowed along with that easy floating lightness, nearer and nearer. A golden-haired toddler threw herself into the folds of the Nurse Mother’s widely flared robe, and she lifted the child to cuddle her. The little girl hugged her tightly, then squirmed to get down and dashed off to her playmates.

Suddenly I forgot everything else! I caught my breath and held it. Walking beside the Nurse Mother was a beautiful child, a boy of about four years wearing a navy blue page-boy suit. His hair was dark honey-blonde, his eyes, deep violet, grey-fringed about the iris, were now turned up in laughter toward his nurse. With a tingling shock, I knew! It was my dream-child! The child I’d played with during my early years, the face of my adult dreams.

It was YOU! I stood immobile, unable to speak. However, you felt no such uncertainty. As composed as the most dignified adult, you came, planted your small feet firmly and stood looking at me. Your appraising gaze was steady and grave. Your expression was judicial. When you spoke, my heart began beating again and I could breathe. “Are you going to be my mother on earth?” You continued gazing directly into my eyes, as if seeking something you must’ve found, for you added, “I like you.”

You made no further movement toward me as I knelt and held out my so-hungry arms. You didn’t speak again. You just stood, waiting.

I remember nothing more, for a sound awakened me. I found myself in bed, with Michael sleeping peacefully beside me. Dawn was just breaking and I sleeplessly pondered my strange and unusual experience.

You’re a person in your own right, and evidently have definite likes and dislikes, too. It never occurred to me that you might need to grow accustomed to me as a parent. It seems reasonable, since all babies unfold into parent-awareness, beginning with their first day on earth. Is this why so many children are tragically maladjusted? Perhaps they never learn to like their parents. No one’s told me this, but surely a parent should earn a child’s respect slowly, from the first weeks of its life. Surely you’ll learn to know me “over there,” little son.

Wherever I was during my “dream-visit,” darling, seeing you was so wonderful. You’re beautiful, just as I’ve always pictured you. I’ll seek to learn new ways to earn the right to cuddle you in my waiting arms, both here and “there.” No words can properly express the depth of my love or my new respect for you as a person. You’re my little wise one, and how I do love you!

Since the first day (is it only four days ago), when I was so overjoyed that I must write about you, this fire in my heart has continued to demand expression or it will surely burst within me! I dare not to confide in your precious father, lest my strange questions and dreams disturb him.

It came to me when I awakened — I should use this journal to record these beautiful months. Only so can I ever fully express my love for your father, and if my fears are true, it may be my only means of communication with you.

May 27, 1912

My inner joy steadily increases, and today I’m as elated as when I awakened from my dream-visit to your world. What surprises me most about the “dream” is that it doesn’t surprise me at all! I think I’ve expected it all my life. Nothing was strange about being “over there” or back here. I absolutely accept my dream as the truth I’ve been seeking. Wouldn’t my beloved Michael be completely baffled if he knew even a hint of what I’ve experienced this week?

I’ve never felt so physically alive as I do now, nor was I ever quite so physically inactive since my long year in bed with rheumatic fever. However, I enjoy the quiet while I think about your dignity and poise, wondering if you’ll bring it with you. Sometimes a child stands out, emanating such wisdom we call him or her a “genius,” for it usually accompanies some unusual and outstanding talent.

Does genius lie dormant in all children? Does our ponderous training fail to uncover it in time for a child to use? Do only a few children come to earth with this developed capacity ready to unfold? What I’ve seen and heard suggests further questions. I wonder … Every parent hopes for a brilliant child, but wishing doesn’t produce one. The offspring of many talented parents can be very dull. A reason for these differences must exist! I hope to tap some reservoir of answers to satisfy my curiosity.

I seem to have a greater power of observation. Is it because of this dream? Surely I’ve changed. Is this what the mystics have written about? I hope it lasts! How beautiful it is to find I owe this present joy to you, my son. My delight that a new door to inner consciousness is opening must be responsible for revealing this hidden knowledge.

Just this glimpse into your life before birth shows me you’re both our dearly loved and wanted baby, and an independent person whose individuality commands respect. Your great poise and self-assurance could well develop into a streak of downright stubbornness where your desires are concerned. Those sturdily planted feet suggest an ability to maintain your opinions, to make decisions, then stick to them.

Your father will need all his reserves and knowledge to cope with your independence. Watching you and Michael together would be wonderful. If I should stay to help raise you, surely I could better understand your needs.

Doesn’t that line look innocent? Well, it led me down the path to a bout with self-pity. It’s taken me hours to dig myself out of the pit! This self-imposed anguish was torture to conquer! I can see what my vow will cost in effort unless I carefully erase all such ideas forever! Just one slip can lead to a pit of blackness, I know that now.

Self-pity is cowardice! Unless I banish it, it will consume all my beautiful joy and exaltation. Michael would soon notice if I allowed sorrow to taint my gladness. I couldn’t hide it from his watchful eye. No grief or fear of leaving shall find me unready. I’ll concentrate on loving my best beloved ones and I do love enough to succeed in this! I must!

Little son of all delights, you can’t know how much strength my dream has given me, or how proud I am to give you such a marvelous father — I love you!

May 28, 1912

Molly’s taken it upon herself to see that I obey the letter of the doctor’s orders for rest and quiet for the “young master.” I smile when she finds a way to mention you as the “young master” in front of Michael. Such pleasure animates his face that I want to weep with joy.

It comforts us to listen to her Irishness, for she has “foresight” and believes wholeheartedly in her “second sight.” She casually calls you young master, which means she’s consulted the reigning Deity for confirmation. Even your “realistic” father heeds Molly when she delivers a warning.

Today, when she tucked me in for a nap after lunch, she spoke confidently of how she’ll care for you, which sent my already exalted temperature up another couple of degrees. I took it as another sign that all is well and that I’ll be able to see you here safely.

I’ve loved Molly from the day we met, and we’ve grown close in friendship over these years. She’s been with Michael’s family since she was eighteen, and returned with them from their first trip to England. Since your grandparents are gone, Molly, and our dearest friend, John, who lives next door, will be your “family,” little son. Molly’s exterior is forbidding, but children always love her. She’s wonderful! Strict in discipline, yet she always tempers justice with mercy, and her tenderness is constant. Someday you’ll love Molly, too.

May 29, 1912

Today, as I sit in the sunshine, I’ve thought about how my mother trained me. I’ve been integrating my past and present since the last dream-visit. She taught me to finely balance the ordinary outer world and the inner world of my unseen playmates. She said I didn’t need to justify believing in God or in my playmates, but told me to keep this one secret inviolate, lest others think me “strange,” because so few people on earth comprehend this inner world.

Mother was an angel of understanding, who taught me that God is always available and listens to my prayers. It occurs to me for the first time today, she could “see,” too! Anyway, I owe my unalterable convictions about God to her. I need no arguments to prove my “dream world” is real. My mother taught me nothing is ever lost — no one can kill the soul’s life, for only the body dies.

We cannot kill desire, since it’s our creative impulse, the very heart of our individual consciousness. Without desire, we are merely creatures, living by the urges to eat, to mate and to sleep.

Nothing can take my individual consciousness from me, and I’ll take myself along wherever I go, with all my powers of knowing intact. I’ll be the same person when I arrive “there,” and will have at least as much sense as I use here on earth.

While this “inner” life suits me perfectly, unifying past, present and future, I’ve always known it could clash with Michael’s solidly “here and now” religious beliefs. It might distress him, though he’d seek to adjust to it because he loves me. I regret that I can’t share it with him, but it might disturb our beautiful life together if he knew. I must maintain an ever finer balance between the two distinct lives I lead: The one with you there, the other here, with Michael.

My newly expanded dream world will require greater delicacy to handle. Selfishly centering my whole life around you would be easy, but if I were so absorbed that I neglected your father to be with you, I’d surely lose both worlds. Undoubtedly, selfishness is no part of your world. Anyone who becomes unbalanced about religious matters was already unstable. Perhaps a lack of self-discipline accounts for it.

Pondering an inner world might be dangerous for one who has little capacity for rational thinking, who lives lightly by emotions. The richness of this inner life should enhance life in the outer. I’ll continue to lavish all my love on Michael while I seek perfect balance between the two worlds, with all my strength and wisdom.

I’ve been analyzing the reason for my dream. I feel I should somehow prepare to see you again, but I can’t decide what direction to take. It’s elusive. I go just so far, then it escapes me. I think it depends more on what I feel than on what I think before I sleep.

Mounting happiness and joy filled me with deep contentment. I felt so tender toward Michael that my indescribable love overflowed to him. I dropped off to sleep yearning because I dare not take him fully into my confidence. I slept easily, and awakened over there without shock. My body was light as thistledown.

Everything fits and leads me further into a life that reassures me — a real place with real people doing real deeds, easily, simply and un-mysteriously! I was conscious there, then conscious here, both places rational and believable. I returned, knowing that you exist, as I’ve always known you.

My former vague hopes have become abiding truths. Of course, psychology would rationalize my dream as a natural product of fifteen years of frustration and disappointment. They would say satisfaction of my deep longing for a child was a great shock, enough to force all the “stuff” up from the depths of my subconscious mind, and there you have it — enough fantasy material left over to weave into a whole brood of heavenly children!

However, you’re not the figment of an overwrought imagination, feverish with self-delusion. It’s the other way around! You are you, and I know it! You’re not an illusion or a vague dream image. The memory of you has held me captive with a commanding desire to bring you to earth. My longing for you, arising from the depths of a remembered past together, has brought you at last. I believe I’ve opened the way for you by clinging to my desire, by never yielding. Somehow I planned that I must be your mother and this has held your sweet face before my inner sight throughout the years.

I realize love is the key to this new world! Is it mother-love alone, or does it encompass all unselfish, giving love? Yes! Right now I know that love, great enough to open that invisible door, must be unselfish, and fueled by joyous expectancy! It must be a spontaneous offering, unconscious of being sacrificial.

It must be an innocent giving, with perfect simplicity of purpose, and no thought of getting. You must act with your whole heart just because it is the perfect thing to do!

Little son of my heart, I know I’ll see you again! I love you.

May 30, 1912

Another lovely day to match the expectancy in my heart. I know I’ll see you again! I lend myself in perfect confidence to this mysterious rapture.

This light within must be akin to the exaltation of the gods! An unspeakably lovely current seems to flow through me from a distant star source, glowing like a river of light as it fills me, fed constantly by its unseen source.

It permeates me, then wells fountain-like from my toes to cascade downward again, bathing my body in rainbow hues. In its passage, it quickens a new perspective and awareness.

My new appreciation of love opened inner doors last night. Your father’s delight filled my heart to bursting with protective love for him. I dropped into slumber slowly, my heart so overflowing with love and thoughts of Michael’s happiness that I returned from the edges of sleep to smile at him.

At my last waking moment, I thought I heard your voice calling me. I distinctly remember touching the fringes of that same complete relaxation I felt on my first dream-visit. My last thought was if they would allow me another glimpse of you. Then I was gone.

Hazily I realized I was above the Field of Flowers again, settling down on a path. I was there with no sense of leaving or arriving! The mist was thinner, and did not swirl so rapidly. It also cleared sooner this time. The field was much larger than I’d thought at first. It was still full of children, who looked as if they’d been playing ever since my visit.

I noticed older girls (they looked to be about six years old) helping others play games. The children formed a circle with a little one in the center, whom a six-year-old crowned with a garland that fell apart! The flowers had almost no stems!

Blue Cross Nurses held babies, while others escorted tiny tots from a building just above the first Assembly Room. They left these children to play and took others back with them.

Then I began to hear sounds. (My ears seem to open after my eyes.)

I settled near the sweetest, saddest two-year-old I’ve ever seen. He sat with tears like pearls running down his rosy cheeks, crying silently then bursting into heartbroken sobbing, his baby voice calling in real grief, “Mommy, Mommy, Mommy.”

From somewhere I produced a handkerchief, knelt beside him and wiped his eyes. I crooned, patted him and reached to cuddle him, but his sobs became such loud wails I hastily withdrew and looked around to see if anyone had noticed me touching him.

His tears flowed, and he sobbed and called with such regularity, I knew he’d been crying for a long time. No one noticed me any more than they seemed to notice him.

My heart ached to watch him and I began to wonder at the indifference of those nurses who stood by doing nothing!

I felt a strange sense of despair that such grief was possible in this place of beauty, where I’d supposed only happiness could exist, a baby weeping all alone and unattended!

Surprised by such a lack of compassion in Heaven, I stood and turned to find someone to help him. I saw a long line of Blue Cross Nurses approaching from a tall white building below the Assembly Room I’d toured in my first dream visit.

When the first nurse reached the child, she knelt and repeated the same tactics I’d used just moments earlier. It didn’t work.

Each nurse crooned, wiped his eyes, tried to lift him and every time his wails increased in volume. Several dozen nurses tried to pacify him, but nobody pleased him. He wanted his Mommy and was inconsolable without her.

As the last nurse knelt, I thought, what will they do? I was about to ask when another nurse walked toward the child from the upper end of the field.

Her robe and cap were the same, nothing distinguished her from the others I’d seen. She had no outstanding coloring or features, she looked no sweeter, no younger or lovelier.

As she approached, she softly called a name that I couldn’t hear. His sobs ceased instantly as he turned and looked at her, though tears still rolled down his cheeks. Where all the others had left him cold and sorrowing, he responded to her.

I watched the miracle with awe. The toddler, who had been unconscious of or indifferent to everyone a moment before, opened his eyes to their widest extent and smiled through his tears.

His little arms shot up, he gave a glad cry, “Mommy, Mommy, Mommy,” and tried to gather his chubby legs under him to stand.

He allowed the nurse to cuddle him closely as she whispered the same loving reassurances the others had used to no response. She had somehow answered his heart’s call.

He wrapped his dimpled arms around her neck, his tears dried by whatever magic this nurse held for him. He gurgled baby prattle in her ear and plastered her cheeks with moist kisses as they made their way across the Field of Flowers.

I couldn’t fathom it, but I knew he was happy in his choice of a mother-nurse. I understood that they allowed him to choose.

It didn’t surprise me when I turned to find my original Nurse escort. Her sudden appearance was no shock after what I’d just witnessed! She led me to a marble bench at the field’s edge and immediately began to answer all my questions.

“Often, when babies come over alone,” she said, “either after a sudden illness or abruptly, as in an accident, they are as unhappy here as they would be on earth if their mother didn’t come when they called.

“Their fright-panic isn’t quite as great here, but can be just as hard to handle if the child is difficult to please. We do have complete facilities for caring for them, and it’s only a matter of time until we find someone who has the same or nearly the same, rate of vibration.

“Of course, children respond to the rate of vibration most nearly like their earth mother. We send each type until we find the right one.

“Some well-balanced children, who are naturally cheerful and wise, never miss earth after they arrive. They instantly recognize their past heavenly Nurse Mother when they see her, and their earth experience becomes the dream instantly.

“That little fellow didn’t remember his former Nurse Mother, who’d left him just before you arrived.

“Other children, who’ve been rebellious and resentful, indulging in moody, difficult dispositions on earth, bring those qualities with them, and are even more difficult over here.

“We bring such children to this Field of Flowers and send nurses until they choose one. Usually they’re happy at once, but sometimes a child will show such indifference that we must choose for them. We may have to replace the child’s nurse several times before we settle it.

“Occasionally we must wait for a mother arriving here with an earth-vibration close enough to the child’s mother to satisfy the child. The earth-vibration fades quickly, so we must be prompt. Some children you see here now would respond only to such a nurse.

“We take all other children up through the Realms on their arrival, to visit everywhere and reacquaint themselves.

“Finally we bring them to the Nurse Mother who had charge of them here, before they left for earth. They stay with her until they thoroughly adjust, then they commence their lessons. She is their Guardian until they are twelve years of age, if they grow here, or until they’re reborn on earth.

“We never have ‘problem children’ here, although we’ve thousands of problems to resolve with our children.

“We continue seeking ways to solve the adjustment difficulties until the child is content. Otherwise, they’d never grow up, never learn their lessons or unfold. The whole Children’s Realm is one vast school of child-training.”

The Nurse took my hand, and we headed down toward the terrace I could see beyond the hedge bordering the Field of Flowers.

Then I began to feel my earth body, feeling the life forces pulsing upward from my feet to my head.

It was early morning again, with dozens of birds perched on the branches outside our windows, chirping loudly. Your father was sleeping quietly, looking extra dear. I felt as though I’d been gone days instead of a few hours.

My dream was as clear as the morning light in our room, as if it were just happening, and I heard the voices as well. Even now, in late afternoon, every detail is clear as I write for you to read someday.

I feel this door to dream-life is opening because I may leave earth after your birth. These dreams must be part of some instruction to prepare me for taking up my life “over there,” compensation while I’m here, making it easier to keep my vows. I pray that someone will soon tell me.

Little son, I love you and wait eagerly to see you again. How long will it be? Will you love me by then?

Do you know that I come to your world at night? Are you too busy to think about your new mother-to-be? Whatever the answers, I’m a happy woman!

June 17, 1912

I’ve been quietly flat on my back since my last entry!

It all began with a fainting spell, followed by violent abdominal spasms. Doesn’t that sound beautiful? To be able to write those words in this book is my own private miracle.

I fainted several times and was very nauseated. It was a delicate situation because of my old heart. They had two nurses for me through the worst of it.

Too ill to think of anything else, I did remember to concentrate on getting you here. I just had to hold onto you! I smiled when they praised me for being so “good,” as if I were doing this for me!

If I stay in bed for the next three months, the doctor said he believes “we” will be safe. Michael’s confidence that you’ll arrive right on schedule is supreme, without a trace of fear. The doctor said it was more difficult because of my age, just when I feel so young!

Your importance to Michael makes me determined to concentrate my full powers of mind and body. I’ll fulfill my mission of giving you an earth body, little son.

Both Michael and Molly wondered at my tranquility while so ill, because whenever I could speak, I reassured them that everything was all right.

I know that any power I possess now is because I am your mother. I’ve been touched repeatedly with that unearthly radiance and glory until I’m no longer just Claire Matthews.

I draw strength and courage from your world, remembering your sweet dignity and beauty. Something outside myself compels me to bring you to us.

I’ve sought to recall my dreams while dozing so much, but they’ve all been quite vague. I was often conscious of children’s voices while I seemed to be just floating above the gardens. Once I recall sitting on a marble bench, but I never held a contact for long.

Here comes Molly with fruit juice and a not-to-be-put-off expression, so bye for now, dear little son. I do love you extravagantly.

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June 20, 1912

Darling, they are redecorating your nursery suite! I love this surprise!

I’m still in bed, but everyone brims with excitement and the house has been filled with subdued noise for days.

I seem to need more sleep, but I don’t recall any dreams. Days are slipping by too fast, leaving me less time with Michael.

We’ve so much to discuss, and it all concerns YOU! I want to build word-pictures with Michael, pictures he’ll remember.

We’ve not entertained much since John Farnsworth, our closest neighbor, has been away. John is Michael’s lifelong best friend and dear to me; I wish John were here now.

I’m tired again and will nap. I love you dearly.

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June 21, 1912

I slept well last night, but didn’t dream.

How shall I ever regain my former tranquil state of mind that accompanied my first rapturous exaltation and supreme joy?

I pray, but contact nothing higher than the ceiling in the room! I love you even more, but I miss the deepened glory I felt before this illness.

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June 22, 1912

Molly has been driving to the city with Michael every day since I’ve been sitting up. What is she doing and why?

I suppose that she is buying enough supplies for the house to last until after you’re here. She buys large amounts to save time, and she wouldn’t want to leave me alone after the nurse is gone. I confess that I do feel better when someone is within call.

I’m lonely. They deny me all visitors, allow no phone calls. I’ve heard Michael and Molly tell callers that I was seriously ill and recovering.

I had to laugh to myself this morning when I heard Molly and Katie out in the hall, speaking in stage whispers about my “delicate condition.”

Michael and I have talked about it often, agreeing that it is too late to tell any child of life’s mysteries by the time they are old enough to ask. Michael will have inducted you into them long before that.

We both feel that such things should be as common to a child’s growth as brushing teeth or putting on shoes. With the whole animal kingdom available to watch in all its phases of life, its creative mysteries become as perfectly natural as breathing to a child.

Darling, do you know how much I love you and long to see you again? I dream of “dreaming” of you.

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June 27, 1912

I wrote my last entry sitting well snuggled in blankets, though it was a warm day outside until early afternoon. It turned raw and quite blustery with occasional rain squalls.

They kept the room temperature right for me and I felt fine, with no reason for getting chilled, but I did. I began shivering. I shook my way through the day and ached for two days, so they kept me in bed.

Today the doctor promoted me to my favorite terrace corner and it feels good. I’ve watched the birds and the lake, and read a while. Books almost bore me now that I’ve plenty of time for reading.

Molly’s daily trips to the city continue — she and Michael have a conspiratorial air they don’t try to hide. They look more smug, day by day, and I want to ask what they are doing, but their self-satisfied expressions won’t let me.

I’ve no desire to please them by asking. They can just tell me or I’ll remain in ignorance. They’ve always shared everything with me. Why do they act this way now, when I’ve been so alone and confined to the house?

Later: I napped for only a short time when I came awake with a bang! A delivery truck drove to the side entrance and I watched them unload nursery furniture! That is the big mystery!

Molly and Michael have been shopping for my son’s nursery furnishings without letting me know anything about it. They plan to surprise me!

I’m so grateful to discover this when I’m alone. I need time to adjust to this hurt. I may have no right to feel hurt, but I am!

I may not be well enough or able to shop, but after planning for fifteen years to build and furnish your nest myself, this is a shock! How could they do this to me when I love them so much?

Oh, my darling, your mother is selfish and weak! All my wonderful vows to protect Michael swallowed in this first event that upsets me in my possession of you.

Here I am, jealous of anyone who shares any small part of you with your father, because you seem so totally mine. I know I wrote that this time, when you’re so real to me alone, is a greater measure of possessing you than he could ever have.

I still mean it, but it is one thing to make high-sounding vows, almost to boast of my great courage, yet another to be brave and unselfish when faced with an act of trespassing against my selfish little “self.” What happens to high vows then?

Pride in self-control is worthless when my heart is so full of feeling purposely left out, so full of loneliness — grief arises uninvited, to rob my soul of joy. This is a paved highway down to the pit of self-pity that could wreck all my plans for Michael’s happiness.

Yet how do I stop it? Is there any easy way to eliminate this stupid thinking? When my courage has faded to nothing? How can I push this silly hurt into a corner of my heart until I can reason myself into accepting what I already know?

I know Molly and Michael have done this for love of me, all for me. I love them greatly enough to appreciate this, but a wall stands between my love and my hurt. They’re miles apart. I must confine my tears to a corner while the rest of me acts as if everything is all right.

I know our Great Guard will send special lights from your beautiful land to help me when I really want to conquer this more than I want anything else in the world.

Michael dearest, you are my beloved, you are! I’ll not allow feelings that are not even true to bother me. I’m growing strong and more courageous and I’ll renew my beautiful serenity of spirit. I do love Molly, too, very much.

Dearest son with the beautiful violet eyes, love me someday, please?

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June 28, 1912

I’ve been in bed all day after my first dinner downstairs. I ate, but the shock spoiled my appetite.

Michael and Molly were delighted when they returned. I smiled and tried to talk, but couldn’t manage the gaiety proper to the event. They thought I was tired after my day outside. It hurt me to watch Michael’s beautiful glow fade in his concern for me.

I’ve never felt selfish before, and I’m unable to cope with this new despair in my heart. I’ve allowed myself to fall from the heights of exaltation into this muddy pool.

The hurt is unbearable, my doom inescapable. I know they’ll call me over there. I dislike myself intensely for this ugly selfish trait.

I dare not weep. That would fix me! They’d call the doctor! The tears have spread across my whole heart. I couldn’t keep them in just a corner.

I welcomed any sacrifice to become a mother, yet today I rebel about nothing. But how can I bear to leave Michael’s loving comfort and protection? How can I bear to leave you?

I want you for a long earth life. It no longer satisfies me that they may allow me to see you safely within your father’s arms. That is no comfort today. I want all of you and to be part of your new life.

How can I face these long months without telling him about my fears and wild longings? How can I hide it from him? How can I ever do this without his tender understanding?

I’m so weak! I keep telling myself how utterly selfish I am. Deep down I know I mustn’t spoil Michael’s joy in his son by making him sorry for his wife. I can’t send him from me as joyless as he was this morning.

How can I stop myself? How can I conquer my puny but determined “self” that has usurped my soul’s glory with its base desires? Where can I find the courage? I must draw upon strength from a greater source than any I’ve ever known.

How grateful I am that Michael phoned to say he wouldn’t be home till late. Surely I can manage to hoist myself out of this pit before he arrives.

I can clean my house now that I’ve written the worst of me here to see what pitying myself does. My petulant, self-pitying traits make me ashamed, but not quite ashamed enough!

Self-pity can slip up in so many ways, in so many guises. This day by day plodding the long boring stretches is the worst of the conquering.

It is some task I’ve set myself, little son, to dry up the tears in my heart. Being sorry for “me” is profitless, it does no good and hurts too much inside while it is happening.

Self-indulgence pays no dividends and I’m not going to indulge myself any longer! I’m finished with unworthy thoughts!

Goodnight, baby mine.

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June 29, 1912

I’m on the terrace again today. Everyone agreed that I should spend the day here, walking slowly a few times for enough exercise. We may have dinner out here this evening, too, if the weather is good.

I awakened refreshed, ready to greet the Olympics. They stood out, white and free, against banks of clouds, grey where the mountain tops touched them, turning pure white as they rose upward, looking exactly like another and higher range of mountains against the sky.

I greeted Michael with the real Claire last night. I was someone else, whom I don’t admire, yesterday morning. I feel more foolish by the hour after comparing the difference between my life plans today and what they might have been years ago.

My old plan didn’t include leaving Michael when our baby came. Now I know I shall.

I must have been unconsciously jealous of Molly’s influence on Michael and their closeness and devotion.

Such a complete feeling of being left out couldn’t have sprung fully blown from my heart over nursery furnishings. It flared up too suddenly, almost violently.

I must have buried the seed years ago — and it needed only my hidden foreboding about leaving you both to bring it to full life.

I’m ashamed to admit all this, but I’m really working to conquer it. It’s still a terrible struggle, despite my high resolves about what I want to be and do for Michael and you.

Neither Michael nor Molly tried to hide anything from me. They just conferred privately to surprise me.

I told them what I wanted and they carefully carried out my wishes. I should have guessed what they were doing!

Instead my little self made me feel lost and unwanted. How little self-pity it would take to ruin a whole life. Those horrid hours erased every trace of my exaltation. A fancy price to pay for nothing!

I’m grateful for one thing already, the “I” that loves them and appreciates what they’ve done for me is great enough to outweigh the “little me” that begrudges them the pleasure of doing something loving for you.

You’ll be quite safe in such loving hands. Molly will love you and devote her whole life to you. What more could any mother ask for a son she must leave?

Molly cared for both Michael and John when they were young, and loves them devotedly. Why shouldn’t she shop for you? I would have asked her help, even if I’d been strong enough to do it all.

I couldn’t face the future or get you here safely without Molly’s constant attendance and faithfulness. I need her.

Michael’s delight in your nursery is what I planned and prayed for — that he would be so content he would forget past fears, storing enough happiness to help him pass the trial by fire ahead.

Surely our Great Guard has held me through this emotional storm, and he’ll help me the rest of the way.

I may not feel noble always, but I’ll learn to act as if I am a happy woman! No more forgetting my common sense, no more fretting about events beyond my control, no more distorted emotional indulgences.

I’ll win back my inner joy about your arrival and make it the constant undercurrent of our lives. Nothing less than this shall satisfy me.

May I prove strong enough to keep Michael happy. Love must be the source of my courage, I see that now. Love shall make me strong enough.

I know that my love must be giving, not greedy demanding-for-self that clutches so tightly it squeezes love to death.

Dr. Allison said he is sure my heart will remain strong enough, provided I remain quiet. I can do anything within reason, if I do it quietly enough.

I’ll be quiet — after all this baby is mine, not his.

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June 30, 1912

Today is glorious! And my heart matches the day!

I truly think my experience with semidarkness (it was never fully dark) has been good. I appreciate the rebirth of glory in my heart with more fervent praise for its heavenly source.

I feel safe within the circle of your father’s arms — nothing can get past his protecting love to interfere with our happiness. I watch for his beautiful waking smile in the morning. It’s always radiant.

Michael is taking Molly to luncheon today — as a special thank-you for her hard work on the nursery is my guess. Now that I’m up and around, Michael looks youthful again. Being conspirators becomes them.

Without realizing it, we had all settled into a stodgy way of living. Children keep one alive, alert and young.

You are Michael’s desires come true, little son, and his heart’s yearning satisfied.

Just where are you, by the way? For my foolishness, am I barred from seeing you?

I hope not, for I love you more each day. I love you so very, very much, precious one.

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July 1, 1912

Although permitted to sit and write, I’m in bed today. Yesterday was strenuous.

After a wonderful dinner, Michael asked in the most casual way, if I were up to a visit to the nursery. I declared myself ready for anything!

I was beginning to feel as if they were never going to ask me to see it! How eagerly I’ve waited for this invitation.

Michael mentioned a “little surprise” as he helped me upstairs. He had me close my eyes and guided me into the nursery until he said “ready.” I wish I could describe how surprised I was!

Molly stood by the fireplace, radiant with joy, one hand on a beautiful bassinet made up with blankets and a tiny pillow. In a corner stood your first crib! I nearly wept!

Your father has waited so long for you, does he imagine you’ll arrive ready for a crib? Molly got the bassinet. I can’t imagine you rattling around in a crib for the first few weeks and neither could she!

The room is lovely beyond my wishes. I praised them extravagantly while they recounted the details of their search. I never knew my approval meant so much to them. I’m a fortunate woman, little son. They will care for you perfectly.

They showed me had upholstery and drapery samples, and wanted me to select new rugs. God is so good to me! We chose white, fluffy rugs, which remind me of my dream-visits, as I hope they will make your “new” home more familiar.

Today, Molly and I had a long talk. I praised her again for all she’s done. She made a strange remark — she’s been searching for something I’ll need.

She’s hinted at this several times, now that I think about it. What can she be thinking of? Something necessary.

Can she mean maternity gowns? Oh no! Not that! I’m sunk if it is!

All my dresses, shirtwaists, and skirts are much too tight, but if Molly chooses my clothes, I’ll never dare look at myself in a mirror! Her taste is so old-fashioned! I may be glad of my forced retirement after all!

Why did I pursue her hints and earn this to reconcile myself to — Molly selecting my wardrobe? Woe is me!

She is an expert with foods, running a huge household and managing staff, but she is no fashion expert.

I love Michael, surprises and all and I love Molly dearly. I’ll just have to love this, too, whatever she brings.

Little son, did you know I’ll be feeling your heart beat soon? How I’ll love it! Still, precious one, when am I to see you again?

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July 2, 1912

Today I enjoyed my first short stroll on the terrace. The soft lake breeze flutters the tall poplars’ leaves, sending a million shadows dancing across the bricks.

The perfume of roses and honeysuckle mantles me in an intoxicating fragrance. A huge bumblebee has lighted on the table and looks at me with solemn, judicious eyes. The hummingbird that nests near the terrace just paused to consider the wisdom of seeking nectar in my ear, then darted away, almost at the speed of light.

Contentment fills my errant heart with deep joy, as if this stupid self-pity had never been. Today’s loveliness makes a Heaven right here.

You and your father will be wonderful companions. He’ll teach you to ride just as soon as you can sit on a pony. We’ve always kept saddle horses in the stable north of John’s place.

I wish they had horses in Heaven, because I just love to ride. I suppose that’s too much to expect.

I had another dream-visit! I’ve been peeking heavenward, hoping the doors would open again.

Last night, I found myself sitting on a marble bench near the building where the Nurse first spoke to me. She arrived immediately, took my hand and said, “Come.”

We walked past the low building I’d entered on my first visit, and turned right onto a path between tall flowering hedges. The blossoms, arrayed in every conceivable pastel shade, hung like wisteria, and each cluster swayed as the bluebells do, probably to the same rhythm.

We turned up a stairway and entered a building on the left. (The building must have more than one story because spiral stairways led to a balcony on either side.)

We crossed a narrow room, and passed through a wider archway onto a colonnade with widely-spaced pillars. I stood there, looking into infinity!

The steps led down to a terrace as broad as earth’s greatest boulevard, paved with a beautiful rosy material that looked as if someone had strewn it carelessly with jewels before it solidified. Jewels they were, but their setting subdued the brilliance to a soft glow.

Everything seemed filled with a quiet activity, an undercurrent of sound, a tone just within hearing. It was like music permeating the senses, and seemed to keynote the activity to a certain tempo.

Thousands of nurses were passing. Each accompanied a child. Some held an infant or a toddler, and others walked with older children at their sides. Some children talked to their nurses, and others laughed.

(I heard their voices, yet I can’t call the tone “sound.” This is strange, and I must find out about it.)

Other nurses carried children who appeared old enough to walk, although they looked dazed or asleep. Some clung to their nurses as if afraid, and others wept broken-heartedly, exactly as had the little boy on the Field of Flowers.

I saw no haste or loitering.

The Nurse spoke: “These are premature infants and children to three years of age. They’ve just left their bodies and their nurses are bringing them from earth.

“The building behind us is their Reception Station, and that next building is their Departure Station. Those buildings beyond are the Reception and Departure Stations for children up to four years of age. The stations alternate in this manner all the way along the Grand Terrace, in groups of two, each set for an older age group.

“Only the ‘unacknowledged’ premature leave from the Assembly Room you visited originally.”

The Nurse beckoned me to follow her. We went to the outer edge of the terrace and the view was awe-inspiring. They rightly named the Grand Terrace, for it is grand! It stretched away in either direction, disappearing in swirling pearly mist.

Great stairs ran down its entire length into an expanse of mist so vast it made me dizzy.

She pointed and said, “The Adult Reception and Departure Stations are behind those great gates just beyond the Field of Flowers.”

I looked in the direction she was pointing and saw the widest gates I’ve ever beheld. They were closed, but could open onto an avenue wider than the Grand Terrace.

As I followed the course of this avenue upward, I saw many narrow byways running from it until it finally disappeared in the lovely mist. Vague figures appeared through the light mist that occasionally swirled about me for a few seconds.

Nurses passed carrying tiny bundles wrapped in some fluffy white material that looked much softer than earth cotton and smoother than earth wool. I knew they must be carrying earth’s unformed premature babes because their bundles were completely covered.

Other nurses held bundles opened at the head, so I concluded their bodies must be more completely formed. As I watched the babies whose heads were uncovered entirely, I supposed they must have taken a breath on earth, because they looked different from those I knew had been stillborn.

One appeared alive, just sleeping, while another stillborn had a waxen look. All at once, it struck me — mothers on earth were grieving right now for the loss of these infants.

How wonderful it would be if they could only know how loving hands receive their babies in such a glorious place, how tenderly the Nurse Mothers care for them.

A nurse brushed close enough for me to see the infant laying lifeless in her arms. Its ashen appearance reminded me of “death” where only life should be.

I was more puzzled than ever. How could this be? How could they bring these lifeless bodies alive again?

Before I could ask, an unusual sight caught my attention. All I’d seen until then was the activity on the Grand Terrace.

Now I saw nurses stepping from tiny clouds just below the Terrace. Others waited until the clouds came to rest along the Terrace edge.

As the nurses from below stepped off the clouds, other nurses with infants or older children got on and glided into space, downward out of sight. Some clouds held several nurses and their charges.

I couldn’t see any special order to this continuous activity, the clouds just floated up easily, and off again. Occasionally, the collection of clouds and nurses became congested.

When the whole Grand Terrace edge was full, the clouds stopped a few stairs below, and the nurses climbed the stairs.

Hundreds of clouds arose from the mist until they became fully visible. Had I arrived on a cloud? The Nurse spoke, and I forgot to ask.

“Watch that nurse,” she said, pointing to one who held no child. She had a red cross on her squared cap, then I realized very few crosses were of other colors.

Occasionally, a nurse went by without a cloud, gone in what earth terms a “twinkling,” and I couldn’t see her cross.

The nurse she referred to stopped a moment and beckoned to a tiny, unoccupied cloud floating over our heads (they must travel everywhere, even above us).

The cloud came to rest just before her, she stepped on, and instantly it began its downward flight to earth. I’d thought they were all just lazily floating, but this one flew so fast I lost sight of it in the mist within a heartbeat.

My Nurse said, “The Great Guard has called her to earth to receive a baby she delivered and settled into its new body nearly six months ago. It will take its last breath on earth at the instant she arrives to receive it.

“Many children ‘go out’ at birth or in infancy for a variety of reasons. The bloodstream is the vehicle of the egoic soul, which seeps in to vitalize and quicken the heart and lungs.

“If the soul fails to possess the body quickly enough, the vitality level may fail and the soul will lose the body. A ‘blue’ baby moves in too fast, which damages the heart.

“Some children come over later, in their sleep. The silver cord that connects soul to body should coil in the bundle within the heart where the two parent cells are found. When it coils around the heart, it squeezes it to death.

“Someone, a nurse of the Red Cross Legion or a Great Guard, meets every soul who leaves earth. However, the Blue Cross Nurses who escorted them to be born always meet and receive the infants who leave.

“Those you see with empty arms are descending to receive infants leaving earth soon. The Children’s Council always allows plenty of time, unless something unexpected happens on earth to send one ‘out.’”

She suddenly turned me to watch a nurse who didn’t wait for a cloud, but took off from the edge of the Grand Terrace flying faster than my eye could follow into the mist below! Before she disappeared, I noticed she wore a winged cap with a blue cross.

The Nurse inclined her head, as if listening to a voice I couldn’t hear. Turning, she said, “The Children’s Council called her to receive a little girl who was killed in an earth accident not scheduled to happen.

“Such disasters sever the silver cord, so that nurse must act quickly or the child’s soul will float too far from the accident scene for us to identify her easily without searching many records here.

“The silver cord is divine substance, which acts as a link, joining all life expressions into one great Life Pattern of the Living Soul. Lights play upon the silver cord after transition as the soul reviews its life, assimilates the experiences recorded upon it, and adds them to its universal soul records.

“Sudden accident cases and unclaimed premature cases are frequently ‘lost’ because no ‘lights’ play on their silver cords. That makes it difficult to match the ends of the cord between the soul and the earth body. The Guards must search records for the exact combination of colors in the silver cord, then reattach the cord to restore identity.

“The nurse will bring the infant girl here to the Children’s Realm, while the mother’s Great Guard will take her to the adult Reception Station.

“The mother lived for a short time, so she did not sever her silver cord accidentally, but she lost her life and sent out her child through her carelessness. The Great Council will allow them to see each other when they awaken over here.”

I wasn’t conscious of returning this time. It surprises me that I can recall every detail perfectly, and each is so vivid.

I can repeat the Nurse’s words as if hearing them now. How this can be? I suppose I must wait for the answer, since I can’t discern it for myself.

Today convinces me of one point: A definite reason backs every event on earth. My experience also convinces me definite Laws govern contact between Heaven and earth, if one can find the key to open the door.

I believe the key is love. It is somehow tied to joy and sacrifice, although I know lots of folks who have sacrificed much but never “see” anything behind the veil.

What is the right “combination” for “entering the kingdom of Heaven?”

I also wonder why the Great Council chose this Nurse to conduct me around the Realms — and when will I see you? These and a dozen more questions buzz in my mind, waiting for answers.

I begin to feel Heaven has given me the right key. If I could only fit it in the lock, I could reach out, open the door and there you would stand, waiting for me.

I must see you soon! I love you, I love you, my son, I love you!

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July 3, 1912

The lake is angry today, the sky completely overcast. Sailboats have sought shelter, and only the hardiest sailors still tack about before the rising wind. They bow and bend to the waves breaking over their prows and pouring off cascades of spray.

My spirits point high. I’ve unfurled my sails to catch the heavenly breeze coming my way from the river of life.

I’m foolishly delighted because Michael was more open with me last night than ever. He told me of his luncheon talks with friends.

They are all fathers and some have become grandfathers. For fifteen years he has listened silently to their talk of children. Now they rejoice with him about his coming fatherhood! They are really curious about the business of motherhood, child care and training.

It never occurred to me that they would discuss this! I never realized how little I know of what goes on behind the front most men parade before the world.

Women have not cornered interest in life. We probably just talk about it more.

Never has Michael appealed so to my mothering quality. I’ve always wanted to comfort him when he is weary or worried, and I would like to protect him.

He looked so vulnerable as he sat on the bed telling me all this. I held him and said he is one day nearer to holding his son.

Darling, please remember always, though we are blessed with every good thing earth can offer, without you we would have nothing.

You’re vital to us and we welcome you with great love!

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July 4, 1912

I can’t understand why I awakened at dawn and found my old fear haunting me.

The first bird calls accompanied tears streaming onto my pillow, tears for which I’ve no reason. It frightened me to wake up sobbing.

I looked at your father hastily, but he was sleeping. My tears stopped the instant I awakened to what I was doing. I was glad I’d been silent enough not to disturb him.

It took two hours to calm myself. Why did I do it?

I’ve been lonesome for you and I don’t recall being in your Realm, but surely such weeping must have a deeper basis than that. It must be rooted in that old self-pity.

I’m determined not to hinder you with some emotional flotsam that makes me cry in my sleep. Michael made me stay in bed, saying I looked pale. Since I can think better there, I did not object.

This morning’s overcast skies cleared and Michael went to play golf. He’s given up so many activities since we learned you’re coming. A golf match is a poor substitute for the boat rides and weekend trips with John each year. We miss John.

Molly’s left, after settling me on the terrace. For the first time since I learned you were coming, I’m really alone. No one’s in the house, the gardens, or at John’s place. I enjoy being by myself and I now know it’s necessary if I’m to see you again.

I wish I could capture the beauty of our mountains to make it live on these pages. The snow has melted from their lower sunlit slopes to reveal the rocky canyons.

Lovely puffs of cloud skip across the sky, as if bent on frolicking. Vaporous clouds whirl over the mountain tops and away again in an original “dance of the veils.”

Michael said I’m growing more beautiful daily — which pleases me to hear and pleasures him to say. Such sentiments are morale builders.

I love him so deeply. When I write the words on these pages, they seem so cold and barren compared with the warmth of joy in my heart.

I wish I could pin a tenuous thread of my soul to these pages for him to see when he reads these words, to make them alive with my presence. I would wrap him in my soul’s glory, if I could.

Will the Great Council allow me to reach back to earth with this love? If I keep growing into the heights of your world until I purge my soul of all earth-dross before I leave, do you suppose the great God of Mercy might let me touch my beloved here on earth occasionally?

I laugh at my original idea that you might be formless spirit roving in space. Do you have schools and teachers?

I laugh at the notion of persons over there being wraithlike. The substance of that Realm is as “solid” as ours here. It is as real, just different in density.

Laughter from a passing cruiser interrupted my train of thought and reminded me of all the fun we used to have with John.

Now I know what my morning tears were about! I’m afraid you’ll never miss me! I want to be missed!

Just when I think I’m all set for serenity, my treacherous self-mind goes off on another round of self-pity — this time because I’ll not be there to answer your little-boy questions.

Of one thing I’m sure! I’ll knock at the closed door to your world until they let me in, until you say, “Mommy, I love you,” as you said, “I like you,” that first day.

I’ll make love my passport. Everything I know forbids forcing my way. Yet I’ll not “leave well enough alone.” I’m positive God does want us to know about His wonderful Kingdom.

I hear your father’s car, so ’bye dear son! Speak those magic words soon, please?

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July 5, 1912

All nature is hushed today, even the twittering of birds, as if in awe before its Creator. Since my “dreams” began, I appreciate a quiet day much more.

Michael gathered me in his arms when he came home, as if he had been away for a week rather than the afternoon. He must have had a wonderful time. We enjoyed dinner alone then he held me again as we watched the sunset over the lake.

The Artist must have tired of painting the rays and clouds in blushing rose and ruddy pinks. Instead, He threw all colors into the sky at once, splashing where they would in a glorious riot of vivid color in shades utterly matchless on earth, all sharply beautiful, gorgeous beyond compare!

Michael was able, under its influence, to open his heart and tell me of his soul’s depths of glory about your coming.

Darling, why does it so surprise me to find that the same exultation, which I’ve tried to express in writing, fills your father, too?

I suppose I’ve believed such an exalted, wing-lifting sense of power is a mother’s prerogative — comprehending that through the miracle of life, an extension of one’s being will continue the long racial stream of still unborn lives, carrying one’s ideals long after the originator has finished on earth.

It gives me a new sense of unity with Michael to know he feels this, too. I know this high joy should not be the sole property of mothers, yet this is exactly what I’ve been thinking.

I’ve felt patronizing toward your father all this time, sorry for him that he was missing so much! Since my love for him really is great, my attitude makes me feel very small indeed.

To know that Michael walks the same path of glory, that fatherhood means as much to him as motherhood means to me, is like finding the treasure at rainbow’s end.

Our months of love and sharing will greatly comfort him when I’m gone. It shall make it much easier to walk this path. My heart is freely singing a glorious song of joy because I know I’m not alone!

Lest your father forgets all the present glory of our love, I’ll make a magic carpet for him! My joy in your coming is the strong warp in this weaving.

The finished pattern on these pages will transport him to remember his beautiful soul-exaltation. Whenever he reads this, he’ll find it again.

Please listen to your father when he mentions the qualities to look for in a wife. I caution you to consider the woman you choose as the mother of your children, and he’ll raise you to be the kind of man a woman will want as the father of her children.

This is the one great sign of difference between the satisfaction of a passionate infatuation that burns itself out with possession, and a soul’s love for its true mate. This is the final means of judging a love that will endure forever.

We built civilization around the need to protect mothers and children. The family bond should provide security, but people have forgotten the original purpose of family.

Getting material “things” has become more important than the protection they are meant to provide.

Last night I loved both of you more than ever, but I didn’t dream and it didn’t open any doors for me. What is the secret of opening the invisible to mortal eyes? I think I’ve found it, then it’s gone!

All my dear love to you, my darling. Surely they will allow me a glimpse of you!

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July 6, 1912

Darling, darling, I returned this morning with a trace of a dream — it was almost nothing, yet my soul has wings because of it! I’m so happy!

I’ve no idea when I left or returned. I became conscious over there, standing where the path along the Field of Flowers joins the Grand Terrace, feeling I’d walked down the Grand Terrace.

The scene was unchanged. My coming might have animated nurses, babies and clouds. The little clouds fascinate me. One is always ready when needed, one always in sight to call, but never just waiting.

As I turned toward the great North Avenue, I was for the first time aware of my heart beating steadily and strongly.

I took a few steps and saw the Nurse, just as if no interval had interrupted this visit and the last. As she took my hand, I asked the question that was in my mind the last time. “Why do these babies, who come from earth, look like wax dolls?”

She smiled and answered immediately: “The only infants who look ‘dead’ or waxen are the unwanted children, repudiated, whose mothers refused to love them.

“On this Degree, we will show you the Reception Stations for mothers who come over here with babies still unborn on earth. The buildings alternate, first for mothers who violently repudiated their premature infants, next for mothers awaiting the birth of their children.

“In cases where the mother comes over near the time the baby is born prematurely on earth, they bring her to the same Reception Station as the child. Each station has a floor devoted to mothers with lifeless infants.

“The Great Council fully informs each mother of the reason she is here. They give her free choice to stay with her child and care for it (and so pay a part of her soul debt) or to leave her child and sink toward earth. However, they make the folly of sinking very plain.

“For a certain period they will keep her here under observation and for training, unless she grows violent in her desire to escape. We constrain no mother against her will.

“Nearly all the nurses in charge of revitalizing these infants to life are earth mothers who have repudiated their children. They may remain here after they’ve restored their child to life, if they so choose.

“Repudiation is an intense dislike of motherhood. In all cases of repudiation, the mother’s resentment or hatred, directed toward her pregnant condition, cuts off all but a trickle of the energy circulating in her bloodstream, which flows through the child’s body.

“The mother must share her bloodstream so the incoming soul can build the new body. The soul can breathe itself into the new body only if the mother supplies the full energy of her bloodstream until the last moment before they sever the umbilical cord.

“When the mother refuses to supply the necessary energy, the Great Guard oversees building the body with energy supplied directly by the lights. The Great Guard must condense the Light-energy to suit the body-building needs, whereas the mother has already condensed the energy for the building.

“A mother who hates her condition, the ugliness or shapelessness of her body, or is eager to be rid of the child’s body, is in repudiation. The shock of the violent expulsion pains added to the lack of mother-energy drains the small body of its remaining life force. You see the results in the ashen, lifeless babes we bring here.

“Usually, the work of oiling, massaging and feeding their children teaches indifferent mothers how to love children. They discover exactly how much love it takes to invest a tiny body with life on earth or here.

“Sometimes years pass before they can restore enough life-giving energy to the little body to enable the lifeless form to breathe again with life. When the mother has shared enough energy to bring the tiny form to life, we transfer it to the incubator nurseries and it recommences its interrupted growth.

“It always takes much greater love for this unfinished earth-work over here. Children are our divine trust. We must lavish our love on them.” Then she asked, “Would you like to see the incubators?”

I nodded, but I don’t remember seeing them.

I’ve a sense of universal joy, and enough love to spare for dozens of those unwanted, lifeless babes. I can imagine working with them when I leave here. Will they allow me to help with them? Or does another service await me?

Little son-to-be, this dream has helped, but an unsatisfied longing to see you still fills me. Please, oh, please, dear Father above, let me have this greatest of all joys? Soon?

July 7, 1912

I love the lake when it makes angry alliance with the wind, its waves high and gray, yet showing streaks of white spume as they crest.

It is fascinating to watch, and hypnotic in its effect. This makes me realize the waters of my mind have been quite calm and mirror-like before each dream episode. No world-thoughts disturbed its surface and no emotional wave caused even a ripple.

I’ve slept dreamlessly whenever I’ve gone to sleep grasping, clutching, reaching and yearning after you.

Before a dream, I feel a joy, vital and intense, yet deeply quiet. It is as though joy calls to life a dormant core within, then my soul responds and expands this love-center until it fills me!

It seems to break ordinary bonds until my earth body becomes too light to “feel” weight! I seem to become larger than my body!

Even with my physical eyes closed, I still “see” and “feel” a soft, subdued light that seems to absorb and lift me into a large sphere of light — I’m conscious only of this new world, this dream-dimension of life.

As this sense of intense activity sweeps over me, it does not interfere with my identity. I’m more vitally alive as “me” and aware of being myself than I am on earth! I remember Michael and all about you, but beyond that, all earth matters are gone and I live there fully.

Perhaps I’m drawing nearer to the mystery behind these dream-experiences. Who knows? Perhaps they may allow me to recall and understand the “how” someday soon.

I hear your father downstairs, so I’ll close today’s writing. He has never seemed curious about my journal. Yet Molly watches, and if I leave it downstairs, I always find it in my desk. She must know what I’m doing. Has she read any of it?

July 8, 1912

Good news! The doctor insists rest has strengthened my heart and it is in better condition than before this illness!

I feel my dream-visits are partly responsible and deserve no small portion of credit. This means I may begin to take up the broken-off strands of my outer life.

Will this break the delightful spell your coming has woven about me? This world of resting, dreaming, writing and loving, without worldly intrusions, is sweet and satisfying.

It makes it hard to think of bringing in even old friends. I think I fear losing my closeness to you if I must share my life with too many others.

Last night I experienced that “lifting” sensation as I drifted to sleep. The same peaceful, permeating joy held me while Wings of Light descended. I felt no bodily weight. I knew I was slipping out to you and gave myself up to it easily this time.

I awakened over there, standing on the steps of the second tall building along the Grand Terrace. I looked across the Field of Flowers. No mist obscured my view.

I turned and my Nurse escort beckoned from the head of the steps, saying, “I’m taking you to visit the incubator nurseries. We had no time before.”

As I climbed the steps, I thought, “If it were not so silly, I would think this building was a hospital. Why would they need hospitals in Heaven?”

I followed her through the archway into a huge, circular lobby. On either side, lofty arched windows opened onto the Grand Terrace. The only other light source was a shallow dome of translucent glass in the ceiling’s center.

Ahead was a grand staircase leading to a balcony-style second floor. On either side of the stairs were identical sets of wide double doors.

A nurse sat at a desk to the right of the entrance arch. I noticed that the register-book before her was much larger than the one in the first Assembly Room I’d visited.

As we approached the double doors to the right, they opened, revealing a large elevator. What an absurdity! Elevators in Heaven! How people would laugh, if I mentioned it, even as a dream!

It so surprised me, the Nurse had to take my hand as we got on. I saw no controls. The doors closed the instant we entered, and it transported us with no sensation of movement.

The doors opened on a broad hallway running the length of the building. Archways punctuated the hall on both sides. We turned right into a cross-hall, and went through swinging doors.

Then we entered the first room on the left, which was spacious enough for four rows of bassinets with ample aisles between them. The walls, ceiling and bassinets were all the same iridescent, faintly gleaming substance.

A transparent cover domed each bassinet. Golden light shone through the exact center of the ceiling dome and streamed downward in beams to form a thin, vaporous golden cloud permeating each bassinet.

Below the dome was a swirling cloud of scintillant pastel lights whose soft rays descended within the wider, more stable golden beams. As these rays approached each golden cloud, they deepened in hues until the golden clouds entirely absorbed them. Looking down, I saw these lovely rays had enveloped me, too. It felt like bathing in the softest early morning sunlight.

To my delight, I discovered I was wearing a robe of the exact shade of blue my escort Nurse wore! As I ran my hands over the lovely, soft material, the Nurse said, “All earth mothers coming over here wear robes of this shade, which we call mother blue.”

(I’m still curious this morning about those bassinets! They arranged them so the infants’ feet were all facing the room’s center, two rows of bassinets on either side. One fact I did learn — the direction from anywhere over there toward earth is always referred to as “south” and anywhere above the Grand Terrace is always “north.”)

As we reached the south wall, she said, “The infants in this row came here before the fourth month of earth gestation. The next row contains those who came over between the fourth and sixth months, and those from the first row who have grown to four months’ development here.”

She stepped to a bassinet in the first row and rolled back the dome until it caught and remained open. Then she opened the soft white blanket and beckoned me to look.

I detected no resemblance to an infant in that shapeless mass. How could it take on the form of an infant while just waiting in a bassinet?

As we started to leave, two nurses came and opened the dome of the bassinet we had viewed. We stayed and watched them. They unwrapped the swaddling to uncover the tiny bundle of life, and it really did look alive when fully exposed.

The cloud of golden light enveloped them as they worked with the little mite. They sprayed its embryonic form with the finest oil, gently turning it to cover its body completely.

Then they delicately shifted it onto another downy white cottony wrapper and slid the dome back into place. The golden light, which had surrounded them while they worked, then assumed its original shape.

Another two-nurse team began working with the second row, so I moved nearer to watch them. One nurse rolled the supply table to the head of each bassinet in turn, while the other opened its dome.

They used the softest brushes imaginable on these babes, brushing the tiny forms with the same golden oil used in the spray.

One nurse lifted the babe gently and tenderly from the used wrapper, while the other positioned a new square to bundle it. They left all the tiny faces exposed to the golden light.

The domed bassinets in the third row held miniature infants who had perfectly formed bodies. As one nurse lifted a naked infant onto the rolling table, the other thoroughly sprayed its tiny body with oil.

The golden light enfolded them as it had when they worked in the other bassinets. Then both nurses, each working on her side of the table, massaged the infant all over, especially concentrating on the arms and legs. All infants responded with movements during their massages.

The Nurse, who had left me at the first row, appeared again, ready to explain: “These infants are nearly seven months along in gestation. Some have come directly from earth, but others have graduated from the previous row.”

Turning toward the fourth row, she said, “Those infants are eight to nine months along. Eight-month infants are at this end and those ready to be ‘born’ are nearer the other end of the row. When they awaken here, we move them to the first nursery across the hall.”

After the nurses sprayed the infants with oil, they massaged them vigorously. They all kicked and waved their fists, although their eyes remained tightly closed. The nurses left them uncovered, while the golden light surrounded them completely. The domes over the nine-month infants were open.

One nurse held a container of milky white liquid. As a nine-month infant yawned (they frequently did), she used a medicine dropper to put a few drops of liquid on his tongue! If one smacked its tiny lips, she dropped more in its mouth until it slumbered deeply. None of the infants opened their eyes while they were being fed.

I suppose one reaches a shockproof point, but I’m not there yet. I clutched at the Nurse, my face surely registering surprise. She hastened to explain what I’d just seen. “She’s using a nectar of what you would call coconut milk, blended with other juices. When the infants begin to yawn, the nurses feed them special blends of this nectar.

“We grow all fruit, berries and soft-shelled nuts on the Plains of Olympus. They bring them here after blending them in the Youth’s Realm.

“We need no ‘food’ of any kind above what we call the Plains of Olympus. Yet the lesser and Great Guards — even the great Beings who must descend below to hold planets, including earth, in balance — delay in the Halls of Olympus to drink nectars and eat fruit to condense their bodies and give them enough weight to sink farther toward earth.”

As we reached the end of the row, an infant in the last bassinet yawned twice, stretched her whole body, waved her arms and legs and opened her eyes wide. A nurse leaned over her and held out her hands. The babe instantly reached toward the nurse and smiled!

The nurse passed through the archway with the newly born infant, snuggling her close, murmuring in her little ear. We followed the nurse across the hall where she stopped to register the little girl with the nurse at the desk by the archway.

Another nurse, with a larger soft, creamy blanket, took the infant and carried her down this long room. We didn’t stay there, but returned to the “birth” room.

My Nurse explained, “Special nurses stand watch when an infant is ready to be born here, waiting to receive it the instant it opens its eyes. No one here is on duty longer than six hours, except those who work on earth.

“The Great Guards and their assistants remain with their mothers and infants until the babe’s new body is working smoothly and the mother is safe.”

I nodded at her as she continued: “You were surprised because that infant could smile and stretch at the end of the nine-month gestation period. Over here they are never cramped, but are free to stretch. We massage them every six hours, quite vigorously after the seventh month.

“Yet the greatest factor in their progress is the absolute absence of any interference in the development of their brain cells. The attending nurses and Great Guards make powerful suggestions that the soul receives directly on its brain substance.

“The result is that we’ve developed all infants in the normal nursery groups to three earth-months when they awaken, and many are the equals of normal six-month infants of earth.”

The nurses placed the empty bassinet at the head of the fourth row and moved the remaining bassinets to fill the empty space.

A Red Cross Nurse brought a newly stillborn from earth and put it in the waiting bassinet. The golden light instantly enveloped it.

“We don’t always move the bassinets,” said the Nurse as we sauntered down the long hall to stand at the east window. “Sometimes a bassinet is left waiting for an infant who’s expected from earth in a few hours. The lights set the right vibration for each infant and we never move one from its original bassinet until it is born.

“All rainbow lights may seem the same, but each set is different, exactly attuned to each infant. The lights are changed according to each infant’s degree of development.

“If the little girl who just awakened had stayed on earth, today would have been her birthday. Right now, the mother who lost her at seven months remembers her child and longs for her. The parents knew they had lost their first little daughter through no fault of their own.

“In this case, both parents have grieved the loss, and want another child the instant the doctor tells the mother it is safe for her. They don’t know it, but they are busy creating the right conditions to allow us to return this daughter to them. By the end of this year, she’ll be on her way. This time, she’ll hold her body and they will have their golden-haired daughter.”

She answered my unspoken question, saying, “We’ve ample facilities to care for all the infants who go to and come from earth. We can easily care for everyone here because we maintain the balance evenly in the rate of coming and going. Look along the Grand Terrace from this window and you’ll see something of Heaven’s limitlessness.”

Buildings stood tall in their white loveliness as far as I could see along the Grand Terrace, which seemed to curve away from us.

The Nurse spoke again. “Each Red Cross Nurse knows in advance where to go, for she follows a beam of light that only she can see. A personal beam guides the nurses, above and below, wherever they are serving. Of course, it always centers itself on the right Reception Station.”

I was unconscious of my return and slept late.

Little son, my awe of Heaven’s magnitude increases with each new dream-visit to your world. I grow more convinced that I’ll leave when you come. It must somehow relate to this Law of keeping the balance right.

The order and the beauty impress me: No fumbling or wasted effort, everyone minds her business with great efficiency. The lights amaze me, too, golden and colored, the music without sound, the silence filled with constant activity.

Who governs such vastness? Where do the ideas come from? Who gives the orders? Who implanted the burning desire and longing within my heart to bear the child of my dreams? This has been my driving impulse and inner vision since I came to earth.

I realize the One who is sending you to earth must have my welfare at heart, too and will unfold all that is legal for me to know. These revelations from your world are too sacred for me to allow my eagerness to rip away the veils carelessly.

Just the same, my earth-mother heart longs for you. I’ll seek to be quiet and confident in my desire, but I do long for you so!

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July 9, 1912

Today I toured the terrace. Birds crowded the bird baths all day and I notice species I can’t identify. I suppose it’s because I’ve never spent so much time watching them.

Later I played piano and sang until Molly scolded me, insisting I was doing too much and would be overtired. She was right. I was altogether too tired for so little effort, which makes me realize I don’t belong to me anymore, but must watch myself for your sake.

By the time she brought lunch, I’d slipped down that old greased pole of self-pity, which has no way-stations between top and bottom. One either stays on top or sits in the mud puddle made of one’s tears.

Part of it was due to overexertion, thinking about the house, and how you’ll love to roam and play here. This brought up my old desire to share the future. What really finished me was imagining Michael and I playing with you and hearing your prayers together.

When I awakened from my nap, the gorgeous Olympics saved me. Alas! They’re not always in view to lift my heart. They’ve been hiding for days. Yet today they looked as if someone had envisioned what mountains should be, then painted them against a pale cerulean sky backdrop.

Do they disappear because they weary of lifting heavy earth-hearts?

I’ve been contemplating the shocking differences between our two worlds in the care of infants. Every motion in your world is compassionate and gentle — tender gestures, muted music, sweet and rich laughter, calm swiftness.

Newborn infants must compare the loud harshness of ordinary sound here on earth, the confusion, the unnecessary noises, and miss their beautiful land. Perhaps the penetrating sounds impinging on the nerve centers in their sensitive new bodies cause them pain we can’t detect.

Do newborn infants cry because they are objecting to being so roughly handled in comparison to their heavenly place? At best, our handling of them is clumsy and harsh. They must try to tell us how they miss “baby-land” and the mother-love poured on them there.

The veil of night has lowered itself over earth, putting nature to bed and tucking it in with soft grey hands. The mountains entered half-mourning, their crests still rose-pink. I watched them until only grey streamers floated away into the night.

Now I wish Michael were home as I wish myself another dream-visit, this time a lovely one with you!

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July 10, 1912

Sweetest little son, I’m happier somehow, although I’ve not seen you. The dreams are more frequent. I feel a breathless urgency, which is unaccountable, since my life has settled into a humdrum affair. Imagination tells me “they” are readying me for another visit with you. Perhaps you’ll find it easier to love me if this hushed expectancy that surrounds me now raises my vibration higher.

As I wrote yesterday, I felt I was forgetting some detail. Just before sleep it came and wove itself into my dream in the most remarkable way.

Today the whole episode unrolled before me as clearly as if it were happening right now. This continuity is satisfying, positive proof that I’m truly sightseeing in a strange country — Heaven!

How grateful I am to have ample time for writing each episode before they give the next.

In last night’s dream, I stood looking into the room where they had taken the newly born infant. My Nurse escort was with me and she began to speak as I turned to her:

“The newborn children we bring here usually stay for three months. Occasionally we must keep longer, dependening on its experience with its earth-mother. A tremendous shock or wrench when leaving earth can dull the brain cells so it takes longer to repair and quicken them here.

“The Great Council advances all infants and adults according to their growth only. Time is not considered in determining when they are ready to be moved to the next higher station.”

We began our tour of this nursery from the upper end. Each set of bassinets and cribs held children who were obviously of more advanced development.

The first babies held rattles. The next groups were in padded seats suspended by four straps attached to the sides of their cribs. Other children sat, propped by pillows.

At a table halfway down the room, a nurse was slipping a sleeveless garment over a little fellow’s head. As we watched, the next shock came.

The nurse fitted him with a diaper of some soft tissue-like substance! I couldn’t believe my eyes! Diapers in Heaven! I guess I should have expected it, considering that they feed them milk!

As I turned to the Nurse, she took my hand and we were in an elevator, without my knowing how we got there! We descended to an open-walled, circular room below the entrance hall. It was arched with two-story pillars, draped with lovely festoons of flowering vines.

A marble pedestal nearly four feet square stood in the center. Its top slanted from the outer edges to the center, forming a round funnel opening about a foot in diameter. It looked as if it might go to the bottom of the pedestal.

On the elevator side was a short ramp as wide as the pedestal, running up to a shallow platform. As I watched, a flame shot through the funnel opening!

The elevator opened and a nurse wheeled in a wicker cart that was just narrower than the ramp. She pushed the cart up the ramp and when it was squarely on the platform, she pressed a button and the platform raised the basket until she could tip it. Damp tissues spilled into that flame and were consumed.

The flame did not flicker, smoke or flare but continued burning, steadily and controlled, a pillar of fire that changed anything into itself! The flame sank into the funnel after the nurse left the room.

Today I remember having read about an Eternal Flame, but don’t recall where. I can’t credit my feeble imagination with the ability to soar to such heights of fantasy as this dream seems. I believe they’ve allowed me to witness a part of this flame in operation.

Everything here below originated in that original “Let there be Light!” substance, so fire must exist above before it can become visible down here.

Lightning occurs without the aid of human hands or minds. Currents of air don’t just happen — positive physical laws define and govern them. So believing that a Law operates a step or two beyond the physical is easy for me.

No “logical” person would accept my dream-visits as anything but sheer nonsense. Although the world can give me no substitute explanation, it wouldn’t hesitate to tear my dreams to pieces and ruthlessly strip them from me.

I’ve always been confident of life behind the veil. Since being allowed to penetrate that veil, my glory is complete and no one shall share it until I’m gone.

If a Being can hold the stars and planets in their places, this Being must be able to care for those created in His own “image and likeness,” especially children and infants who surely can’t care for themselves.

I leave rationalization to those who find no better way to pass their time, who have no inner need to worship a God greater than self. Those who don’t believe in “life after death” really deserve compassion, for any approach to death without faith is a lonely path. Certain fears are bound to accompany this attitude, no matter how positive the agnostic mind has been.

Death becomes the one reality each soul must meet alone, save for those meeting one on the other side.

I wish I could share my present sense of blessing with all women of earth! I yearn to bring a deep consolation to those who have lost children. Each day my consecration grows deeper and higher. I seek with all my heart to be found worthy of being your mother.

You’re my dearest one whom I love and cherish. I clasp you so closely under the wings of my heart, protecting you that you may be free of any interference with your lessons. I love you very much, my beloved son.

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July 11, 1912

I’ve begun my personal housecleaning, before leaving earth, darling. One of my plans is to gather the loose snapshots and unfilled albums to make a background for your youthful years. I found the baby albums your grandmothers made.

You’ll have only your father, so this seems important. This will give you a sense of having had a family.

Before I plunged into this project, I traveled in memory to my childhood and young girlhood when the struggle began for emancipation, suffrage and women’s rights. Most young women blossomed into champions of their “rights.” We did the job so well, most men no longer think women need defenders!

We need to share in money, especially what we earn and we need to help make the Laws that govern us all. However, women usually operate several businesses at once: Full-time workers, housekeepers, wives and mothers! We already shared the world’s work! Ours alone is the unrivaled privilege of bearing children, the greatest of all creative work.

Women have held civilization’s torch aloft since the beginning of time. A woman’s work on earth is to be a queen and mother, forever envisioning a better life, urging and supporting her loved ones to finer and greater effort while loving and being loved!

Our motherhood is not limited to bearing or caring for children. Each woman is the mother to the world of which she is queen.

We might have staged a better way to gain our point of equal though different, a way that would have left men a feminine ideal. Now, society takes childbearing almost for granted and few men even consider honoring their wives and mothers of their children.

We need the voting franchise and we shall get it, and take part of the money as our right. Yet it won’t recover lost romance, put a lasting bloom on marriage vows or make a man say “I love you” instead of “I want you.”

Little son, you’ll be an adult when you read this, and I beg you to heed me — motherhood is the basis of national integrity, it is the foundation of the world. Marriage is the basis for life. Parenthood must be a partnership in the world’s greatest business, the family life. Yet it is the most sadly underrated of all businesses, with almost no preparation being made to run it smoothly. People often rate children on the same basis as other assets and possessions.

It isn’t enough to teach a young mother about child care and let her remain ignorant of her emotional and mental responsibilities for her coming child. When she should be considering all the needs for the new life and its emotional and physical stability, she loses her own completely.

We don’t teach a new mother that a child is another personality added to her little twosome and will present many additional problems besides extra laundry. She knows some babies cry much more than others, but it means little until she begins to lose sleep herself. Still fatigued from pregnancy and childbirth, she faces months of weakness and nervousness while unprepared for coping.

The father must earn the family living, and worry about the heavy extra expenses. If he does not help with the child in the evenings, he suffers from guilt, or a sense of inadequacy. If he does help, he loses sleep, too, and becomes tense.

Add natural fears about handling a new baby, and it burdens the new family, sometimes beyond bearing. Is it any wonder these pressures may finally become intolerable and young parents want to escape?

Too often their parents pull the young couple from opposite directions. Yes, parenting is a real business. Parents must make allowances for adding a third member to the established twosome and know that only love enough between them, the new parents, can handle it.

Both must work toward the great goal: The perfect growth and unfolding of their baby, while clinging to their first love that brought their child into being. It takes much love and intelligence to be successful parents.

I’ll climb off my soapbox now, my dearest son, but I do want you to honor womanhood, to idealize and revere motherhood, to know how to be tender with your sweetheart, to cherish your wife.

I’m more grateful every day that I’ve given you such a wonderful father, my dear. So often I write and say to myself that I love him and you, but I never make it sound as wonderful, as important as it really is. I love you! Top ↑

July 12, 1912

I was weary last night after a long day, busy with household matters, and working on the albums.

We went to bed early, and I slipped into sleep joyously, loving Michael and thinking of you.

I awakened sitting on my favorite marble bench beside my Nurse escort. Then we walked down toward the Great Terrace where she signaled to a passing cloud. Then, and without quite knowing how we got on, we seated ourselves on the cloud!

We floated, overlooking the lofty buildings facing south onto the Grand Terrace. She had me note this block held three buildings, each with its own garden, separated from the next block by a narrow avenue running north.

The block beyond held a huge building with a garden at either end, occupying exactly as much space as did the three buildings in the previous block. As far as I could see, the blocks alternated in this manner.

We hovered over the single-story Assembly Group squares I’d visited first. A walk bordered by tall, flowering hedges separated them from the next avenue of large, square buildings. Children’s playgrounds separated several avenues of buildings, but they continued in the same pattern beyond the playgrounds farther east.

The Nurse said, “We bring all children and adults needing desire body healing to this First Degree Adjustment Assembly Group, which you can see runs along the Grand Terrace in both directions.

“The Field of Flowers, the Great North Boulevard and the College of Wisdom separate the children’s section from the adults’. Beyond the College are the adult facilities. You can see them faintly today.”

She pointed to the nearest avenue of single-story buildings and said, “Those buildings contain operating rooms where we send all children who built malformed bodies and those who suffered trauma, disabling and wasting diseases, to restore them to perfection when we bring them from earth.”

I must have shown my surprise, for she added: “Yes, they arrive here just as they leave earth. The healing specialists make many cases whole on earth, either by healing prayers, or by what earth shall learn to call inspired surgery. In this first building we care for all those who were injured in childbirth.”

Answering my unasked question, she said, “Where do you think all the marvelous surgeons and physicians go when they leave earth? It would be no Heaven to them to while away their credits doing nothing! Here they may work unhindered to mend all the mis-creations of earth. The best among them use these opportunities to develop their skills and to later devise new methods on earth.

“Earth’s brilliant medical breakthroughs all originate here. Farther along the Grand Terrace are great laboratories where researchers develop new techniques and lines of inquiry to take to earth when they return.

“Lights and massage are the basis of all desire body treatments here. The desire body, which earth would call a ghost, is a duplicate of the gross physical, yet built of a finer grade of substance. Lights soften the crystallized tissues and gentle manipulation coaxes the muscles, ligaments, tendons and bones into place.

“The rays the healers use all come from the great Wheel of Lights in the Rainbow Kingdom far above. That great Wheel separates pure white Light into millions of lesser color rays to cover all possible degrees and requirements in healing.

“Under prayer, these same rays penetrate earth-bodies to do their healing work. A magnetized ray of light plays over the healer’s hands during massage or surgery. The rays of light respond to prayer as iron does to a magnet. The Great Guard in charge of the individual releases the rays through his upraised hands, and can direct them to the body portion that needs healing.

“Sometimes a physical body is too worn to respond to the healing prayer, then the soul loses it. This is frequently the case for those who develop cancer, diabetes, congested arteries and other chronic and debilitating earth diseases.

“All healing is predicated on the soul’s faith and desire for wholeness, which is the state of health. Often a soul’s loved ones of earth desire his healing more than he does, or perhaps great fear devitalizes him. In such cases the loved ones’ prayers restore the desire body’s integrity and it comes over to us healed.

“We’ve even known healing to occur on the last breath that releases the soul from the physical shell. This always happens where the soul’s faith is strong and the desire to be healed is great enough.

“You are traveling here now in your desire body, leaving your earth body asleep on your bed. The difference between these soul flights, which you call dream-visits and transition, which earth calls death, is that your earth body retains enough life-energy to maintain it while you travel. At transition, you withdraw all life-energy and bring it with you.”

We’d been traveling North as she talked and had crossed a narrow eastward avenue. I didn’t see any more hedges, but the building and gardens here were laid out in blocks separated by narrow avenues.

Great domed temples in the distance raised their exquisite spires heavenward! As far away as they were, I could see through their lacy latticework. I recognized them as the temples I’d seen on my first visit!

Then we came to a wide avenue, each block containing circular groupings of seven round buildings, each domed and supported by pillars. Perfectly spaced within its block, each circle contained a central garden and a fountain. An array of flowers bloomed in profusion, adding color everywhere. These two-story buildings projected graceful pavilions from the central core all the way around on both stories.

“These circles of pavilions are where everyone lives,” the Nurse explained. “This first circle houses the four-year-olds. Each set of circles North moves up one age group, until they are twelve years of age, when they enter the Youths’ Realm then.”

As she spoke, she pointed to a grassy mound near the walkway around the center fountain. As we floated down to it, I noticed three other mounds exactly like it in the lawns between the diagonal walks that joined at the fountain. We stepped off the cloud onto the tiny landing mound.

All types of flowers, vines and low shrubs bloomed in an exquisite pallette of shades that softened the garden’s sculpted angles. All earth’s lovely singing birds — thrushes, wrens, sparrows, bluebirds, canaries, finches, doves, mockingbirds and birds unknown on earth — bathed in scattered birdbaths and displayed their brilliant plumage, which was more gorgeous than their earthly counterparts.

The sparkling fountain spray flashed rainbows. Here was enough extravagant beauty to seep into one’s marrow and enrich one’s soul forever! I would have stood spellbound by the harmony and color, had she not gently led me along.

Now I understand how someone who has been forced from his earth body — being in a coma, delirious or unconscious of earth activities — could easily forget to return in time to save the body. Glimpsing such beauty and passing partly through the gates of death, they might want to remain and never return to earth, forgetting all earthly responsibilities.

The station’s Nurse Mother met us at the top of the wide steps. We followed her into the round hall without speaking. She had expected us. I gathered this from her smile as she stepped aside and gave me time to look around, still without speaking.

The pillars upholding the balconies were round outside, while they were flat-surfaced, though nearly the same thickness inside, and vines loosely entwined them. Broad urns near each pillar held tall-stemmed bouquets with lush greens. Birds fluttered through and out again, warbling their muted songs.

Babies and women filled the room! There were wheeled bassinets like baby carriages, lighter and more beautiful than ours on earth, and dozens of miniature hammocks suspended from light, sturdy frames. All held infants, and the women attended them.

The room was furnished with chairs built of what appeared to be bamboo or willow, fitted with matte white cushions. Some women were sewing tiny robes, some were making lace, while others just sat in a stupor, doing nothing, seeing nothing, dully staring into space.

We ascended to the balcony by way of a curving ramp that rose around the hall until it reached the upper floor. Rooms opened off this balcony all the way around the circle. Some rooms seemed to be like dormitories, though empty now. Incubators for babies who appeared to be in all stages of gestation filled a couple of the dormitory-style rooms.

In some single rooms, women sat silently staring, others looked alert, happy and attended their babies by themselves, and some even hummed as they held their children.

We toured the outer balcony where more women sat beside carriages, all of them in a partially dazed condition. Nurses circulated among them, suggesting when their children needed attention and helping when one awkwardly fumbled with her baby’s clothing.

Returning down the ramp, I noticed some rooms were orderly and decorated with flowers, while other rooms were untidy. I felt it marked the mothers’ state of development.

As we stood on the balcony outside, the Nurse Mother began to speak: “This Reception Station, as you can see, is for those women of lesser intelligence, some so ignorant we must teach them the basics of life, even proper care of themselves. Some are ascending from the creature stage and others have retrogressed by misuse of Law on earth.

“Retrogression results from earth incarnations where they’ve repeatedly dissipated and misused their creative fire. Most misuse results from two actions. The most common being idle words spoken as cursing, gossip, criticism and voicing opinions and prejudices. Each idle word wastes precious soul substance and vitality.

“Among the women you see here, the primary misuse has been seeking the sensation of mating. This does irreparable harm that takes many incarnations on earth to repair.

“You can see most of them are utterly indifferent to what we are teaching them, yet each nurse, while demonstrating proper care, makes suggestions as she would for a small child. This is the only way we can restore their atrophied brain centers and develop new brain cell capacity for their use on earth during their next lifetime.

It takes many such interludes between earth lives for them to learn to become good mothers. Each interlude develops new brain cells that will eventually function the faculty of responsibility.

“We lose some, who refuse to remain here long enough to learn anything. They sink to the Borderland, the Degree below the Desire Plane. They incarnate from there with but one desire, to mate, and they give birth to more children whom they neglect. We use them to gestate retrogressed souls like themselves.

“We never send a dull or lesser intelligence to a high family group unless that retrogressed soul belongs to that inner family which is sponsoring them. Incarnation with the original family group is the only way we may lift retrogressed souls up the path of evolution. The Great Council awards families receiving such souls with great soul credits for their service.

“We work with them here until we awaken a spark of desire in their hearts. Occasionally during an interlude here, a mother will suddenly advance several earth incarnations beyond where she was when she came over to us.

“Those souls who do advance stay with us until they develop their children enough for us to send them to a regular nursery for that degree of infant. All are graded according to their present brain cell development and capacity. Every nursery receives only infants or children belonging to its degree.

“Four groups of regular nurse-supervisors and their assistants serve for six months in a station under the permanent Nurse Mother. No one serves longer than six hours at a time, except under special circumstances when so ordered by the Great Councils. Every nurse in the Realms, whether caring for children or adults, must serve in every capacity for six months before advancing to her next Degree.”

I didn’t leave. I just awakened in my bed this morning.

I’ve so easily accepted what they’ve shown and told me. It all seems so natural, so satisfying that nothing in me disbelieves it! When I consider the vastness of the Heavenly Realms, it amazes me that I encompass any of it with my limited earth-perception!

I’ve no difficulty in recalling every visit I’ve made to your Realm. Each is distinct in my mind, as clear as when it happened. I don’t need to reread a single dream-visit, as I did at first. My mind has become like a machine recording dimensional pictures and something else new to me: I can hear the voices as well!

I hurt with the depth of my love for Michael. My love for you expands daily, and my respect grows to match love’s greatness. What wondrous lessons you’ll bring to earth, all furled within your brain’s memory cells! I miss you more and continue to wonder where you can be hiding in all that marvelous color and beauty over there.

Today I ponder a new realization. What we refuse to learn on earth, we must learn in harder ways requiring greater effort and persistence in Heaven! I conclude that we take all of ourselves, the good and the dark spots, right along with us. Won’t that surprise some complacently good people on earth when they discover the truth?

Dear baby son, I love you and long for you more each day. What I’ve seen in my soul flights has tempered and purged my longing of selfishly demanding. Please, though, could you find a way to let me know where you are and what you’re doing? Please, darling?

July 13, 1912

After a morning spent basting your nursery curtains, I had a long nap. I’m writing while waiting for Michael to come home. If I can’t finish this record today, I’ll work on it again tomorrow.

I found myself wandering lazily, floating over the blocks of large, low square buildings above the first Assembly Group. I felt pleased knowing exactly where I was.

Why do I never find myself on a cloud?

I settled on the grass terrace before the first square building, off the path that runs down the Field of Flowers. The Nurse joined me immediately and took my hand. I think I know why she holds my hand — the mists clear, and I always see and hear better when she does.

We entered a large waiting room through a rectangular, glassed-in hallway bordered by ferns and vines. Hanging baskets and tall potted palms created little islands of privacy around the groups of couches and chairs. On the opposite wall were great doors, beside which a nurse sat at a desk, writing in a book. Is she copying records to go with a new birth?

Waiting women almost filled the room. Some wore earth-clothes, which surprised me, since everyone else I’ve seen has worn some sort of robe. Even those women in the pavilion circles wore loose, coarse white robes. A few were in this room, their robes belted at the waist by heavy white cords with no tassels.

None of the women were very old, but all had strained faces — many were silently weeping. Most of them were awake. Some paced restlessly, others sat and stared, trance-like, while a few lay fast asleep on couches.

The sound of harsh, noisy lamentation made me glance at a far corner, but I saw only part of a floral print earth-dress. Palms and a hanging basket trailing vines hid the weeping woman herself. To judge by her voice, she sounded unrefined and I idly wondered what she looked like.

The arrival of a Blue Cross Nurse diverted my attention. She came through the swinging doors with a small girl, about five years old, clutching her robe and clinging to her hand. Traces of tears were evident on the child’s long lashes, making her great blue eyes look like rain-washed pansies. Her lovely golden curls would have made any mother on earth covet them for her child.

The child looked eagerly around the room, wide awake and seeing everything at a glance before she turned and hid her head in the folds of the nurse’s robe. Sobs shook her tiny shoulders, though her weeping was utterly silent.

Then, a loud, unrestrained cry shattered the room’s peace and from the far corner the weeping woman came, her dress all rumpled and soiled. She flew around couches and chairs to grab the child, wrenching her from the nurse. She gathered the child in greedy arms, alternating love-names with wild sobs. They clung to each other as if never again to be separated. The little girl cried, “Mamma, Mamma, Mamma!”

I relished such a miraculous reunion! How wonderful it was that they bring people together like that, just as I wanted it to be for Michael and myself.

The Nurse’s voice broke into my vague thoughts, saying, “It is true, reunions of family groups here are events to rejoice about, but this is a part of one of earth’s great tragedies, and represents the failure of a plan that is several centuries old. It has failed because of the woman’s selfishness in expressing mother love.

“The child and her father, who is still on earth, belong to the same family group. Many lives ago, the father and the adult soul, who has come here as a child this time, made a sacrificial vow to lift a daughter-of-men, one who was ready to evolve.

“The mother you see is the one appointed as their sacrifice. They were to bring her from a level next to the creature stage into universal consciousness of responsibility to Law.

“For several earth lives and interludes here, the Great Council deemed the woman had gained enough in desire for higher consciousness to be safe. They sent her to her degree group for one lifetime of polishing on earth.

“She began to regress, so the two renewed their vows to lift her. The woman, who always incarnated as a mother to learn about love, became more possessive of the soul incarnating as her daughter, the child you’ve seen.

“They told the mother often during her last interlude here that she would lose all her gains and the child, unless she changed. Her possession has been forging a stronger bond for evil between the mother and daughter in each earth life.

“When a soul’s stubbornness or disobedience wrecks one plan, the Great Council adds all the love and power released by that soul for the first plan to the second plan, to begin again to achieve the same objective. This is true, even when the soul’s desires lead him to pray for self, love or things.

“When a plan collapses, it does not mean that all is lost. The plan may have broken down due to a lack in the soul or in someone connected with it. Nevertheless, the Great Council creates the plan mold to become manifested on the outer, so it still is the truth. The soul incarnated must pray harder than ever, becoming a perfect instrument to release the lights necessary to bring the plan to fruition.

“The Great Council sent them together this last time on the mother’s absolute promise to learn her lesson and love the child wisely. She fully knew the Council had declared all vows of sacrifice by the father and daughter had been more than fulfilled. They were freed from them forever.

“The Great Council never interferes until they’ve given many opportunities to the soul involved in the retrogression. They never set aside vows unless it means the saving of a soul from detrimental domination by another soul.

“This time the mother not only continued her evil possession of her child, but she also began to possess the child’s soul. The Great Council cannot tolerate this, since it would mean retrogression for the child also, whose will was growing weaker.

“The mother knew before she left here that if she did not fulfill her promise they would separate her from the daughter and erase all memory of her as a mother from the child’s memory cells. They will send the mother back to her degree group to learn her lessons the hard way after this.

“They made a contingent plan when the mother left here, to be used only if she failed to learn her lesson. The plan was to bring her over here, leaving the child to the father’s wisely devoted care. His true love would erase the memory of the mother’s domineering, greedy love.

“They fell ill, the child and the mother, of the same epidemic and the mother succumbed because she had no reserves of strength to overcome the illness.

“It is the Law that one cannot draw on universal spirit substance for any selfish reason, even for giving a greedy, possessive love. Therefore, the mother depleted all her energy substance in selfish mother-love and in her resentment-hatred of the child’s father. This misuse left her with nothing to call on when she needed energy to hold her earth body, and we brought her over here.

“The Great Council closes the door to the use of universal substance only when a soul deliberately misuses Light as power-substance and definitely refuses to be obedient to Laws. When this mighty Power is drawn on for unselfish reasons of service to others, the soul continuously grows greater in soul qualities and wisdom.

“When a soul becomes selfish and closes the doors to universal power, it retrogresses with every year on earth because the soul may draw on only its own soul substance, until finally it becomes an empty shell. Prayer by loved ones on earth for such souls does help when the Great Guards take them to the Hall of Records and show them the effect of their actions on earth. These records are kept for each individual going to earth, a record for every incarnation that the soul must study on its return for an interlude.

“This time the mother turned against the father before the child was born. She never responded to the Great Guard’s reminders of her promises, never uncovered the memory cells for her guidance.

“After the birth, she flew into a rage if the father went near the crib to look at his child, treating him shamefully if he dared to pick up his little daughter. He learned to worship the child from afar, protecting mother and child, for he had always loved the woman.

“He lavished his love and his wealth on the mother, loving her despite all she did, holding her blameless, partly because of her great beauty. Traces of her former beauty remain in her face, but it will soon show the full ravages of the worst form of selfishness earth can produce: Soul possession of a loved one. It will take her many incarnations to regain her original beauty.

“However, because of her treatment of him, which continued to worsen with each day, he was as near a broken heart as anyone could be and still hold the earth body. A broken heart state does exist, you know.

“Then the Great Council decreed the time had come to put the alternate plan in operation. He grieved for his wife, but immediately began to pour his soul substance into his daughter’s body. He was now free to lavish the love on her that he had stored for five years on earth, and it had the same vitalizing effect that the mother’s bloodstream energy has as it flows through a gestating infant.

“He held her day and night. Since this energy knows no physical barriers, it first held the child, then brought her slowly to life. With the mother no longer standing between daughter and father, the Great Guard could finally direct the father’s tenderness and devotion to erase the false ideas from the daughter’s mind. When we removed the mother’s influence, she responded to her father’s love as does a flower to the sun’s rays.

“His love erased the scorn for him, which her mother had implanted in her mind. He became an instrument for great rays of healing light from above to penetrate the cells of her wasted body.

“From her first instant of consciousness here, the mother began to storm at the Gates leading to the Great Council Realms. She demanded audiences with them immediately following her release from the Hall of Records where she had to listen to her broken vows and promises.

“She had forgotten them on earth but, hearing them again, insisted the Great Council had removed her from earth too soon, just as she was ready to keep them. She raved about the father’s evil ways, declaring she would go to earth and take the child from him.

“Six Great Guards returned her to the Hall of Records and Mirrors where they reviewed every past life for her, but it did no good. Finally she covered her eyes with her hands, growing more violent in her demands that they return her to earth.

“A soul must use all its substance in evil ways before the Great Council can redirect it and propel it on the way back home. Until then, the soul may indulge in violent episodes when a soul can forcefully separate itself from any number of Great Guards.

“Restraint from doing harm to itself works until the soul breaks with Law by its choice of evil. The Great Councils may not contravene free will, not even from those who choose evil.

“She dashed to earth, wildly vowing to reclaim her child to ‘save’ her from the father — she would rescue her. She found her daughter’s bedside, where the little girl was regaining strength. She broke through all restraining lights and knelt, surrounding the child with invisible arms, crying to her wildly, calling her pet names.

“Since the mother needed more energy to remain there, she immediately sapped the child’s strength. From the moment she knelt by the bedside, she doomed the Great Council’s whole plan.

“With the mother’s first wild cry and touch, the child turned from the father. All his cherishing love was powerless to restrain the mother’s evil influence of possession of the child’s will — remember that she had established it centuries earlier.

“Some selfish ones live like vampires on their loved ones’ energy and the loved ones often have periodic or chronic illnesses. The Guards of such a soul constantly broadcast such messages as, ‘You are free of illusion. You are no longer gullible. You are free to see with the eyes of God.’ They call the name of the loved one three times, then declare that they are freed.

“The true healing of earth’s soul blindness shall begin when souls incarnate there begin to participate in such treatments themselves. Nothing is as compelling as the creative constructive Power of the spoken Word.

“In turning from her father’s love, the child repudiated it. Her refusal, though unconscious, formed a magnetic barrier against her father’s love.

“The mother continued to draw every spark of life energy from the child, leaving her weaker day by day. It takes time to release the body of one clutched by such a vampire. The danger of wrenching the child from her moorings in the physical body by pulling her away and breaking the mother’s grip, was too great for haste.

“By the time the gentle constraint used at such a time had worked, it was too late. The mother had so depleted her vitality that she never regained the strength to hold onto her little body.

“The child, freed from those vampire arms, sought her father with appeal in her eyes and nestled closely as we cleansed the room of all traces of the mother’s presence. The father’s only consolation now is that she looked at him with loving eyes until she slipped over to us.

“Medical science did all in its power to save the child, diagnosing a fatal relapse. The mother’s vicious folly tore her from her father’s arms. She continued weeping and loudly calling to the child, though she had no power to penetrate the magnetic wall of light the Great Guard placed around the father on earth after we released the child.

“We couldn’t persuade the mother to leave earth until the child had left her body. She followed the body to the cemetery, but we had brought the child here and the mother couldn’t find her.

“We’ve held them apart long enough to rebuild the child’s wasted desire body so it will carry the necessary resistance to withstand the mother’s selfishness this time. We brought the mother here several days ago and they can’t leave these rooms until the Great Council permits their Great Guard to release and escort them.”

I can’t finish recording this lengthy dream, for Michael is due, and Molly is waiting to take your book upstairs.

This story doesn’t truly surprise me, for I’ve seen plenty of the same behavior among acquaintances in the city. Parents do not own a child, for all children are gifts from God.

What would happen if these earth mothers suddenly knew what they will reap for setting their children against their fathers, all for selfish reasons? What if they could know the disastrous results over there, and in lifetimes to come? This reinforces my decision to conquer my selfishness. I’ll seek harder to love you with no taint of possessiveness.

I know your father will allow you to expand here on earth under your Divine Plan. How grateful I am to Higher Powers for encouraging me to leave this record to guide Michael in raising you! Someday you’ll follow it in training your children.

Knowing you belong to God first, then to yourself, I can love you as dearly as I like, then love you some more. God is good to me, and I do love you.

July 14, 1912

Michael left early this morning, so Molly indulged me with breakfast in bed. Here I stay while I rest from doing nothing! I’m happy and feel wonderful. I hug a deep, beautiful glory to my heart as I think of you. Nothing else seems to hold my interest!

I must record the rest of my latest soul flight.

The same Blue Cross Nurse, who brought the little girl to her mother, later conducted them elsewhere. I asked about the child’s father — the question still bothered me.

She said, “The father will come to us before too long. His reason for being on earth is gone, and with the loss of his daughter, he has lost all desire to live. Doctors will say he grieved himself to death about the loss of his wife and child, and they will be quite right.

“Nearly everyone who goes to earth creates one experience of letting go of all their life lines. This, in turn, loosens the desire body’s hold on the physical heart. In such a case, one loses immunity to diseases of earth. Thus, any sudden shock could send the soul from its earth body in an instant.

“People are immune to certain diseases because they’ve conquered the selfish traits that may create those diseases. When one comes to earth with a horror of something he would ‘never do,’ he has cleaned that up in the past.

“However, the Great Guard is always there, with all possible lights from above moving through him. He makes such strong, powerful suggestions that the soul hears him and begins the struggle to return to life and take up the earth mission again.

“If the father had any mission left on earth, he would hear his Great Guard’s voice speaking plainly. He would respond to that powerful voice, gather himself and go on with life. His body won’t wear out until he reaches his fate line, because nothing within his soul will make him want to take his life. It will never enter his mind to do so.

“The Great Council gives everyone a fate line when they leave here. The fate line is the time limit set for lifting a soul from indifference.

“If a soul reaches the end of all desire for development, refuses to do anything toward soul growth or would retrogress by staying beyond the time set for his fate line, he would come to us sometime near the fate line date, the exact hour being determined by the Great Council.

“Any soul who desires to achieve through hard work, study and sacrifice of selfishness can and always does move onto the Path of Destiny with the greatest ease. Sometimes this happens when one survives an accident or a nearly fatal illness to become more brilliant than ever before.

“Weakness of character, lack of desire and determination to stay in the body until one’s work is complete, the desire to escape lesson-learning or family, business or social responsibilities — these taints always loosen the hold on the physical heart.

“Wild grief, such as the mother exhibited on our side of the veil, and the desire to possess the life of a loved one on earth, is pure vampirism. It is mental vampirism on earth when one dominates to possess the will of a loved one. This draws all the life energy to the one who possesses the will of the other. Either way, the soul will eventually lose the physical equipment.

“If the retrogressed soul has the slightest chance to come through, they will repeat the relationship on earth again, since this gives all parties concerned the greatest credits.

“The Great Council intervened here for two good reasons. First, the father had learned his lessons long ago, standing alone, loving this woman as his wife, holding her blameless. This freed him.

“Second, they saved the child from losing soul substance the mother would misuse as hate. The daughter was freed from many incarnations of mother-domination when we withdrew the mother from her possession of the child. To do this from our side becomes a final withdrawing to freedom for everyone concerned.

“The child turned to her father and spent the remainder of her life in his embrace, his love enfolding her, and her cosmic love from past ages enfolding him.

“She’ll meet the father when he comes over. While she is ‘growing up’ here, they will have constant contact until we completely restore all lost vibrations between them, stronger than ever because of their gallant centuries of sacrifice.

“Gradually we will cleanse every memory cell of all ideas of mother-possession, leaving only the aversion memory of ever allowing anyone to possess any part of her again.

“Her lessons in discrimination, discretion and discernment will be heavy ones, but she’ll learn them well, for she’ll only be picking up the pearls of wisdom she laid down when she sacrificed herself to become a daughter to this lesser intelligence mother to teach her mother love.

“Father and daughter will return to their family group for one incarnation as father and daughter. The same relationship, worked out in love and harmony, will erase the last lingering impressions from their memory cells and hearts.

“After this one father-daughter relationship, they will return here to their own relationship of true mates, created in the beginning, assuming their place of rulership after earth’s experiences.”

I was curious about where they had taken the mother and child and how they would finally separate the two. I asked the Nurse, who said, “Now that the vibration is completely broken, the mother’s demanding ways will finish the work with the child. She’ll see the mother as she really is, utterly selfish and unloving.

“Right now the mother is sitting in a Pavilion with the child on her lap, rocking and singing. She won’t allow the child to play, attend classes or even look around. Her plaint will be, ‘I gave my earth life for you and I’ve no one else. You must stay with me always.’

“She’ll demand the child wait on her because she is tired. This is true, since she has no more energy to call on. She clutches the child close to her for the only way she can draw energy from the child is to have their bodies touching.

“We allow the least fraction of the child’s energy to seep through to the mother, and the child is already growing bored with the closeness and the continual rocking.

“The child unconsciously longs for the father’s love because his love never ceased its flow toward her during her short earth life. He loved her more deeply the less he had of her on earth.

“Now, with the mother’s earth influence removed, she is lonely for him, although inarticulate about it. She’ll soon begin to run from the mother, who will rush after her to drag her back to the rocking chair.

“When the child’s desire to maintain her integrity against all the mother’s persuasion is built within her strongly enough, when the last feeling of worship for her mother is gone, we will shroud the mother in white mist and take the little girl to her Nurse Mother and her true place.

“The mother will wander for a time, searching for her earth daughter, but we will always bring her to this Pavilion. She can choose to act in one of several ways. If she again raves, they will immediately take her to the Borderland, where she’ll lose soon lose all the energy she’s gained from the child. If this happens, she’ll gradually lose all identity, exactly as she would on earth in similar circumstances.

“If she is indifferent, they will take her to classes for six months. Then, if she remains apathetic, the mist will be cleared between her and the Borderland below. They will have warned her, told her how best to act, and what to do. Still, she must choose for herself.

“If she stays here for six months without improving, she’ll probably incarnate the instant they allow her to sink. She could build only a puny body, and almost mindless, which we could bring here soon after its birth.

“No earth mother could give enough strength and energy to such a retrogressed soul to hold it in its body more than a few weeks or months at most. Then we would begin our work of long years to start her up the ladder.”

The Nurse nodded toward another young woman, weeping uncontrollably: “That young mother came over because she wouldn’t stop possessing her three children. She hated that her husband’s relatives were disciplining her children.

“She had become a possessive, selfish mother, never preparing them for life — doing everything for them herself. So, the Great Council had to take her for two reasons: To save three other souls and to avert her settling into selfishness of possession as a soul trait. If a mother goes haywire on selfishness about the strong soul ready to incarnate as her child, she may go out on a kickback of force and die in childbirth.

“Not all cases of transition during childbirth are due to selfishness or negative reasons. Sometimes a mother will sacrifice her life to free an ‘old soul’ — she pays his spiritual debts.

The Nurse continued to explain: “Most of these women have neglected or been indifferent to their children on earth. They’ve arrived from the Hall of Records after viewing their life records. They each have a guilty conscience, so they forget everything else.

“Guilt is a demand for approval under God. A personal sense of guilt indulged in, which is pure self-indulgence, reflects itself in others, especially children, as lack of respect for the one who feels guilty. Selfishness, a guilt complex, indifference, lukewarmness or possessive demanding will all deflate the atoms in the physical lungs and cause scar tissue.”

Immediately, I noticed another drab-faced woman, desolate and forlorn, sitting on the edge of a chair, uneasy in attitude. When they brought in a pale and listless child, she finally aroused from her lethargy.

My Nurse said, “That mother, who was nearly blind on earth, fell and struck her head. She lay for weeks in a light coma, but refused her Great Guard’s help to breathe herself back into her body. She had enmeshed herself in an escape complex during several lives, and became a suicide.

“In a recent incarnation, a nerve end from the cortex wrapped around the optic nerve, which is related to her desire to ‘see’ the truth. Self-willed spiritual blindness always precedes physical blindness. As the vital nerve was pinched, it cut off the propensity for desire to live, or at least to awaken, in the lower part of the brain. The fall tore loose the nerve, which was essential in healing her blindness.

“Her daughter came to us only hours later, having suffered a fatal asthma attack. A guilt complex left over from another incarnation will create asthma from birth. The mother and daughter are bound together by a dozen earth lives where they’ve each indulged their complexes, escape and guilt.

“Every soul must learn the difference between truth and illusion. When self-desires blind a soul, he is really blind to the difference between truth and illusion. Illusion is always founded on a fact that someone has distorted to fit a perversion of truth.

“Not what comes from the outer, but what arises from within the little self, trips the soul in the present. Everything rightfully belonging to a soul shall come in the right hour.”

While she spoke, nurses brought many children, and some found their mothers. They led mothers in and led others away, lost in their half-stupor. We left the building and walked to my favorite bench, where the Nurse continued the explanations.

“Very few cases of downright evil ever come here, and none of those you see now were involved in true evil. Yet they show their past selfishness by being here, for all those who come here demand we find their lost children here, ignoring the fact that work remains to be done”

“When the newly arrived soul has attained a degree of balance, he or she gladly attends the classes required by the Great Council. They accept the proper supervised service for their expansion of soul and growth in added brain cells, for they know the Great Council will send them to those places where the lost child or relative is to be found.

“Wherever they are waiting, we arouse each at regular intervals according to Law. We show them picture-lessons and remind them of what they must do. Nurses conduct them through the Realms to help them seek and find some occupation to revive their interest in living.

“Some move up, deciding to work with the nurses. Others slip away from the nurses in charge and wander aimlessly until they are found and returned to their station, some stray repeatedly.

“Change is constant here, though it always seems the same to you. Sometimes the nurses can’t arouse one from the lethargic near-coma, which is the next phase below indifference. When one in a coma refuses to return to the body, they are bound in soul debts and an escape idea.

“They finally allow such souls to sink to the Borderland, the last Degree before earth. Borderland workers urge fallen ones to seek parents on earth.

“Some, who go to earth from here legally, find earth’s lessons too hard and seek ways to leave earth. They return to us only to find Heaven’s lessons ‘too hard.’ While here, they forget how hard earth was for them. Because they won’t listen to heavenly counsel, they run to earth again — a vicious circle — earth’s escapism finally leads to this end.

“Naturally, they neglect their children more each time and each time they attract only those whose intelligence is similar or lesser. No self-respecting, highly intelligent soul seeking parents for itself would go to such a creature to be born to earth unless temporarily blinded by hate.

“Some refuse incarnation and sink to earth’s atmosphere and a state of near-animalism. They become bodiless ‘floaters’ who seek satisfaction by hovering around those low places of earth where wickedness flourishes. We can’t launch them upward again unless we can bring them here as infants.

“Even the most evil soul must build its new body within some mother to come through the Gates of the Mother to incarnate. This makes it possible for us to bring it here as an infant and we must provide the mothers who will take them.

“Therefore, according to Law, we use those mothers who have deliberately turned their backs on full ascension of the soul. We use those who have repeatedly ignored warnings and have retrogressed almost as low as the next-to-creature soul, who must build a body or have one built for them from their remaining soul substance. Even these mothers will receive credits for motherhood.

“The Great Council gives the greatest of all credits on one’s mesh for motherhood. To lend one’s body to this creative process is the ultimate sacrifice, so considered by the Great Council. Some very high Priestesses go to earth in humble circumstances to become the mothers of many children to make up needed credits.”

I feel as though I’ve been away from earth for days. Molly startled me when she came with fruit juice and a reminder that Michael will soon be home.

I’m thrilled, little one, to think of what they are giving me. Today I remember, more than I could recall when I pondered it before I slept. They are answering my questions.

I know I heard the Nurse’s voice today! I saw her as I wrote the explanations she had no time to give me during my last soul flight!

Those huge books the nurses write in are really our account books, showing our balance of debits and credits. We must pay all indebtedness in full, in the coin of the Realm! No wonder those nurses are so busy writing that they pay no attention to anyone. They are keeping our accounts straight!

As I learn more, the whole matter becomes much less complicated. I can see they temper absolute justice with a mercy that always hears a plea for help and allows another opportunity to the one who desires to do better. One can understand when judging by eternity rather than by earth-years. No inequalities exist, for everything must balance eventually, even if in some far-distant time.

All we need is enough time and I begin to suspect most of our judgments are off by several millions of years. This is a much better reason to be good than any I’ve ever heard.

I’ve loved to record this soul flight for you and your father. How I do love him! I love you, too, sweetest little son. Where are you?!

July 16, 1912

Something at the edge of my mind all day yesterday surfaced just as I was dropping off to sleep. Ever since seeing all those mothers over there, the question of what happens to the fathers has bothered me.

I vaguely recall occasionally passing hooded figures on the Grand Terrace. From their robes and hoods, I took for granted they were male. Do any of them ever search for their loved ones? I know Michael would when he went across the border.

When I opened my eyes this morning, the whole sequence spread before me like a panorama. I remember sauntering up from the Grand Terrace, reaching the first east avenue, and what I saw afterward. Mist clouded my vision at first as it swirled, though it soon cleared. I was looking down at the pavement of the narrow avenue, tracing the mosaic pattern scintillating with beautiful colors.

The Nurse lifted my hand as she said, “Sometimes, when you stay too long, the mists close in around you. If you come over too rapidly, without taking time to raise your vibration properly, you’ll find the mist swirling around you. However, always remember that your first impressions will be compounded of both seeing and hearing, which you’ll register as a ‘knowing.’

“We can’t bring you here for any untrue purpose. Therefore, what you seem to know will be true. Yet always stand still until we bring it into focus for you before you interpret what you think you know. Then you can compare what you see and hear with what you feel you know. Do this also on earth when seeking to interpret events, others’ actions and words and you’ll never go wrong.”

Then I asked, “Where do all the fathers go when they come over here?”

In answer, she turned me around and pointed across the Field of Flowers beyond the great North Avenue. When the mist cleared, I saw vast white buildings, each bordered by a narrow garden. A flowering hedge separated the gardens and the walkway that ran along the great North Avenue up to the Gates.

The first building off the Grand Terrace was nearly a block long with several entrance arches. It was two stories high and much narrower than its length. Past that building and the garden beyond it rose another round building, like an amphitheater — its dome of several tiers glistened in the sunlight.

A terrace graded in steps surrounded it all the way around and led to pillared archways that repeated as far as I could see.

Beyond the circular building and a double row of flowering hedges, were four long blocks containing buildings of two and three stories each. Instead of a Field of Flowers, these buildings enclosed a huge college quadrangle. It, too, had a large rainbow fountain in the center, the largest I’ve seen.

Many figures were moving about. I turned to the Nurse, impressed by all I’d seen. She said, “We call this the Mental Realm because everything that happens here, everything you experience occurs in the mental state, in our share of mind.

That round building ovrr there is the great Hall of Wisdom, where all adults go for their classes. This is your first glimpse of the College of the Great Councils.

“Many who attend classes here are on soul flights from earth, just as you are. They leave their physical bodies resting while they learn what they need for their next day’s service on earth. ome do this consciously, but the majority know nothing of soul flights. Yet all awaken on earth with their answers neatly filed and ready to use when needed.

“Those buildings on the Grand Terrace, beyond the College, are the Reception Stations for adults from earth. All earth fathers check into their station, according to their degree. We’ve shown you only a few earth mothers, just those involved with child-neglect, whom we must train in the Children’s Realm itself.

“Above the Reception Stations are Rest Stations where they take all adults whose desire bodies need healing. Very seldom do fathers who are weak come this high. They usually remain on the Desire Plane with their family groups. They want their mother, sister or wife to care for them.

“Those who come here sign up at once for service with the Mystic Brotherhood. As they serve and wait, they may seek to be reunited with their loved ones.

“The Great Council gives everyone time for rest and diversion, which they may use in looking through the different Realms. They allow anyone, who applies for permission, to search for loved ones.

“When a loved one on earth accepts the separation as part of the Divine Plan, the one here is free to work out earth debts in both places. No soul can earn high Degrees here until they covers all earthly debts. Still, they can serve here, work their allotted hours on earth, and attend classes simultaneously.

“Those who want to rest away the credits they gained on earth, can do so in many cities on lower degrees of the Desire Plane. However, when they’ve used all credits, they must join the White Brotherhood or Sisterhood and serve back to earth, or choose new parents and build another earth body.

“Wholly selfish and lazy ones will settle on one of the many cloud islands just below the Borderland. Usually, they run to earth in rebellion. Of course, such ones are on their own, by choice, and so forfeit the Great Guards’ advice and help. Rebellion always means retrogression for a soul. They can return, however, any time they repent.

“When a rebellious soul seeks incarnation without assistance, the parents may have nothing to give except a body. When a soul goes to earth under a Great Guard’s supervision, the parents in most cases assist the soul to progress. The soul itself causes any retrogression during the incarnation.

“Remember nothing can ever be lost. A soul may retrogress until it is finally only a creature in consciousness, but all it can lose is the original egoic identity. Every lifespark involved in that soul’s individuality will be lifted to the great Temple of Purification, where they purify, and reassemble the lifesparks into another living soul. That reassembled soul will then descend and ascend, having incorporated its experience.

“Under legal incarnation, the Great Guard in charge consults the Great Council. They beam lights into the future, sometimes for months, to prepare for the soul’s choice. They consider the records of everyone involved, and focus full lights on all the possible sets of parents. They do so to assess their suitability, and to foretell exactly how the parents will aid the soul to develop and unfold in its new earth life.

“Without the Great Council’s help, a soul will flounder through a whole earth life, blaming others on earth and in Heaven for its mistakes.

“When a soul comes here after a naturally ‘good’ earth life, two White Brotherhood Guides and Mystic Brotherhood Great Guards wait as escorts across the abyss.

“If the soul had left for earth from the Desire Plane, the Guides escort it to the Temple of Transition above the great City of Desire on a high Desire Plane Degree. The Transition Council studies that soul’s records, which though compiled above, are sent down to this temple. The soul acts as its own judge, and decides what it must do to advance.

“If the soul left from our Realms, two Great Guards, one of whom is always he who accompanied the soul to earth, escort the soul to the Temple of Choice here in the Mental Realm, where they conduct a similar review.

“Sometimes a soul who left from our Realms wants to return to his old family group because some loved one is staying there. Quite often, souls from the Desire Plane aspire to advance, and attend the College of Great Guards.

“Only those who have been fathers on earth are eligible to train for the service of Great Guard. The work is long and demands complete sacrifice of all self to be used by the Great Council.”

I’ve more of this soul flight to record, but I hear your father. I’ll finish tomorrow, unless I make another soul flight. So, dear one, bye for now.

July 17, 1912

My sunroom feels good today and I want to sit here quietly while my mood matches the sky’s steely calm.

I’m happy, but in a pondering, speculative way. I suppose I brought on this contemplative mood by reviewing my previous soul flights. I want to regain that mental perspective to recall what the Nurse said near the end of the visit. It is elusive today. Perhaps if I begin, the rest of it will come.

My Nurse escort and I went to a bench by the avenue, overlooking the college and other buildings. I felt weary. She said they were testing me under lights on this visit.

I have it! I can hear! She said, “They are using all lights in rotation on your earth body, seeking any defects your Great Guard must mend for you. These lights reveal every instability of physical cells, whether organs, nerves, bone or muscle.

“However, the main examination is for your heart. They are keeping you here to see how long your earth heart can bear the strain of separation. Remember, your Great Guard is as responsible for your body’s safety as he is for monitoring your son’s body building. Naturally, his care of the child depends on his care of your body.”

(I must have lost consciousness briefly, because what I heard her say next was in the middle of a different thought and not anything about my heart.)

“… and no one ever sees the parents themselves. They always surround the couple with lights as they bring together the two parent cells. Each light has its special meaning, and the colors signify whatever the parents are doing or thinking about at the time.

“The Councils choose parents whose lights show the right conditions for the soul’s new earth life. The Great Guard escorts the soul to the Borderland between Heaven and earth, where they await the moment when the two parent cells merge. The unattached end of the silver cord is a slender, delicate fork that fastens magnetically in the center of each parent cell.

“When the parent cells unite in conception, the soul, supervised by the Great Guard, fastens his silver cord to the joined parent cells in the Ark of the Mother. These two cells later form an inner chamber within the physical heart, which is the seat of the electrical impulse that powers the heartbeat.

“For the first three months, the soul building an earth-body remains in a semi-dreamlike state, while compressing itself into such tiny quarters. Several hours of building are followed by quiet, while the soul permeates the newly-built physical cells.

“When the silver cord is firmly attached to the heart and aligned up the new spine, the soul can awaken and enjoy living here again. The soul can come ‘home,’ for the silver cord stretches exactly as it does in a soul flight such as you’re making.

“Two Guards always remain with mother and child, overseeing the body building process.”

After she finished, I was suddenly very faint. Next I felt a vibration, beginning in my toes, rushing to my head. My heart thumped for a few seconds, then settled into a regular rhythm. I was conscious until I got straight in my body and fell into a deep sleep here.

Otherwise, I would have recalled the soul flight the next morning, instead of having it sort of spread out. I’ve recorded it completely now.

It’s good that they hide the beauties of your world from prying eyes. How tempting it is to dream away life down here. Every selfish motive, including greed or desire for power over others, is good, because it holds us to earth, and we finally learn our needed lessons.

After lunch, Molly brought the scrapbooks to continue my project. I looked through the one my mother made and am still laughing!

I was a confirmed old maid of twenty-two when I met your father! None of the men I’d met before looked like the father-to-be of my six children! I just knew I would recognize him, and I was sure he would recognize me, too! He did!

John Farnsworth, introduced us exactly a week after I’d refused to marry him. I’ve always loved John dearly as a friend.

Michael and John were best friends from childhood, but Michael went east to school, so I never met him until they arrived in John’s boat to visit.

When Michael walked up the beach and we looked into each other’s eyes, I knew that if he couldn’t be the father of my children, I would have no other. My knight had come from the sea!

We stood there so long, John finally said, “Hey, what’s the matter with you two? Don’t you want to meet?”

I remember too, the stricken look in John’s eyes later, when we told him of our engagement. Still, he was happy I’d chosen Michael. He has always said that if he couldn’t marry me, then he’s glad I married his best friend.

Baby mine, the flames kindled that day still burn brightly, and our hearts are filled with the wonder of our love. We’ve always felt specially blessed and, with your coming, our love reaches beyond the stars! Remember, I waited for your father, Michael, my beloved husband, your father!

July 18, 1912

Darling, we ache to hold you and we can’t be together enough to satisfy us. Michael leaves late in the morning and comes home early.

We wander the gardens, we visit your nursery, and last night we went through our wedding album. We loved the pictures of John as our best man, which he still is in every sense.

Little son, if I could only write this in letters of fire: The man makes a woman of the girl he marries!

If she becomes a queen, it is because his love has exalted her and evoked that regal quality from within. All the qualities of the woman I am today, lay dormant within my heart.

Love’s magic brought them to expression, because they respond only to the call of love.

I pray you may have the same qualities of tender understanding, that you’ll become exactly like your father, who is wonderful.

We’ve always respected each other’s right to independent thinking, knowing each must retain some untouchable core within the soul, the heart of one’s personal integrity.

Don’t mistake passion, nor any glacial virginity for this love. Passion soon burns itself out, and love is alien to an icy, barren soul. Better the passion than ice that has nothing to give.

Darling, please don’t think that I’m just preaching. Listen when your father speaks, for he knows the difference between the real and the spurious.

My heart yearns that you’ll find the right young woman, one who is sweet and strong. I’m trying to make this journal a living record of my deep love for you, the baby we gladly await to love and adore, and an appeal to our grown son, ready to marry a true mate and build a family.

I can only hope you appreciate the father I’ve given you. I know you’ll love Michael, even as I love him and as I love you!

July 19, 1912

Darling, you’re moving within your small quarters as if you begin to feel cramped! A sort of “pushing” to try out the size, and a few flutters, like the fanning of a butterfly’s wings. I can’t describe the sensation, but Michael and Molly were thrilled when I told them.

Last night I fell asleep quickly and found myself sauntering along the path to the Grand Terrace.

I saw two great Beings of Light who must be a higher Order than the Great Guards, for they seemed to emanate the light surrounding them. I could scarcely see their figures within the brilliance.

I entered the central archway of the first three-story Reception Station. Two interns held a stretcher as they waited for an elevator, and I moved nearer to see whom they carried.

At first, all I noticed was a lovely soft, white blanket. Then I saw a young woman’s sweet face, waxen as if in death, though not the same “dead” look as those babies I’d seen. Her skin looked softer, faintly tinged with pink.

As they left on the elevator, I wondered what to do next.

Then the Nurse took my hand, saying, “You do get around, don’t you?”

I felt “at home” this time and answered her freely: “I don’t know why I’m here, but I’m curious about that young woman they just took up in the elevator.

“What will they do with her? Why does she look almost dead?”

She whisked me into an elevator to the second floor. We turned left and pushed through a set of doors to a large, circular corridor that surrounded a glassed-in central operating room.

Brilliant light flooded the room, unlike the soft, subdued lights I’d seen elsewhere. The light shone from the whole ceiling dome, but focused on seven golden spheres that hovered, about eight feet above the operating tables. The beams were soft and cloudy, with no glare, despite the extreme brilliance.

We walked halfway around, climbed a few steps and sat directly overlooking the table where two interns had just placed the young girl’s body. Instantly, pastel rays descended from the sphere of light above her table, constantly changing hues as they touched her. She never moved.

Four doctors, followed by four nurses, entered the operating room. The doctors and interns wore tunics that were snugly belted, causing them to blouse over their loose trousers. The interns’ tunics were knee-length, but the doctors’ were longer. They all wore close-fitting caps, held in place by a two-inch band.

The nurses wore white robes and winged caps with a silver-edged blue cross, topped by a tiny gold five-pointed star. No one wore masks or gloves.

The nurses uncovered the young woman, removed her earth hospital gown and replaced it with a short, silky looking gown. Two doctors began to massage her abdomen with rotary motions, one following the other so quickly they covered it every second. The rhythm of the complicated pattern was beautiful.

Soon the other two doctors, who had been making rotary motions over the girl’s head, moved to the side, near her knees. They raised her knees and moved her feet apart.

I thought, “Why, she’s not stiff at all.”

All four doctors continued working over her. Suddenly, one doctor did something I couldn’t see, then he held up a tiny infant girl.

She couldn’t have weighed more than four pounds, but she was beautifully formed! Her hair was a lovely red-gold, exactly like her mother’s. The contrast between the infant and her mother was tremendous, for the newborn was rosy with life.

How can I express the amazement I feel about each new experience? This was greater than anything else I’ve seen!

The Nurse, seeing my astonishment, said: “You first saw this young woman within seconds of her last breath on earth. Here she is in a deep coma.

“The earth doctors unsuccessfully tried to deliver the baby before she left. The child wouldn’t have lived, even had they been successful, because the cord was wound too tightly around her neck.

“The mother came to us because of toxemia, a poisoning that sometimes takes women before childbirth. Soon they will be able to conquer this on earth.

“She is another type of earth’s many tragedies. As an unwed mother, she feared disgrace and felt she had no one to confide in other than the young man who was the father of her child. They were deeply in love and planned to be married later.

“She let him know and he came to her at once. Unfortunately, on his way to her he met with a fatal accident and we brought him over here.

“The baby became more precious to her than ever, and she intended to keep it. So she left her hometown with the money she’d saved, crossed the continent and hid from her family. Being young and alone, she unwisely delayed going to a doctor until it was too late to save her earth life.

“At eight months the child is almost perfectly developed. She’ll thrive in an incubator here because both parents have loved and wanted her. All she lacks now is brain cell ‘polishing.’

“They brought the young man here in shock. He’s only now beginning to awaken and doesn’t yet know he’s left earth. He’ll wake up long before the young mother, and will be with her when she awakens.

“She may sleep for weeks, depending on the effect of the toxemia and how well her desire body responds to the lights. A full spectrum of specialized lights will flow over her desire body until its repair is finished, then she’ll awaken naturally, as will the infant.

“In cases where the mother has not deliberately sought release from motherhood, only traces of the poisoning remain in her desire body. Someday earth’s doctors will be able by timing to release the baby’s body from the mother’s soon enough to save them both.

“Even now the Great Guards stand and suggest such timing, but it usually goes unheeded. A few doctors are skilled beyond earth’s present knowledge and do save many babies, though the mothers come to us.

“A baby must be born to be released from the mother’s body. If it’s not born on earth, it must be born here. When a pregnant mother dies on earth, she must finish her pregnancy with us.

“Since mother and child can’t remain attached forever, birth must relieve them here. What is not finished on earth must be finished in Heaven.

“It’s an amazing story when you hear it for the first time, isn’t it? Once parents begin this creative process and the child’s body forms within the mother’s, the child must come through the Gates of the Mother!

“Right now, you’re traveling in your desire body, which is an exact counterpart of the body you use on earth, and the same laws apply to it, here or there, according to degree and kind.”

While she talked, deeper-hued rays, which seemed to rotate as they streamed from the great dome, flooded the mother’s body. The doctors and nurses watched her as intently as I did.

Finally, a rose-orchid ray hovered and covered her with soft radiance. Instantly her body relaxed as the glow of life filled it.

The doctors left, and the nurses brushed her body with the same golden oil the attendants used in the nursery. The oil, stored in a large, clear jar, seemed to bubble spontaneously!

After thoroughly massaging her, the nurses dressed the young woman in a long nightgown of thin, silky material. The interns covered her with a soft white blanket (the rose-orchid light still enveloped her).

We followed as they wheeled her across the corridor into another hall to the right. My Nurse escorted me into the young woman’s room, which was filled with flowers.

I could hear muted music. A full spectrum shown through the golden ceiling dome and sphere of light over her bed, but the rose-orchid beam seemed to serve as the carrier for all other colors.

The Nurse said, “When her body is completely healed, the light rays will automatically turn golden. Until then she’ll sleep, for they are also erasing all memory of pain and grief before she awakens.

“At first she’ll think she is in the earth hospital and will ask for her baby, whom they will bring to her. Then she’ll sleep again, really resting. She’ll reawaken to her husband’s kisses. They won’t miss earth, but will begin their service here, able to spend all their free time with the child.”

I’d seen a Blue Cross Nurse take the baby away, so that satisfied me. However, another question puzzled me, so I asked my Nurse: “Will the doctor tell her parents that she died in childbirth?”

“No,” she answered, “The doctor will notify her parents that she died of kidney failure, and the diagnosis will satisfy them. She had confided to her doctor just a few days ago, and he knew she was keeping her baby. We had already planned to bring her here to join the father.”

I suddenly needed to sit and walked into the hall, almost collapsing on the bench. My senses faded and returned, but I couldn’t feel my body! Without knowing how, I felt the first pulsing in my feet, pulling me into my body until I was alive and vital — I had a body again.

I was almost unable to grasp all she said during the soul flight, but the details have come as I’ve recorded them. It’s as if I listen to a recording while I write and see the events as they happened.

I did not see you. Each night I think “tonight” and each morning I want to ask “why not?”

Well, I wanted to know all about your world, didn’t I? I’d better like it, hadn’t I?

I’ll dwell on my love for you until Michael’s enfolds me again. I really do love you, my darling.

July 20, 1912

I’m so happy and grateful that I’ve never had opinions about the idea of life after death. I’m glad I began my journal by trying to prove that a so-called invisible world, where you must dwell, does exist. I’ve never doubted it since finding you.

Last night I wiped all possessive thoughts of having you from my heart. I wouldn’t bind you in any way, my darling. I find I get better results by concentrating on living just an hour at a time. Whenever I think of the long months ahead, I begin to slip into self-pity.

I must record my nap-dream! It happened right here in broad daylight. Molly talked me into drowsiness. Her voice faded and I slept.

I felt strangely half-consciousness and didn’t know whether I was still tucked in my hammock on the terrace or in your Realms. Someone was holding my wrist and I could just see another hand and tiny gold wristwatch.

My Nurse’s voice came from far away: “I am ordered to monitor your heart closely today. We’ve allowed you to overstay your time twice so we could determine what you need to strengthen your heart. When we know, we can cover all flaws so it will last until your work is done.

“Everyone’s heart reacts to the stretching of the silver cord when they come here on soul flights, but you could strain and easily weaken yours.”

I felt tired and didn’t want to stir or open my eyes. Yet I heard her voice clearly then fading to a whisper, as she went on.

“While your earth body heart beats strongly and regularly, we will allow you to remain here. When the rhythm falters, your Great Guard flashes a light to us for your immediate return. To delay your return means going beyond the danger point, your heart could stop before he could take you back to your earth body.

“Everyone comes over on an exhaled breath and must return on an indrawn breath. If the unconscious breath of sleep should cease with the termination of the heart beat, the soul would be stranded outside the earth body.

“Many infants, and visitors who have forced their way to our Realms without the supervision of a Great Guard, have so lost their bodies. Earth doctors call it heart failure during their sleep.”

I opened my eyes to see the swirling mist, so I shut them again. Someone said the mists were thicker whenever they take one to a higher degree.

I must have slept soundly. I’ve always been so eager during my soul flights, yet I’ve grown so accustomed to Heaven I can sleep there!

A sudden burst of joyous childish laughter woke me. I sat at the edge of a breathtakingly lovely meadow.

Tiny white pink-frilled daisies peeked from close-cropped grass. I gasped with delight. How I do love daisies!

Small white doves fluttered and lighted on the heads of children who played together or alone, all of them happy and singing with the beautiful birds.

Four-year-old children were climbing a haystack (large enough to be a task) to slide down the other side. Five or six began together, only to tumble down in a tangle of legs and arms! How could they ever extricate themselves?

Their laughter left them lying nearly spent on the grass, only to arise and try again. We never hear such carefree laughter on earth. New children replaced those who tired of the game.

Then my heart really danced! Miniature ponies, decked in pure white or combinations of colors, stood tethered to a hitching rail. At the end of the rail stood tall poles with streamers fluttering as if in a brisk breeze, only no breeze stirred! Each pony was equipped with a halter-bridle, but none bore a saddle.

Boys and girls were riding! The children all wore page-boy riding suits. The ponies stood quietly, no matter what the children did, and never moved until the youngsters were well seated. When they finished their rides, some children dropped the reins to the ground, some threw them over the rail, and others made elaborate knots.

Somewhat older children rode on a path next to the fenced hedge around the meadow’s perimeter. Smaller youngsters used an inner path, separated from the outer by a grassy strip.

Inside the bridle paths was a wide track where ponies drew wicker carts. Older children drove two-wheeled carts. Young nurses drove larger four-wheeled carts with several children in them, and in four-pony carts, nurses drove other nurses holding tiny children.

Later, I learned from my Nurse that all these nurses without caps were young women, recently arrived from earth, who are in training for their blue robes and crosses.

My Nurse pointed beyond the hitching rail to a field where a game was in progress between teams, all about nine years old, in white or in navy blue page-boy suits. Both teams rode ponies, playing with a huge light ball that the ponies pushed with their knees.

The lively game showed their expert handling of their ponies as they guided them to get the ball through their opponents’ goal post. Both sides scored while I watched.

I suppose our Great Guard must have sent my Nurse a danger signal, because I remember nothing more. I awakened in my hammock, knowing you were there somewhere, and still think so.

Little darling, I’m truly grateful for these visions of your world, but I so long to see you. You’ve been so close these past few days as my coming baby, not grown-up at all.

I hear your father. I love you so very much.

July 21, 1912

My great excitement about this soul flight caused me to awaken several times last night. I think it was because I felt you so near. I just wanted to review my experience, and wonder where you were.

I didn’t dream, and finally slept soundly through the night. I had a busy morning, and lunched on the terrace with Molly.

I was in practically the same position as yesterday for my nap, and found myself in the same chair, with my Nurse holding my wrist and looking at her watch. I still wonder about watches in Heaven, but can’t think of a reason they shouldn’t have them if they want them!

The mist remained only a few moments. The last thing I expected was a repeat performance of yesterday’s scene. But no children played at the haystack, and someone had removed the goal posts from the other field. This revealed wide double gates at the north and south ends of the field.

The gates were decorated with tall lance-shaped poles, flaunting streamers that fluttered in an unfelt breeze. Three plumes were tied to the tips of these poles, scarlet at the north and royal blue to the south.

Page boys opened the gates and two teams entered, marching four abreast. They all wore suits of cream satin, tunics and short mantles. The girls’ tunics were just below knee-length, but the boys’ tunics were shorter. One team wore cloth of gold mantles lined in scarlet and a scarlet cross on the back. The other team wore cloth of silver adorned with a blue cross, lined in rich, bright royal blue.

Both teams carried lances with cream velvet pennants fastened just below the points. All wore matching helmets, gold or silver, decorated with a scarlet or blue fleur de lis on the high fronts.

Their ponies were caparisoned in cream velvet, edged with a gold or silver fringe, and decorated with a scarlet or blue fleur de lis in the corners. The ponies’ bridle plumes were scarlet or blue, and tiny bells on their harnesses made soft, tinkling music.

The ponies tossed their heads proudly, and in perfect rhythm formed lines of boy and girl couples. The teams pranced down the field in two long columns, met at the center line, touched their lance tips, and turned. Six rode in either direction to circuit the field in a square, again forming pairs at the gates, which the pages had closed.

When next they met on the center line, they crossed the field diagonally in pairs, to the middle of their own sidelines, east and west, and diagonally back to the center. They rode to opposite sides, then with a brilliant whirling maneuver, swiftly rode to their own gates. They cantered down the field to turn and meet in a center line, and touch lances again.

Each team formed pairs and began the most intricate formations — circles and squares. They wove in and out, and spiraled in a weaving pattern with drilled precision.

Those ponies pranced to hidden music, never faltering or missing a step. They were a shimmering loveliness of scarlet and blue, gold and silver. No one coached them from the sidelines, but they performed the most complicated formations from memory.

The pageant ended when they met in the center and touched lances before whirling away to form a circle east and west of the line. The ponies reared and held their forelegs in the air, knees bent, stepping in slow circles as if to dance music. Then the two groups danced through each other and ended in east and west lines facing each other across the center.

Each pony knelt on one knee and touched his nose to the grass. The children held their lances high above the ponies’ bowed heads, dipping them to each other before they broke the formation.

The grace with which the ponies regained their feet and whirled away was beautiful. They aligned four abreast to exit the gates exactly as they had entered.

What surprises me, more than finding ponies in Heaven, is the evident pleasure those ponies take in their drills. They must respond to words, or can they think for themselves over there?

People are always saying animals do everything but talk. Perhaps they may learn to think for themselves! Why couldn’t we train them with the same suggestions we use to train a child?

I leaned back to rest, a bit weary from all the excitement. I closed my eyes for a second while the Nurse held my wrist — and found myself stretching and yawning down here.

Molly stood there with my fruit juice, saying, “My, how soundly you sleep! Master Michael phoned to say he’ll be here soon. Now, you drink this.”

July 22, 1912

Little son, my cup runs over with joy! It is almost too marvelous to record, but they took me to that same meadow for the third day at my nap time.

I’ve asked, begged and prayed for weeks, and now that it has happened, I pinch myself to see if it is really true! I must get it down before I lose one scene or word.

After feeling you so near, I was disappointed when I awakened here and had not seen you. I meant to look for you yesterday, but I returned too suddenly. I was not conscious of any small children in the meadow.

Yet I feel so wonderful because you asked me to snuggle you! I must begin at the beginning. I went for my nap, wondering if they would allow another glimpse of the meadow. Then I opened my eyes and there I was!

I looked around in time to see a tiny tot slipping off her pony. Before she fell, a Blue Cross Nurse was hugging her in laughter, loving her. She set her on the pony’s back and slapped his rump to start him off again.

That nurse’s flight was as swift as a humming bird on the wing. The child never knew she had begun to slip off the pony’s back! It answered my question about the children being left alone or neglected. These children are free of obvious restraint to wander and play by themselves, but are always under nurses’ watchful supervision, which is much more effective than hovering over them.

When I first saw her slipping, it frightened me and sent my heart into a mad gallop. It didn’t surprise me to find my Nurse holding my wrist and checking it again.

The little girl rode around the field next to a pony cart full of children, and she was laughing and chattering happily with them. I asked how the nurses could see everything at once.

The Nurse said, “You can’t see it yet, but when any vibration misaligns in the slightest degree, an explosion of light flashes from the child to the nurse in charge of her. The lights are our ‘eyes.’

“Many people of earth, and mothers especially, have higher sensibilities and react to our lights when they ‘feel’ something to be true with no apparent reason for it.”

I felt a light touch on my wrist and turned to look into guess-who’s eyes — yours!

Sweetly you said, “Mother, dearest, I’ve brought you some flowers. I do love you very much and I am sorry to be such a bother. Will you please hold me for a little while?”

As I write your grown-up words, I should run them together without any pause, for that is how you said them. I feel they were part of a lesson that your Great Guard included in your training, probably for my comfort.

Yet I know you didn’t rehearse your love as you gave a tiny spring to help me lift you onto my lap. You leaned against me in perfect confidence just as I’ve pictured you ten thousand times, my dear little son. Then you nestled in my arms as if we belonged together.

You’re such a fascinating combination of child and adult that your grown-up words seemed natural, not absurd. Is this because you’ve lived to be an adult on earth in so many lives? Surely this is a trace of it, although you left earth as an infant the last time.

I kissed your curls repeatedly, not quite daring to offend your dignity by kissing your cheek or lips. You gave me the daisies you had brought. I could find no words for the so-great wonder of holding you.

When I spoke, I sounded more stilted than you had! I was just too emotional to be able to talk!

“How sweet of you to pick flowers for me. How did you know I love daisies? They are almost my favorites, especially when they have pink-fringed ruffles. I’m so very glad you love me. Do you know how long I’ve waited to hear you say that?”

Looking at me, still with grave eyes, you said, “Oh yes! I’ve waited a very long time, too. You have been very busy growing up and getting ready for me to come, but I’ve had to study and wait over here for you to be my mother.

“I couldn’t grow up here this time because I was disobedient next to the last time on earth. You know I’ve been your little boy before, don’t you? We lived together on earth for a long time. They told me we can’t be together this time, but we’ll be together when I come back here, won’t we?”

Though I was thrilled, your matter-of-fact question also shook me. I’d rather have such confirmation from your dear lips, since it doesn’t seem quite so cold, somehow. So I said, “That’s why I’ve been so eager to see you here before you come to me on earth. Have you known I wanted to hug you and love you?”

You turned and said, “Yes, mother. They allow me to hear your love words, but soon they’re taking me on a mission to distant stars, so maybe I won’t be able to hear all that you say.

“They’ve already taken me to you on the terrace, and for rides with you and father. Later they’ll take me to the nursery to visit. I like to watch you write about me in the blue book. I really think you’re a beautiful mother, and I’ll return soon from my star visit.”

I began to respond, but you asked, “Mother, would you like to see me ride my pony?” Then you pointed to a white pony just beyond the haystack. You must’ve been riding before I arrived. As I said of course, you slipped from my lap and looked up at me as lovingly as I could wish. You showed your love in a way I must remember from the long past.

I’ve decided my speechlessness grew from years of regarding you as my helpless infant. Now I have three of you to write about in our journal, my baby, you as an adult four-year-old, and my grown son, who will someday read these words, as if they belonged to a fairy tale.

You led your pony to a little mound on the meadow, mounted, then guided him carefully between the children to the outer bridle path. You rode exactly as your father will teach you to ride your first earth pony. You changed gaits like a small veteran and halfway ’round quickened the pace to a fast lope (the pony’s best speed, I’m sure), circling again to stop near my chair with a flourish. You threw the reins over your arm and led your pony to me.

Pride of accomplishment filled your every gesture and manner, but I detected no sign of self-satisfaction on your face. You said, “I’d much rather stay here with you, because we don’t see each other very often, but if you like, I’ll ride for you again.”

I said at once how much I, too, preferred to have you with me. I was all ready to say more when your pony grabbed at my daisies, snatching most of them and shaking his head, scattered the rest on the grass. All I had left were three long-stemmed daisies. I meant to gather those fallen on the grass, but what you said to your pony was too interesting to miss.

“Neo, you have bad manners today, for you’ve snatched my mother’s flowers right from her hand! I’m ashamed of you, Neo, very ashamed! Don’t you remember what I told you? That I’m leaving you for a long time? Aren’t you ashamed of yourself, Neo, aren’t you?”

That pony laid his head over your shoulder exactly as if he knew what you were saying, and did look a bit sheepish, but went right on chewing my lovely daisies. You pushed him away, grounded his reins and turned, reaching up to me. So I lifted you onto my lap, loving your angelic smile. You looked ever so pleased that you’d disciplined your pony.

This time you kissed my cheek! I can still feel that kiss burn. Then you turned your cheek for me to kiss, and as I did, meadow, haystack, the pony and you faded, and I awakened from my nap. I looked and saw that I held three pink-frilled white daisies!

July 23, 1912

Most solemn-eyed little son, precious and perfect, so heavenly sweet and delightful, moving ever nearer to earth, how I love you!

Here in my journal, pressed and waxed for preservation, are three daisies with pink frills around the edges! They’ve become a part of my dream-experiences of the real you. I know you’re real, my soul flights are real and you love me.

God said, “Let there be Light,” and God made everything from that light.

I’ve had items re-materialize all my life, pins, rings and buttons. I don’t know “how,” but whenever I miss something, I stand still until I can “feel” it in my right hand. Later I always find it some place “impossible” for it to be.

Far Eastern countries declare this is a simple Law of the invisible and records exist for one who believes. Who knows? Some ray of light may transform an object into invisibility and send it over the beam to condense it elsewhere in its original form. Of course, no one doubts our ability to convert solid ice into invisible steam or to condense the steam into ice again. Nevertheless, that ice and steam are merely two phases of one substance — water.

No one here put those daisies in my hand — Molly wouldn’t.

I’ve also given much thought to the peculiar “state” that precedes each of these “dreams.” I hold such loving thoughts about you and your father that I drift to sleep with you uppermost in my mind.

I recognize that same deep sense of peaceful, all-pervading joy that seems to permeate my consciousness, the same feeling with which I’d approached the dream state before.

The waters of my mind are motionless and clear, with no conscious thought disturbing them. No emotional waves cause even a ripple on the mirror-like surface of my mind. I do nothing to force it because I know nothing of how to achieve such a state of consciousness. I just lay there quietly and it happens to me.

It’s as if something dormant within my soul awakens in the depths of me, expands until it fills me, then absorbs and lifts me into this new dream-dimension of life. As this feeling sweeps over me and begins to consume the “daytime me,” I find myself lightly wondering — not hard enough to disturb this absorbing process — if I can remember how it worked this time, so that I can return again whenever I like. Or would I leave it behind with the dream-state, forgotten when I fully awaken again.

There! I’ve captured it!

Later: I wonder, did our pioneer parents enjoy the sunsets and mountains we do? Did they ever take time to?

“Sunset and evening star, and one clear call for me!” As I watch the sunsets, the evening stars, the brilliant colors, the delicate lines, the purple veiling of night, those poetic lines mean so much to me. I’ll soon be awaiting my call — will it come as the the poet said? Oh, I want my departure to be a clean going after a clear call, please?

I’ve loved bringing you here from spring to the summer and it will be through the fall and into winter. Oh, I wish I might show you one set of seasons, but that is silly, since you wouldn’t be ready to appreciate them for ages. I’ll settle for snuggling you for a while afterward.

July 24, 1912

Last night Michael looked so vulnerable that I yearned over him all night. I found it hard to sleep from dread that I may leave him without warning. He’ll grieve because I’ve shared the burden of my fears, I know. However, I can’t. I just can’t.

If I let go once, I’d also want to share my dream-experiences! Michael might fear for my sanity if I forced this on him. That would ruin our perfect days together, and add a new fear to the old ones.

My leaving will open his seeking mind without frightening him. Since my fears will have been justified before he reads this journal, my going will open these doors for him. Enough! I must think “up!”

Molly brought me the lovely fabrics for your christening gown. It’ll be ready next week, imprinted in an elaborate design to embroider for you. I want to leave you some of my fine handwork, something your mother made for her son and grandson. I know you’ll have a son. Every stitch will be a love-message. It must be extravagantly beautiful and unusual, something only an expert can do. My darling, I’m an expert needlewoman and proud of it, since it’s my claim to fame.

All morning I’ve felt smothered and peculiar. I was afraid to tell Molly or Michael I hadn’t slept well. I don’t want to go to bed again, which the doctor would recommend. I couldn’t eat breakfast and only a little lunch, so perhaps I’m faint from hunger. Why doesn’t Katie bring the snack Molly promised to fix for me? I should go into the library or call Katie.

The sun’s been peeking and hiding under lightly scudding clouds and a breeze came to life just before Molly left for town. She wanted to help me to the library, but I felt too stuffy and faint to go indoors. I wish I’d gone with her because it seems a mile to walk.

I’ll wrap up in the wool blanket she brought in case the wind gets worse. I’ll be all right until Michael comes. He’s coming home early. With the rising wind and darkening clouds my mood-barometer is falling, too. Where has all my desire to praise gone? Why do I feel this way?

I just can’t think about doing anything, and I know it’s going to storm. Well, little son, never mind. I’ll be warm and it doesn’t look as if the rain will come too soon, so you’ll be all right, I know.

I’ll just curl up snugly here and sleep until your father comes for us. He’ll carry us inside, rub my feet and hands and we’ll have hot tea and something to eat while he tells us how glad he is you’re on the way.

My love, little fellow, all my love to you!

August 24, 1912

Little son, a whole month has passed since my last entry! I nearly lost you through my own fault. That day I remained outside, a storm broke suddenly and reached gale force in minutes. Michael and Molly arrived just ahead of it and got me into the house.

I was sound asleep, but Michael did not kiss me awake. He scolded me and I deserved it. I couldn’t remember why I hadn’t gone in when the breeze turned to wind. I never take chances. Why I did this time, when it means your life, is beyond me! I know I wasn’t thinking clearly. I still felt smothered for air while they talked to me.

Molly brought hot tea, muttering “some people can’t remember the length of their own noses” — meaning Katie, the cook. She implied I’d risked your life and neglected her “young master.”

I agreed with her heartily, but couldn’t tell them how terribly I began to feel, and I was deeply ashamed. Michael is never cross with me, but he scolded me and did not love me! I knew he was frightened about losing you. Yet I felt noble, too, because I was trying to protect him.

I developed a headache during dinner, added to the smothering feeling. I couldn’t eat, though I was really hungry. I said nothing about feeling ill, although Michael knew something was wrong and hustled me off to bed right after dinner.

While brushing my teeth, I realized I had a sore throat. I’d no trace of it before dinner. It just flared and there it was. I didn’t tell Michael.

I fell into a troubled sleep and awakened before daylight so ill I knew I must have help. I tried to call Michael, but couldn’t speak. My voice was gone.

Molly had a bell installed in her rooms when I was ill the first time. After I rang, she came so quickly I believe she was expecting something. She woke Michael, who called the doctor, who treated me for a “summer cold.”

I just shivered and burned for four days, getting better then worse. My head bumped the ceiling most of the time. I wept for being such a fool, for causing Molly so much work, for doing this to you, for hurting Michael, but mostly I felt sorry for me. I was so noble for not telling Michael, and he wouldn’t scold me if he knew.

The fever never left completely. One afternoon I found myself floating over there in mists, calling my Nurse to help me to find you. I was out with two ideas: I must find you, and get rid of my pain.

Molly found me unconscious as Michael came home. Would you believe, little son, I wouldn’t listen to your dear father’s voice and distinctly remember thinking perhaps I would be one of those mothers who have their baby over there?

I’m under the terrace awning for my first meal downstairs. I’m tired of being an invalid and dinner downstairs is a change. I’ve spent more time in bed recently than in all my life, excluding my rheumatic fever year.

Molly’s been hovering and her concern sounds like “surprise.” I missed my early August birthday so it must be a surprise dinner.

Here come Michael and the doctor. Michael looks wonderful and I love him so much.

August 25, 1912

I was right. It was my birthday dinner and I stayed downstairs for cake afterward. Katie did herself proud with dinner. Molly served with a flourish, then disappeared.

Michael walked me slowly to the library, where Molly greeted me with my lighted birthday cake and packages. I wished and Michael blew out my candles.

Guess what I wished for? Right. My supreme gift for Michael, you.

Molly sat farther on the edge of her chair each second in eagerness, so I opened her present first. I could tell how happy she was about her “find,” and tried to think of kind things to say as I untied the ribbon.

Truthfully, my mind was on the other box. I thought Michael must have found me a new winter coat.

When I lifted a beautiful forest green gown of the softest, finest wool, another dress in my favorite shade of bright sapphire blue was underneath! I knew I’d love them when the weather cooled.

I reached for Molly, and kissed her cheek as I thanked her and said how wonderful they were and how much I loved them. When I caught Michael’s eye and saw his approval, I was ashamed of my previous fears and contrite.

Michael handed me the other box and as I read his card, he began to help me undo the ribbon. Then came my greatest surprise.

It held two of the loveliest tea gowns I’ve ever owned! They are dream-gowns to match my dreams of you! Created for my “condition” as Molly kept repeating until I finally heard her and agreed. Your father’s favorite shade of powder blue was on top and under it another in pale rose.

Molly’s appreciation made my tears spill onto the old garden smock I was wearing. She said, “Now you’re ready for cold mornings and drives — and you’ll look lovely in the evenings.”

She really is unselfish. Michael asked me to put on the blue one and I was happy to — I’ve not really “dressed” for weeks! I had to let it out to the second button immediately.

We had a delightful evening, then Michael carried me upstairs. He put me down on the landing and turned me to face the long mirror. I’ll never forget that view of myself broadside, never! Oh, the contrast between my self-visions and my true reflection!

The figure I cut lured even Michael into hearty laughter. We sat on the window seat, laughing until we were weak. We burst into hilarity again when I said I still had four months to go and where would they take me if I kept growing at the present rate?

My notions of romance about my condition are finished. I’m terrible. First babies don’t come in small packages. Having lived in nightgowns for weeks, I’ve not looked at myself in a mirror. It is just not fair. I’ve had no time to get used to my size, so it slipped up on my blind side.

Sweet one, do you really need quite so much room? I’ll be glad to hide myself in Molly’s choice of dresses.

Michael kissed me thoroughly, saying, “Isn’t it good you can arrange such ample accommodations for our son? He needs plenty of room.”

He said the portrait artist is ready for me to sit. “You grow more beautiful daily. I want you just the way you are now, with such delight in your eyes.”

I had to say yes. I’ll sit for him whenever the doctor says it’s all right. He’s been urging this on me for years.

Your father is proud of my size! I’m certain it’s his proof you’re truly coming to us. I’m proud that he is gloating about it. I love your father for always being such a gentleman, and comfortable to be with!

Little fellow, though not so wee from this side view, where will I be on another birthday?

August 26, 1912

I remember how the storm broke in a fury of torrential rain during dinner that night I became ill. It settled into an all-night downpour. The wind hurled itself against the windows and tore at the trees, dying to rise again and shriek in anger, each blast more furious than the last.

I fell asleep with that fury in my ears. It seemed to set the pace of my illness. I know I entered it under rebellion because that day I wrote in my journal that my mood went down as the storm came up.

My attitude must have clouded my mind so I couldn’t think clearly. Surely this influenced what followed. My record wouldn’t be complete without recording this experience, but I’m not proud of it. My actions have lost me several wonderful weeks with Michael, and I’ve lost visits to your world.

I’m concerned that they’ve ended because I broke my vows. I’ve gained no profit from it, except the invaluable experience of what such a lesson carries. Although I’ve not gotten it all straight yet, I’ll keep trying to understand where I went wrong. After the first morning, I’ve only the faintest notion of what happened. I couldn’t seem to make them understand that I couldn’t stand the pain.

I was vaguely conscious of the doctor coming and going — voices always trying to get me to take something or do something I didn’t want to do. All I wanted was to be rid of the pain.

Finally I discovered it didn’t hurt quite so much if I barely breathed. It was easier from that point and I kept feeling lighter. I just decided it would be all right to leave my body for a while until I could stand to breathe in it. I forgot earth and floated above my body, thinking, “How I appreciate leaving the pain.” All I wanted was to rest and rest and rest.

I was alone and called to my Nurse to help me find you. Then I even forgot you and floated idly, which was the loveliest sensation.

A grey mist shot with dull light surrounded me. It was neither “light” as in my soul flights, nor “dark” as during those early days of illness when I dreamed I was searching for you. It was an easy place where I didn’t need to think or rouse to drink something.

I heard someone call me from a long way off, but it made little impression. I felt no sense of obligation or responsibility when I heard it again. Each call was farther away, and I didn’t care who it was, though I think it was Molly. Nothing was going to take me back until the pain was gone. A small part of me wanted to return, but it was so small a part I didn’t heed it. The feeling of being folded in softness and warmth persisted, and I floated away from pain.

Then I heard a clearer, sharper voice calling my name, so I hid behind a convenient cloud where I couldn’t hear it anymore. I just wanted to rest my head and sleep a while. I snuggled down into the cloud as if it were a blanket, drifting with my eyes closed.

Then a voice spoke close to me, a voice filled with compassion and understanding, but with a quality of grandeur that compelled me to pay attention. I didn’t open my eyes, but was shocked from my semi-dream state of conscious as someone took my hand in a strong grasp.

“Why are you hiding behind this cloud?”

I had to answer, but without opening my eyes, asked, “Am I hiding? I was just resting for a minute because it feels so pleasant here. Quite soon I’m going to fly again.”

I began to drift to sleep again, but felt strong arms lifting me in a protective embrace. His tone of voice had a sterner quality as he spoke again with full authority: “Come, we must return at once if we are to be in time. Do you not hear them calling you?”

My answer this time was a complaint, “No. I don’t want to hear them because I’m not going back to that body while it hurts so. I can’t breathe in it.” I settled back, satisfied that I’d finished with the whole matter.

Then he exclaimed, “You must return!”

I opened my eyes to see that one of those magnificent Greater Beings held me, the one whose radiant face I’d seen on the Grand Terrace as he passed with a companion.

No light veiled him now and reproach filled his eyes.

“You must return. We must hold your earth body or you’ll waste two earth lives. We have very little time to reach it. Have you meant all your vows? Do you love your husband? Do you remember your gift to him? The son he has always wanted? Do you want your SON?”

As that magic word “son” penetrated the mists and fogginess of my consciousness, I really tried to awaken fully. I remembered you, my vows and my mission, and I knew I had to get back to my body.

We’d been speeding downward, and stood by the bed and my earth body. I strained, but couldn’t draw a breath. He kept saying, “Breathe, breathe, breathe deeply! Try again. Take a deep breath. Try! DO it! You can, you know. You must breathe. Make yourself breathe deeply!”

I tried desperately, for I knew if I didn’t, I’d surely lose my earth body and leave Michael forever. I fought upward only to be engulfed again, and I couldn’t get the weight off my chest. I felt my lungs slowly collapsing. Numbness gripped me in iron hands and I couldn’t loosen its grip!

I began sinking into darkness again when as from thousands of miles, I heard Michael calling me, crying: “Claire, Claire, you can’t leave me like this. Claire, come back to me! Claire, come back!”

I tried to reach through the blackness and failed, but the urgency in your father’s voice caught my full attention. I found the strength to make another effort to fill my lungs.

I felt a resistance give way and the first refreshing breath penetrated my lungs. Under the Great Guard’s orders I continued to put more effort into breathing myself into my body.

Michael didn’t know it, but the great breath he inhaled for his despairing call, added to the Great Guard’s and my struggle, was the breathing “pull” I needed to get in. Michael’s cry literally hauled me from that pit of darkness into my body.

In that instant, I took my first weak breath within my body. I was conscious that Molly and Michael were weeping, and my Great Guard was still telling me what to do. I tried to smile at Michael and was just barely conscious of my doctor and a nurse standing behind them. I slept for days and forgot what had happened.

I didn’t recall any of it until I heard Katie and Molly talking about the days when they were really frightened for me. It’s still hard to understand how so much could have happened in a few minutes of earth time. The doctor called it a crisis in the pneumonia.

If our Great Guard hadn’t been watching over us, I wouldn’t be here on earth now, with you still on your way to begin your earth life! It would have meant three lives to live again! No wonder earth ascends so slowly. Such selfish stupidity ruins so many life expressions.

I see clearly now what my Nurse tried to explain. The rhythmic breathing of the soul and the Great Guard and the inhaling of breath by someone like a doctor or nurse nearby, acts as a strong suction that draws the soul into the body.

How terrible it would’ve been to awaken over there and find that I’d cheated my beloved of his son. No amount of regret could have compensated for everyone’s lost time, and I would’ve ended as just another case-history in Heaven!

I know I’ve not heard the last of this. I’ll seek hard for the Law wherein I went wrong and my hidden weakness that caused me to disobey. I hope I can find it before they call me to account over there.

I fear I may have lost the right to see you again. I pray constantly that I haven’t permanently closed the gates to Paradise while I remain on earth! I wonder if I failed in responsibility; I was acting irresponsibly. Perhaps this is it. I must ponder it.

I love you both above all Heaven and earth and can’t understand how I could forget you and your father! I’ll never boast again that I don’t forget. I’ll pray that I may always hold constantly to my vision and be fully conscious of my responsibility to you, my supreme gift from Heaven. I do love you, my son.

August 27, 1912

I wrote earlier that anyone who couldn’t handle living in the two worlds was unbalanced in his subconscious mind to begin. Well, I’m not quite so proud of my insight as I was, but it’s still true.

The seeds of unbalance do lie within, ready to flare under the right conditions. I’m a living, concrete example of pride going before a fall. Being so sure of my own poise, I flattered myself on being able to handle a life in the two worlds with ease. I thought I’d such perfect balance that nothing could upset my wise judgment.

I meant no harm. Since my dreams were a perfect extension of my childhood visions, I unconsciously began centering my life around you and your world. I never thought anything could make me so forget the reason for my motherhood as to deny it by complete selfishness. My whole desire had been you as a gift for Michael.

I realize this much: In thinking about you all the time, wondering where you are, when I’ll see you, I’m giving Michael only a leftover part of my mind. I’m cheating him of his wife and denying my greatest vow of making him happy.

This is dishonorable. My only right to be in your world, or see you, is during sleep or when no other duty calls, never when I’m with another person, especially Michael. I’ve no right over there unless they call and conduct me.

Such preoccupation leaves the soul dangling between the two worlds, getting nowhere over there or acting like a zombie here. I fear this means completely losing the power to see and hear, and I’ve no excuse. By seeking to live on both levels at once, I loosened my hold on this earth body so that illness and pain caused me to forget duty and vows.

Only a slight desire to escape pain sent me into that dark place of forgetfulness. I would’ve gone out with unconquered self-pity because I was using my leaving as an excuse to be with you, while crediting myself for being noble here through my silence!

I make my soul-inventory as honestly and as honorably as I know how, and wait for further enlightenment on my vows of responsibility. Several details still puzzle me, but I feel my feet are solidly on the ground now. I hope I’m finally free of the vale of illusion for good, knowing it leads right into self-delusion. I was headed straight into becoming a fussy, irrational, middle-aged woman having her first baby.

Neither Michael nor Molly blames me for being ill, but I’ll make up my neglect at once. The doctor says I can do anything within reason, if I follow regular habits of sleep and frequent rest.

So, I’ll plan our fall entertaining and try to meet our social obligations. I’ll plan the two large summer luncheon parties we always have, when our guests can swim and enjoy tennis.

Michael is eagerly awaiting John’s arrival, since they always share the fall salmon fishing in Puget Sound. John never misses that, so surely he’ll be here, although we’ve not heard a word in weeks.

An old part of me still wants sympathy. I slide into feeling sorry for myself more easily since being ill. Worse, I’m afraid my soul flights have ended. You see, with all my good resolutions, I still want you! Nevertheless, I’m going to make myself worthy of being your mother at any cost to self.

Michael’s love will be my protection against being selfish. You shall be my gift for your father, whenever you decide to arrive.

“If you can dream and not make dreams your master.” I shall heed Kipling and not make dreams my master! I love, love, love you.

August 28, 1912

Darling! I’m giving your first party. I’ve just finished twenty invitations. Each word I’ve written says, “I love you, little son.”

I like this summer period of the mountains’ barrenness. The Cascades’ rocky gorges and lower slopes are laid bare from the heat of summer’s sun. It’s as though they display their solid rock foundations proudly, while telling us their white glory should not deceive us into thinking we can fool them.

Their unchangeable quality has rebuilt my waning courage and I’ll meet Mt. Rainier’s unmoving grandeur with more steadfastness in my heart. I await Michael with love, unafraid of the future tonight.

August 29, 1912

Beloved little son, God is so very good to me! My devotion soars in praise to high Thrones, and my gratitude is boundless. I sing, and wish that I could waft sweet incense to the skies, for my joy is of Heaven! They granted me another soul flight!

I discovered that a grass terrace, two shallow steps high, runs along the border of the Grand Terrace and the Field of Flowers, with benches scattered along its length.

I found myself sitting on one of these benches looking earthward down the Grand Stairway. I could see much farther than before — every cloud and figure stood out clearly.

More figures seemed to be coming and going, speeding up and down without clouds. It made me think of the angels ascending and descending Jacob’s ladder. Could this be what he saw in his dream? He called it a dream, just as I have; I never thought of that until this minute.

Time stopped. It felt as though I’d sat on that same bench often in the past weeks, watching the continuous flow of scintillating, beautiful colors. I briefly wished for my Nurse, but not too hard, for I’ve promised not to ask for anything. I remembered that.

I saw no one approach, but gently a hand took mine and I looked into the face of our glorious Great Guard! His countenance was benign and radiant as he smiled and said, “Come.” We stepped to the bordering path then gently floated up beyond the pavilion circles, farther than I’d ever been. We settled down near the shore of a miniature lake in the midst of a park.

The view had been quite clear from above, but a thin, swirling mist appeared when we touched the grass. Across the lake were trees, benches and dim shapes with flowing robes in many colors. Their voices sounded distant, and muted music filled the air. We sat on a bench and my Great Guard’s voice gradually became clear. He must have been speaking already because I heard a continuation:

“… so we could not protect your earth body if we allowed you to do as you pleased in coming over here. If you’d been rebellious or blamed anyone for your action or had not tried to understand it for yourself, you would’ve had no more pleasure or lesson visits.

“At the last, you would have been granted two or three more visits because they are a necessary part of your son’s training. He must have these experiences here before he leaves if he’s to be able to find his way to us while still on earth. He’s supposed to do what we call ‘bridge the abyss.’

“When one accepts full responsibility for one’s acts of disobedience while setting one’s own sacrifice for them, it does pay part of the debt to Law. After we open our Realms to one of earth, we must appoint two Great Guards from the Legions of Workers to watch over the earth body. They may not leave for an instant when the soul is ‘out’ legally.

“They use the magnetic ray to build a wall of dynamic power to surround the earth body — the light inside intensifies to the brilliance that you saw in the operating room. We can release the magnetic ray only through a Great Guard, although the Lesser Guards stand near the body, form the magnetic wall and focus the lights steadily.

“From the first hour of your illness, two of your Lesser Guards watched beside you, concentrating all lights steadfastly at the proper degree and level to suit the temperature changes in your earth body. The slightest deviation could destroy body cells at such a time. Because of this, we used only enough light to assure the holding and healing of your body, which absorbed the permitted light as fast as we built it around you.

“Since we had no plan for you to leave your body then, we had not released special magnetic power. Therefore, no heavy protection was available to your Guards when you left your body. This power that heals can also destroy, you know.

“Our Lord and Master Jesus showed this to his disciples when he used it on the barren fig tree. He chose a barren tree to illustrate his lesson because it destroyed nothing useful, and he had to train his disciples with all care.

“The speed at which you traveled was determined by the force of your thought-desire to escape from your earth body and the pain. Your desire to escape the pain rapidly thinned the lights around your body. Within a few seconds your silver cord was too dim for me to follow.

“Before a soul flight, we build the magnetic light around the earth body, with every beat of the physical heart. We send an impulse of light along the silver cord to enter and fill the desire body with life and strength. The light warms the silver cord, allows it to stretch for each planned soul flight and causes the desire body to glow visibly anywhere in the Realms, while the heartbeat is strong.

“At the time of your illegal flight, I was nearby, overseeing the work of your two Lesser Guards. Four more Guards were on call since the crisis of your illness was approaching swiftly. When the flash of your withdrawing struck me, you had already depleted the little light around you, as an untimely explosion would do. I knew instantly what had happened and followed you.

The force with which you left your body took you so far that despite my instant response, there was a chance I wouldn’t find you in time to save your earth body. As it was, your silver cord became so faint it would have faded altogether had your husband not been nearby to send his love-call after you.

“Do you recall saying that you would only rest for a moment? Your voice was too faint to hear beyond a short distance, yet it did send a weak vibration along your silver cord to your earth body.

“Exactly as you spoke aloud, your husband sent you his first agonized call of love. This two-way vibration, playing over your silver cord, reflected the great lights from above, which we turned on to find you the instant the explosion of force sent you from your body. Without this double vibration causing the silver cord to resonate, it could not have reflected the lights to me and I would not have reached you quite so soon.

“At the moment you left, four Lesser Guards flashed to your bedside. The six, alternating in pairs, compressed and released your physical lungs seven times to maintain your respiration of the atomic breath. This is the breath that vitalizes all minerals and plants. Fakirs, who enclose themselves in airtight places, also use it. If this ‘fifth breath’ ceases, the atomic structure collapses and the soul cannot reenter the body. This is what you call death.

“You already know the inhaling was too much for you alone. Only because of your husband’s great love were we able to return you to your earth body in time to save it for you.” (Here he made a counterclockwise rotary motion before my eyes and I could see around the little lake clearly! Everyone was walking leisurely, so I knew it must be a resting park of some kind.)

“When love is great enough and the call is strong enough, you can call a loved one from the Gates of Death. We will always restore one who is leaving as a result of no personal fault, who has much work still undone, or who has many debts left to pay. However, the penalty for recalling a soul for utterly selfish reasons is heavy. The soul on earth who calls must assume all further debts incurred by the soul called back.

“Sometimes, both regress from that moment instead of advancing by learning earth’s lessons. It takes all the lights of Heaven, the Great Guard, six Lesser Guards, and many nurses to return a soul after outer physical breathing has ceased.

“Under legal permission for soul flights here, we control the ascent, and for the first few times at least, it is made very slowly. The principle is the same as that applied to a deep sea diver rising to the surface.

“This powerful magnetic field built around the earth body flows over the silver cord, giving strength and power to the traveling desire body and making it glow brilliantly. The soul travels on the beam of light so furnished from its own physical body. This is why the danger of forcing one’s way into our kingdom is always so grave.

“Since the Great Guard is responsible for both mother and child, or for the soul who is to make soul flights from earth, only he can call for the release of this magnetic power. It must move through him to Lesser Guards in charge below. This is why the Great Guards appear to be more brilliant at certain times. They shine like suns when they are releasing full magnetic power to be used on earth.

“Sometimes the earth body needs more light and the Great Guard must make the call immediately, wherever he is and instantly stand beside the earth body, releasing added power to that directed by the two Lesser Guards. When the inner light begins to fail here, an ample amount remains in the magnetic field around the earth body to hold it until the soul can return. Failure of light over here shows that the physical heart has weakened and slowed below the safety point. The soul must then take possession again at once, for the danger point swiftly follows the signal of failing light.

“The light must always be strong enough to lead the soul back to the earth body, traveling along the silver cord beam. The egoic soul fastens the silver cord to the two parent cells within the heart, the point from which it forms the earth body. We fasten it to the head center in the mental body, which always travels within the desire body during soul flights.

“Often the greatest desire for soul flights cannot be consummated because of many lifetimes of unbelief. This so crystallizes the silver cord that it cannot stretch, leaving the individual frustrated and near another retrogression of unbelief in all heavenly matters. Such souls alternate between belief and unbelief.

“Your silver cord is very flexible because of your great faith. The greater the faith of God in the individual on earth, the more flexible the silver cord. We delay seeing, hearing and soul flights for many eager ones because they must ‘burn’ their silver cords into pliability through their newly found faith and the love of God. Love fulfills the Law in every way.

“Of course, where the soul is heavy in the earth body, it does escape at times, but it can only float just above the head in the room or near earth. We call such a one a ‘floater,’ for while this may sometimes take place before death, it also continues after death, with no soul consciousness at all.

“Two ways to seek our world are equally wrong. It is as harmful to sit and contemplate the beauties of our world and yearn for them while neglecting duties on earth as it is to force one’s way across the abyss. Both ways eventually spell disaster.

“The three keys I now give you legally place you in our hands for protection when you use them. They form an instant call on us to direct our power in building that magnetic field of protection around your earth body.

“Here they are for your use: Selflessness, which is the forgetting of self in service to others. Love of God, which is living every hour filled only with selfless love. Faith of God, which is living by His unconquerable faith always.”

As he finished speaking, he passed his hands in a rotary motion before my eyes, this time clockwise, causing the air to whirl before me, finally swirling faster, elongating itself as in a tornado.

Darling, I hear your father, so tomorrow I’ll finish recording the rest of this soul flight. It must have lasted all last night, for it was early morning when I awakened here, directly from being “there.”

I do love you so very much!

August 30, 1912

As I write, I question more than ever how I recall so exactly the words expressing feelings, beings, places and events with which I have no previous familiarity. When I write, I hear the words with an inner ear. The impression they make on my memory cells with one hearing is so deep, it’s as if I’d studied for years.

I must record the rest of my last soul flight, for we’re beginning Michael’s vacation and he’ll be home early to prepare. The weather continues to be wonderful, and I’m glad, since Michael needs the sunshine and being outdoors.

My Great Guard moved his hands before my eyes until the whirling motion included my whole body, as if I were being caught up in it. He kept repeating, “Keep your eyes steady and look downward.”

As I obeyed him, the whirling spiraled outward and downward from me. At first it seemed to elongate itself, then return. Soon it lengthened and spun faster, extending farther downward, until I felt as though I was a part of it and stretching, too. When it finally stopped extending, it continued to rotate, but widened until I was no longer conscious of the revolving motion. The sides made a solid wall, and the end became a telescope, much larger than any on earth.

As I watched, I knew the spinning continued, but too swiftly for me to see. Suddenly the whole long spiral drew together, shortening itself until the scene was in focus. Can you guess, little son? It was you!

Whatever the telescope’s magic, it missed nothing. A Great Guard sat behind a table too small for him, and his robes overflowed the chair.

I counted twenty-four boys, your size, wearing ankle-length outfits in the same deep blue as the Nurse Mothers’ robes. This must be the students’ garb because I’ve noticed others so dressed, who carried books.

I paid no attention to the Great Guard’s words, although I heard his voice vibrant with power as the voices of all the Great Guards seem to be.

I feasted my eyes on your serious little face as you peered intently at a chart in the small book before you. I think the other page was text, but I couldn’t see it clearly. Nothing about the chart looked familiar.

You sat on a bright blue velvet cushion at a small table, which was exactly high enough to fit above your crossed knees. Your concentration was quite adult.

Everyone looked up at the teacher as he spoke, and everyone listened attentively. He must have dismissed the class, for you all closed your books, set them on the grass, stood, folded the tables, picked up the cushions, and placed them atop the tables. You put your books on last, and carrying the tables flat, the whole class marched sedately across the grass and disappeared up the stairs of a pavilion circle.

Immediately I was conscious of the whirling motion again. It reversed itself and lengthened until the Great Guard and his table were far away.

The spinning increased while the funnel decreased in diameter to its original size, shortening steadily until the circular motion was right before my eyes again. The motion turned into colored lights that made me feel faint, but my vision slowly cleared as I became conscious of my surroundings.

I was sitting right there on the bench, and my Great Guard was passing his hands over my eyes. He had reversed the motion of his hands, too. He stopped when he knew I could see him. I even noticed some lovely white swans sailing in their stately manner on the lake.

He said, “You have much traveling yet to do. However, it’s too far for you now, and some of it you must do with your son for his benefit and to reacquaint you with your new home.”

(I must have missed something, for what he said next seemed a continuation) “… but you shall see all that when you come here to stay.”

I’ve no idea of who’ll be taken where or what I’m to see, because the next thing I knew I was waking to a fresh day, a summer morning of great glory. What a special reason for rejoicing!

None of my nonsense here has touched you over there, although even to think it could have is presumptuous. I don’t imagine they’d allow me to interfere with your training.

However, I know my whims and moods could affect your mind down here and make it harder for you to concentrate on bringing through the lessons they gave you over there. It would take a very strong character to overcome such influences, and they might bury your lessons.

Oh, little son, I must keep you free of me! Surely the beneficent Being who allows me to look through a “telescope” to see you at your lessons will allow me an occasional glimpse of you from over there. Surely they’ll allow me to look through the veil to where you are on earth after I arrive in your world.

I’ll continue to think this possible, since it makes me happier and more content, though I know I must really leave you. Love and love to you, my sweetest one.

September 3, 1912

Darling, our Great Guard’s last words have rung in my ears and could have caused me much soul anguish, though I’ve been more than prepared to hear them from the day Dr. Allison confirmed your coming.

I now have an inner peace I sadly lacked then. Yet I still have many moments, even hours at a time, when I want to howl and rebel against fate. I’m glad I wanted to conquer before I knew why I should. I believe it was one factor in being allowed to visit you.

Something new happened last night. I’ve slept dreamlessly since my last record. I slept soundly last night, yet awakened early this morning hearing our Great Guard’s voice and with a clear knowledge of his words in my mind, without consciousness of being anywhere except right here in bed. Loving it as a new experience, I hasten to record it.

It was as if I’d been listening to a recording I’m about to repeat. It sounds like a lecture, yet begins in a personal way, so I know I was meant to listen. Did I tune in on a class over there? Well, here is what I remember.

“You left here as a Nurse Mother to lend yourself and your earth body to this creative process — the building of a small, perfect body for another soul to inhabit on earth. You’ve seen several Nurse Mothers, so you know of their service.

“When one of high degree, who has lived selflessly in all past lives, goes to earth on this type of mission, we never close the Gates between the two worlds. Whenever they remember heavenly Laws, desire to know more of us, want to come to us and conform to all Laws pertaining to our Realms, we assist them in every possible way.

“Obedience is the fourth password for you to add to the other three I’ve given you.

“The Great Guards belong to the vast Order called the Guardians of the Gates of Life. Each different Order of Workers contains many Legions. Countless Legions of Lesser Great Guards and Lesser Guards are always in training.

“The Great Councils give each Great Guard twenty-four souls to escort each year to earth. Twenty-four nurses and forty-eight Lesser Guards, two for each soul, act as assistants. The Great Guard is responsible for their training and their service.

“The soul does not always need two Guards attending, so the Lesser Guards alternate. If they need additional Guards, we can call them instantly from the Roving Legions of Lesser Guards. These Roving Legions are full legions of twenty-four. They watch over earth, hovering over cities, factories, shops, highways, anywhere many people gather, ready to catch any soul leaving earth suddenly through an unexpected accident. They also serve on special calls.

“The Great Council appoints one Teacher Guard to train and teach twenty-four children. They also go to many other different teachers, but they assign one Teacher Guard personally to each twenty-four.

“He reports to and is accountable to the Great Guard in charge of these incarnating souls. He reports any weaknesses to the Council, and they plan to have the soul build the proper brain cells into the new earth body to overcome such weakness.

“The Great Guard, whom you saw teaching your son, was a great judge on earth once, and he is preparing his group for the same service. Your earth mate will train your son to occupy his place as a judge someday.

“Teachers use charts, pictures, explanations and comparisons with full records of the set of lives each child is studying. The main purpose behind all teaching is for the child to assimilate each of earth’s experiences, holding fast to the good and learning how to overcome those taints that left former lessons unlearned.

“They must build new brain cells in each earth life for a new avocation that will become the main vocation in a following earth life — one life to learn how, the next life to become proficient and successful at it, a third life to become expert. What one has learned thoroughly, one does easily.

“The Great Council plans all this. Beings of Light form all Great Councils. Never is a burden too great put upon a soul sent to earth. They send each with the brain cells ready to use to accomplish what he or she is supposed to do.

“Parents are selected whose mental capacities are similar, who will enable the child to enter the world with faculties developed and ready for the parents’ training to awaken. We do all this by reading the aura of lights surrounding the parents.

“Once the orders pass from the Great Council to the Great Guard, the responsibility is all his to aid the soul in fulfilling the orders.

“A small event happening to the mother during gestation may set aside or completely cover the child’s memory cells until every effort from here fails to free them for the soul’s use.

“This is why earth has so many misfits, souls unable to decide what they want to do — which they’ve established during their pre-birth training — sometimes losing all discernment of right and wrong.

“The Great Guard becomes the child’s Mentor or Guardian Angel, flashing to earth to stand with the child until they avert trouble or the child solves a problem. His mighty vibration can be felt even when clouds of darkness surround the child, even when some evil is about to prevail. This is the true voice of conscience.

“At times the Great Guard speaks in a voice of thunder to penetrate hatred or rebellion and to remind the child of the lesson already learned for this time — a lesson often reviewed in Heaven and waiting with its answer, needing only a little stillness to be remembered. He uses powerful suggestions as he stands near the child. All mothers should know this.”

As I write these words, a beautiful silence fills the air — they turn off the recording.

Darling, your father’s plans for after your birth wring my heart. I want so desperately to be with you both. I even want to be an old grandmother!

September 5, 1912

Sweetheart! Today is your party. I’m overflowing with joyous anticipation. After all, I’ve been shut away from my friends for months, save for an occasional caller and I, by nature, am a very gregarious creature.

John’s home! He came in late last night, as nonchalantly as if he’d been gone only a few hours. Michael couldn’t wait, but blurted his news! John’s face was a study in stillness at the words, “We hope to have our son late in December.”

John’s excitement and congratulations were vigorous! They held each other with mad backslapping and punched each other’s arms to vent their exuberance. John will soon fill the house with fun and laughter, dragging Michael away for the play that he so needs. John will be your only “uncle” and will love you as he does Michael.

The weather is staging a special glory that makes up for my lost summer. It’s one of those breathtaking early fall days when everything seems still and waiting. Nature is only a step from falling leaves, but today after a lovely shower last night, they all shine as if revitalized. Nature seems to be saying that winter is just a myth and can never happen.

Towering Mt. Rainier stands in glorious new snow-robes that cover all its lower grey gorges and crags. It wears a filmy white bridal veil, ready for old man winter. I’m enraptured with the world and God. Leaves dance as if invisible sprites were seeking to create new combinations of heavenly beauty for their own satisfaction and for our mortal delight. It couldn’t be nicer for swimming and canoeing.

Tall poplars shade the tennis courts through the late afternoon. Mountains out, sailboats on the lake and my heart singing! This party is exactly as I planned it. These sentimental cards please me immensely. The smugly happy-looking stork carrying a cartoon baby makes my heart flip-flop because this party is for you.

Seeing daisy storks as centerpieces and corsages of long-stemmed white daisies with pink edges gave me a turn; my heart almost stopped with my breathless reaction. Of course, Molly knows how I love daisies, but I wonder if she’s read my journal.

Can I confide in John? He would be a deep well of silence, and Michael will need him and his love to see him through my leaving. If John knew, he would certainly stay until I’m gone to see Michael happy again. The only way to make sure is to tell him Michael will need him and that means making him my confidant. He’s always been like a brother, but have I the right to tell him? I pray about it.

Please, darling little son, could you be an angel and sleep this afternoon? Being quiet in one place will be so much easier if you control your heaving. I promise you, afterwards I’ll stretch out and you can kick as hard as you like. I love every punch you make, little fellow, don’t misunderstand me, it’s just for this one afternoon I ask it of you, please? I love you so, my sweetest.

September 6, 1912

To make yesterday perfect, your father came home while I was napping and kissed my eyes to awaken me. This makes me feel more cherished than anything else he does.

Molly suggested I save an invitation “for the young master.” Imagine Molly being sentimental! I loved it, of course, and her suggestion that I write a note to put with it.

This confirms my late suspicions that Molly does know what I’m doing. I know she’ll complete what I leave for her to do. She’s so very precious, and I love her more every day. I know that she loves me, too.

Molly showed Michael all her lovely preparations for your party. Then off they went upstairs together looking as mysterious as they did about the nursery surprise.

I slipped away for a moment as all the women arrived at once, and Molly received them for me. They were still standing there as I waddled out to greet them. I know I look like a seagoing tug with a barge in tow and their laughter didn’t disappoint me.

They threw their hands in the air as if in horror! Then they all laughed at me and with me, for I knew exactly how I looked. I really rested all afternoon, for they entertained themselves.

They had all been away for the summer and this was their first get-together. We laughed our way through Katie’s marvelous luncheon and Molly’s dessert. Then everyone demanded to inspect the nursery. The instant I crossed the threshold, I knew what Molly and Michael’s mysterious expressions had meant.

In the center stood two tables, loaded with exquisitely wrapped gifts for you. I realized why Molly had worked so hard with curtains and monograms. Every towel was up and it looked wonderful. I realized why they’d suggested something else whenever I mentioned going to the nursery lately. I loved every gift. We examined all the cupboards and shelves under Molly’s proud supervision, exclaiming about everything.

I don’t blame you, little son, for disregarding my begging request for your stillness during the afternoon, for no one could have been quiet or have slept through my hearty laughter. You had every right to object just as strenuously as you did. You banged and kicked as if you’d batter down all restrictions to your stretching. You caused me to flinch at times — so that evoked tales of their experiences with babies.

Listening to stories about their children and grandchildren was wonderful. Our rich laughter left me with too-sore-to-touch muscles today. I believe my laughter, so unaccustomed these days, not your kicking caused the aches, but this morning the doctor said it was good for both of us. Michael insisted on a thorough examination after my first strenuous day.

The only other party for you I could possibly attend would be your christening. Do you suppose I’ll be here long enough?

Will you please always remember to love your father for both of us? Please, little son? I’m leaving my love for him in your two baby hands, so, you must pass it on for me. Please, never forget that, never.

Even when you’re quite grown up, darling, after you’ve read my love-messages in the journal, will you please do something especially kind for Michael, as if it were coming from me?

Please do something more loving for him, just to let him know you bear my love to him in your then grown-up capable hands. You could do this for me, couldn’t you?

Give him something special from me, something you choose — perhaps an extra lovely daughter-in-law, who will appreciate him as I always have? You’ll love me enough to do this, won’t you? He’ll so need that feminine loving touch after all the years of seeing you to manhood, my very dear.

September 7, 1912

It will take Molly ages to sort gifts and make a thank-you list. One whole table of gifts came from Michael’s clients and folks he has befriended, homemade and humble beside expensive store-wrapped presents. Michael pored over every gift with deep appreciation that they’d wished him luck and remembered him.

When John came for dinner, he brought a gorgeous blue baby book, stamped with gold, the most handsome I’ve ever seen. They sat and planned it.

Michael is going to illustrate your childhood with pen and ink sketches, especially the comic events. Darling, I wept in bed alone because I’ll never see any of them, I want this part of your baby-ness, too.

I heard Molly calling her friends, telling them of my two illnesses. Then she brightens, describes the luncheons and dinners I must give, “leaving me free to take care of him after he comes.” Molly must make up her lost visiting time now. She’s been housebound too.

Sweetheart, I’m taking you to your first real dinner party. Michael called to ask if I could go, John instigating it of course. I said I’d love to, but I might have to hurry home to put our son to bed. He hung up laughing and my heart is singing in high joy.

I’m wearing the dark-green maternity dress, Molly’s gift. I’ve made an amazing discovery — this dress makes me look a lot smaller than the light tea gowns do. Molly really knew what she was doing.

Darling, please, if you raise the same rumpus tonight as you did last night, I’ll be quite embarrassed. Nothing I can do covers the upheaval of my clothes. If I’m quiet, perhaps you’ll forget and sleep.

I’m so very happy, and love both of you so much.

September 9, 1912

Today finds me again in the same exalted mood I felt during the first weeks of your coming. You were a blessed angel last night. I think your mild squirming was only to let me know how comfortable you were.

Michael and I enjoyed visiting with everyone again, and he talked all the way home. He began by telling me about searching for the wallpaper I want for your nursery. No one manufactures what I want, so he’s found an extremely talented artist, whom he wants me to meet right away.

He said young David Johnson has been married less than a year and brought his bride, Jane, from the east. Her family is there, but he has no one at all. It would help him get started here in Seattle if we have him paint the murals, then host a display in the nursery, combined with a tea, to introduce them properly.

Michael asked, “Will you talk with him and tell him what you want? He liked the idea. In fact, he was eager.” Of course, I said I would love to see him.

Michael parked at a scenic point and told me how much he loved me. When he called me his “most beloved little mother,” my heart soared. He held me and loved me with kisses. Could any woman ask for more after nearly sixteen years of married life? Could she? A son to come to such a father as an example of what love should be. Surely my cup runs over with happiness.

Molly is shopping at my request. Strange, isn’t it little fellow, you’ve so changed my life. I can’t do much for myself. Michael smiled when he heard me ask Molly. He knows how she adores doing for “her” family. He’s pleased that at last she means as much to me as she always has to him — and someday will to you.

I’m thrilled, little son of my heart, so very happy.

September 10, 1912

Knowing I’ve few tomorrows has given me a keener appreciation of today’s beauties. I’m trying to enjoy each hour as it comes. I’m not fretting about seeing you or dreaming, although I watch myself closely for any sign of moodiness. I embroider your christening gown, write and rest, visit with Molly during the day and with Michael at night. Molly is a fund of practical wisdom. I often mention what I’d like done for you and she makes wonderful suggestions. I know she’ll forget nothing.

The flight of a bird on the wing, its song in the air, the vibrant colors of autumn flowers, exquisite fall dogwood blossoms, a rainbow arching across the sky, the sun shining on raindrops causing leaves to sparkle like jewels — I’m letting these memories sink into my heart, hoping to carry them with me wherever I’m going. Your coming has given me the eyes to see all this.

David Johnson stayed for three hours after lunch and was delighted with the idea of the murals I want on your wall. As I described an episode of my dream, he sketched scenes of the Knights of the Round Table.

I need wonder no longer if he’ll see what I want. He was ahead of me the whole time! He sketched jousting scenes, ‘ladyes faire’ giving ribbons and kissing rosebuds for their knights on white chargers. He drew knights tying ribbons to their lances, and putting flowers inside their armor.

After we inspected the nursery, he was even more excited and plans to run the scenes around the room, using the doors and the cupboards, too. He left saying: “I’m only sorry this wasn’t my own idea. I’ll love doing it.”

The portrait artist, Mr. Anthony, and your father have reached an impasse! He’s dissatisfied after my fourth sitting, says the background is boring, uninspiring and he must have a different setting! He demands to paint me in the living room, with the colorful old tapestry behind me.

Your father is equally emphatic: I’m to be painted right in my own chair, by the window, with the sunlight on my hair. He wants me pictured where we’ve spent so much time together.

Says Michael to me: “How can he know what I want? This is the flowering of your beauty. I want him to catch forever on canvas the loveliness of motherhood you carry in the radiance of your eyes. I’ve seen the sunlight around your head like a halo and that’s what I want to have as mine to see and for our son. He’ll cherish it, I know.”

Michael’s determination gives me pause. It sounds as if he might be afraid of losing me. Yet, nothing else I’ve noticed suggests this and I’ve been watching. Surely I’d know if he had glimpsed my own flickers of dread and fear. I must be careful. Fortunately, the artist approves of my powder blue tea gown and my beloved will find some compromise soon. He always does.

By realizing you’ll have a portrait of your mother, I’ve conditioned myself to these sittings. The thought of them bored me, and I submitted only to please your father. Now I begin to see that to have this idealized painting of your mother may be comforting for you. It might help you to know when I’m near — if they allow me to come. I love YOU.

September 11, 1912

The grief I sometimes feel is like scattered storm wrack floating on the surface of my heart’s river of joy — soon to be beached and left behind. Knowing my work awaits me when I leave here comforts me. The change won’t be radical because I’m familiar with it. I can depend on laughter to buoy me, because with Michael’s love, I’m so glad to be me. I’ll enjoy every iota of life while I still have time.

Our family often gathered around the piano and sang for amusement. My grandmother’s favorite went, “when the silver cord is ruptured and the golden bowl is broken.” I doubt that any of us knew what that meant, but I know now. I still approach such mysteries with deep reverence and devotion to an Almighty Power.

When we sang of “harps and crowns,” that was something else. Whenever adults described Heaven as a resting place where you wear a crown and play a harp day and night, I knew I’d never like it — forever is such a long time! Not caring to sit here and play a harp at all, and unhappy after four hours of piano practice, I knew twenty-four hours a day would bore me completely! I always wanted to go to some place alive!

I knew better than to let my elders know how I felt. It affected me then exactly as the idea of deathbed repentance has in later years — and that has really irked me. The idea one could as one pleased for a whole lifetime then, fearing consequences, repent at the last moment and scoot right into Paradise with God — is unreasonable!

Who could worship a God of such injustice? How can anyone respect a God stupid enough to allow Himself to be fooled by His own creations? How can one who’s worked hard for years to deserve Heaven be pleased to think another can have a wonderfully selfish earth time, then say, “I’m sorry,” and just shrug off their misdeeds for others to stumble over?

Any God who could make laws of “sorry-at-the-last-minute” would deserve to have a Kingdom populated with such believers! Imagine a place where half the folks responded “tongue-in-cheek” when God speaks of responsibility. Personally, I worship a God whom no one can fool, least of all me. My God runs His Universe with common sense. I don’t even consider a God who has been fashioned in the imagination of someone who suffers dyspepsia! A God in such a man’s “image and likeness” would surely have a good-sized grouch all the time!

I must worship a great Being of Light, who originally created me in His own Image and Likeness, even if I’ve forgotten and don’t begin to live up to that perfect image now. I’ve no confidence in any other kind of God. Nor would I waste my time repenting to a God I could fool about anything under Heaven or on earth, though I might try hard to fool myself about me!

I’m just as positive a deathbed repentance is good — God wouldn’t be just if He didn’t admit the last-minute repentant son or daughter from earth to His Kingdom. Still, I know after He’s opened wide the Gates to His Realms and told them how He loves them. He can only say,

“Child, I love you, but I cannot set aside Universal Laws for you or anyone. You shall have every opportunity to pay your debts. You shall have all help in lessons and guidance to earn the right to all the glories, all the wonders of my Kingdom, and My love will always enfold you. It is your right to advance as far as you desire, but only enough unselfish love and service to my other sons and daughters can send you higher. You must make up all the credits you failed to gain for yourself on earth, but your repentance has made it possible for you to enjoy my Realms as you serve Me.”

I know He would speak thus. I know that for justice to reign above it must be truly just. I’ve always known God will give me credits according to my earnings, not according to what someone else might think I deserve. I don’t believe He asks anyone’s advice about me or my advice about another. I believe He pays no attention when I tell Him what I think someone else has earned.

I worship my God because He, who created me with such mental powers, can oversee that capacity to think, serve and love forever. The ultimate impossibility for God to commit would be to annihilate a single cell of His own creations. Lies always fall of their own weight eventually, and truth will forever stand the test of time.

So, to seek and finally find “life after death,” one must walk in the Light and expand in an ever-broadening spiral into the heart of the fire of all Life, God the Universal Creator. One step at a time, my love expands to enfold Michael, you, little son, and my positive ideas of this invisible universe.

September 16, 1912

Darling, we enjoyed a glorious weekend trip north. The Selkirks were out in all their rugged grandeur, breathtaking and glorious and the Gardens at Victoria were lovely in their autumn beauty. We so enjoyed it.

Michael has decided to help me finish the albums and scrapbooks. I was concerned, since your christening gown is taking longer than I’d thought — I got such a late start. Now I can relax and embroider without worrying.

I love you, and grow more eager to dream of you. Why do I sleep so dreamlessly? What have I done wrong? Could you tell me, little son, if I saw you? I think you’re wise enough.

September 18, 1912

The weather is bleak, a foggy rain building to a howling equinoctial storm, which suits my mood perfectly today. I know that only by continual conquering can I expect to win or gain any heavenly credits. Nevertheless, today I feel that I could do with fewer stored-up credits and instead enjoy a few more soul flights and a glimpse of you.

Remembering only too well how hard it hurts on the steep climb from the pit of self-pity stops me, but it takes old-fashioned grit to hold when I want to howl with the weather. I know I’ve never been beyond the thinking-about-it stage before, but this minute I want to run into the middle of the highway to God and shout that I deserve a crown for my unselfishness.

Today seems a perfect time to escape to the good old days when I knew nothing about conquering and responsibility, or about living here and in Heaven, too. All my overbalance seems to be on the earth side now. I need just one sign from over there. I never thought it could be so hard to smile and make the world think it was frosting my cake. It’s disconcerting to realize the roots of self grow so deeply into my heart.

All my life I’ve taken it for granted that one laughed or wept, was happy or discouraged with no hurt to another. I never imagined my moments of high exaltation and joy were enticing me into such rigid self-discipline. I might not have begun had I understood where my vows would lead. However, with some grumbling, some dread, some to-be-conquered moodiness, I’m slowly making it. My love for you and Michael anchors me fast to the Light. I can’t let go, even when I would. Enough!

I’ll wear the blue tunic Molly found for me, and that will lift me on this dark day. To dress in Michael’s favorite color pleases me. His eyes will light up when he sees me in it, and I’ll feel loved.

I love you, I love you, I love you and ’bye for now, my lamb.

September 22, 1912

Little one, you seem all baby today, I think because it’s so long since I’ve seen you over there. I’ve lost part of my closeness to you. It’s been so very long.

John is renovating the old playground for you. That it will be too large for you for at least two years means nothing to those two men, who are now deep in their plans. The playground is exactly between our properties, and partly under the old weeping willow for shade. They act as pleased as a pair of youngsters.

Michael has satisfied Mr. Anthony by hanging the tapestry behind my chair in the library. The drapes blend with it. They moved the Chinese teak cabinet next to the tapestry, which has mollified the artist, and he’s at work again. I dread the torture of being still so long, but it’ll soon end. I’m pleased for Michael’s sake.

I’m rereading my early journal notes, for something must be wrong. I long for you with all my heart, sweetest one and it’s been long, so long.

September 24, 1912

The past few days have been heavenly. All my old exaltation returned overnight. I’m so delighted that it hurts. I’m becoming the world’s greatest spendthrift of time and love — I’ve so few weeks left in which to use this vast storehouse full of my love for him. I’ve never saved any for a rainy day, but my love has multiplied like wheat from one grain, yet my surplus is even greater than that!

I’ve never known this carefree, delighted Michael! To me he looks more youthful with his new zest in living. He’s handsomer and more fascinating than ever.

It just occurs to me — I’ll leave him a widower, wealthy and desirable! Free to marry anyone he loves after I’m gone!

Why has it never entered my head before that he might want to remarry? Men do, I know, little son. I can’t stand the thought of it. I can’t. Why, oh why, did I have to think of this? I’ve fought so many other battles with my self and my emotions, and now a new emotion haunts me — I’m jealous! Jealous of some mythical woman whom Michael has never even seen!

Michael is young enough to have a family, and any woman could fall in love with him at first sight. He’s never paid the slightest attention to them and I’ve never considered them either, until this minute. He’s always called them a nuisance and let it go at that. They’ve called him here at home and ambushed him at the office, but he moves through their guile untouched.

He loves me and nothing could take him from me, if I were here, I know. Yet this is different. He’ll be all alone. I don’t know why I’ve thought he would like to be a widower the rest of his earth life. I’ve pictured him in the role of “a faithful widower.” I cannot and I will not leave you to another woman who will want you to call her mother! I cannot do it. Please, dear God, don’t ask that of me. It’s too much to ask of love as great as mine to bear. Leaving you with Michael is bad enough, but this is impossible.

Darling, darling, I love you so much, and I love Michael with all my heart and soul. Surely wanting the two of you just to love each other is not wrong, and remembering me as being all you ever wanted, surely it can’t be wrong.

Even as I write these words, I know exactly what they are, the ravings of an utterly selfish woman. As they filled the page, it cleansed my heart of any idea of binding my beloved Michael to a vow of loving me “beyond the grave.” Only a scheming, possessive and cruel woman could want to clutch and fetter a loved one from beyond death. It wouldn’t be true love, a self-love, maybe. As far as Michael is concerned, it’s all right, but how can I leave you to call another woman “mother.” How can I?

I’ve just rediscovered your father! I find him the most interesting, handsome, charming and utterly wonderful man in the world. From now on, I’ll probably see every woman who comes near him as a potential husband-hunting predator! Poor me.

I’m ashamed of myself, but doesn’t growth mean that both good and bad — which have existed together in man’s nature for such long centuries of darkness — would increase together? Wouldn’t the bad emotions also come up in the Light shining through the soul? Doesn’t it mean that the struggle between the low and the high must continue within until one conquers and the other succumbs?

By steadfastly conquering the petty self, the soul’s growth upward must win. Love enough can conquer anything! Just the same, I’ll make it plain to Molly that she is to hold you and never allow another woman to touch you!

September 28, 1912

Both men are happy as can be since the Farnsworth-Matthews Construction Company started work on the new playground. They spend hours getting underfoot down there. Then they swim and shower, dress and play chess on the terrace. Michael is spending his vacation with John.

Last night I lay awake as the crescent new moon’s faint light poured over the tops of the poplars, lending them an unreal lovely lace-like quality. As I watched the moonlit silvery green leaves dance, I saw right through them, and suddenly stood before the wide door of the first Assembly Room building I’d seen.

I was still aware of lying in my bed at home, but also conscious of being at the door. The Field of Flowers was behind me, I know, for I turned and saw it over my shoulder. It was a glorious feeling, without the slightest heaviness. I felt light as thistledown in my desire body.

I discovered the double doors are pocket doors that slide into the walls, for they opened all the way and three Blue Cross Nurses came out, each with an infant in her arms. It happened so quickly that I wondered if I might have imagined it.

When I stepped inside, I found the room filled with nurses holding infants. The recording nurses looked as busy as ever, as if they’d never moved, though I know they change shifts at noon, midnight and six, morning and evening. I stood near a nurse who was watching a glass panel on the opposite wall directly above the seated nurse.

Another nurse hurried in breathlessly, busily straightening the baby’s blanket as she came. At that instant, a name flashed on the glass insert, and the nurse spoke to the recording nurse and literally flew through the door nearest me. I was amazed that I heard her voice as she called the name.

My Nurse spoke beside me, saying, “She had to answer a ‘hurry’ call, one not expected for another three weeks. The doctors and nurses on earth are trying to get the infant to breathe right now. There — she is breathing, so all is well with that case. The child will live since her body is strong.”

No wonder she hurried! I should know all about how important it is to get there in time!

My Nurse continued, “Watch the name panel on the wall. They’ve brought you here on a busy day. Many infants are leaving for earth. When the Great Guard standing beside the mother’s body on earth flashes his light signal on that panel, the nurse leaves immediately with the infant. They time it so her arrival on earth is exactly when the infant should take over the new body. The Great Council outlines all this on a perfect schedule for planetary electromagnetic influences.

“The Great Guard thinks the name of his charge as he raises his hand to send the flash upward. If the parents have not selected a name, the Great Guard thinks the last name used here. Both recording nurses document the exact time of the flash.

“For a Master of Missions going to earth, this flash is also the signal for special legions to place heavenly lights that supersede any planetary influences. These lights open the soul’s memory cells, so nothing can cloud his vision while on earth. They also open doors on earth long before the soul is ready to enter them. This is always the case when some man or woman on earth struggles against all odds for the good of humanity. The record must show the exact moment when they changed the lights for the soul’s descent.

“Do you see that smaller insert below the large panel? The Great Guard flashes a second light to it marking the instant of the soul's first breath in the new body. Yet the Great Council must ratify it before we record it legally, so the panel does not light up until the Great Council’s confirming flash arrives.

“Special committees focus great ‘eyes’ on the infant during this period, returning information pertinent to the results of that soul's choices during the first seven years of its earth life. Those signals flash to the Great Council faster than the speed of ordinary light. The Great Guard’s signal from earth appears on the Great Council’s circuit instantaneously to set the exact time for the ‘birth chart’ on earth, which records only the planetary influences. However, no chart cast for only the birth date and hour is complete, since the lights set higher powers in ascendancy over the elementry planetary influences.”

Then two names flashed on the upper panel, the first a moment before the second name registered. Two nurses left, and my imagination supplied the reason — I just knew some proud mother was presenting the father with a set of twins. A few seconds later, two more names flashed and I peeked while the nurses stood before us, and both were baby boys. The third set of twins to leave would be fraternal twins on earth: A little girl with chestnut brown curly hair and an auburn haired little boy, as unlike as they could be.

I was thrilled to know they assign the ages of twins over there. How do they grade them for this? Does one have more experience or greater wisdom than the other? Instantly, my Nurse escort explained, “Greater experience does not always mean greater wisdom, so the amount of wisdom or experience does not apply. The greater sense of responsibility determines the birth order, because the soul’s application of wisdom gained is what counts in both places.”

My Nurse motioned me to follow her through the door. We turned right at the pathway between the Assembly Room group and the tall buildings facing the Grand Terrace. We walked a block and approached the first tall building in the second block. The steps leading into it, the archway and the circular assembly hall were the same, even to the two recording nurses.

The room was full of nurses and children one to two years of age, who all looked as if they had just awakened from deep sleep, so drowsy and sweet I went soft inside watching the beauty of the picture. Nurses were straightening their little robes and combing their hair, while watching the large name panel on the wall above our heads. It was the same as the scene we’d just seen, except the difference in the children’s ages and the nurses who seemed so determined to keep them awake.

We left, walked another block and entered another Assembly Room building. The scenes were the same — nurses held and cared for children two to three years of age, who were just as tousled and sleepy. We crossed the hall, went outside and sat on a marble bench between the archways overlooking the Grand Terrace, which was really crowded. I could see only a short distance downward because the thin cloudlike mist came almost to the Grand Terrace.

Yet I could hear the voices clearly, and my Nurse’s voice was distinct. “When the Great Guard and nurses have settled the infants on earth, and the Great Councils have ratified all details, the recording nurses send the complete record to that two-story, long building on the Great North Boulevard across from the Field of Flowers. This is a heavy season for birth on earth, and since the balance must be kept as nearly even as possible, we also have more activity.

“They put all children up to four years to sleep for two weeks before their departure for earth. Yet they must awaken those older than one year just before departure, so the Great Guard can summarize the most important crossroads of the soul’s coming earth life, all the points where the soul must decide, into a few flashes on the memory cells. Some infants won’t awaken at all and so remain ‘indecisive’ throughout life. Others, who do fully awaken, find it much easier to recall what they should do in every situation. The sleepy ones will likely be slow to react and always be bothered by afterthoughts on earth.

“Last minute suggestion-flashes are not as critical for those who have been obedient and learned each lesson well, but they are an absolute necessity for those who have been unruly and disobedient for even one earth life. The importance of the suggestion-flashes increases, depending on the number of earth lives behind, with lessons learned sullenly or not at all. Such souls are apt to void what credits they do earn because they give duty-service grudgingly, with resentment or without any love of service.

“When children refuse to awaken here, it may take them half their earth live to ‘find’ themselves. This type always gives the doctors a harder time getting them to breathe into their new bodies. The doctors really do pull the infant into its body from the outside. Someday, they’ll teach doctors and nurses to breathe in rhythm. They’ll inhale a great breath together, which will form the necessary vacuum pull to aid the Great Guard in settling the child in its new body.

“Presently, the breathing is an unconscious act by the doctor, since everyone always takes a deep breath for any unusual action. Half the work is awakening the sleeping infant to cry on earth, and breathe strongly enough to enter the new body on the Great Guard’s exhalation on his side of life.

“Many rebellious souls become ‘stillborn’ infants and others slip away in infancy during their sleep. How wonderful it will be when earth mothers learn to synchronize their breathing with their child’s, then to breathe more deeply. Someday they’ll teach them to use the child’s name to declare, ‘James, move into your body and possess it now!’

A huge cloud, leaving with many nurses on it, caught my attention. We walked down the steps toward it as my Nurse continued: “When many nurses are leaving for one district, they use a large cloud, which may cover several cities or regional districts. From directly above that area on earth, each slips off the cloud on her own beam of light, moving to its exact source on earth, wherever her Great Guard stands with the mother’s body.

“Each nurse has her own signal beam, and no two are alike. The Great Councils attune it to the Great Guard whom she assists — only his master signal flash will contact and light her beam. Earth will soon be using some of these flash beams in its own work. The nature of the call, regular or an urgent need for haste, sets the nurses’ pace according to the time allotted. At times some delay may cause a nurse to wait on the cloud until the Great Guard calls her again.

“If the mother should come over to us before the child is born, the nurse returns the infant to the Assembly Room, where it will breathe into the new body delivered here. Your own Great Guard wished for you to see a heavy traffic day here and understand more clearly about the light signals, as well …”

Then I was conscious of earth and the tall poplars outside the windows. The moon had set and now shone but dimly through the trees, soon to disappear below the horizon.

I didn’t see you, but I feel I will soon. I feel this deeply within my heart. How dearly I do love you.

October 1, 1912

Your father kissed me awake this morning! Each day I grasp every morsel of beauty now that time flies so quickly. I hope our lovely Indian Summer lasts and lingers.

Beyond your increasing size — your arms and legs seem to come by the dozen — I feel fine. How can only two arms and two legs be in so many places at once? I exercise daily in many short walks because my legs cramp. I can’t sit long in one position so I space my walks.

When I sit alone and look at the lake, a filmy haze often spreads and gradually resolves into familiar scenes. At first I thought it was a repeat of what I’d already seen over there, but the activity is never the same. Now I can distinguish between the various nurses’ legions, so I know they’re different. It’s fascinating.

I’ve tried to see earth from a distance, but can’t. Everything still fades as I leave the Grand Terrace to come below. I’ve read about these methods, but always thought one had to go to a mountain top or island to do it. I sit still, the mist forms and there I am! I’ll record only new events in your book.

Yesterday, after Molly left me to rest, I prayed in what I call my golden silence — golden because the world turns into golden light around me. I fell asleep before I could try for the mist over the lake.

I was alone, reclining on soft cloud cushions in a gondola-shaped cloud! When I sat up, it was like riding on the wings of a gigantic bird. The great White City stretched away on both sides of the North Boulevard. It seems odd that everything looks uphill, but when one is still at any point, it’s level.

I crossed many narrow east avenues lined with pavilions before my cloud-gondola hovered above a large pavilion on a wide avenue. My cloud lowered itself to the grass and my Nurse stepped onto it. Just inside the pavilion, a Nurse Mother sat at a large desk, writing industriously. A Great Guard sat at another desk on a raised platform along the west wall. Children sat before him in armed chairs graduated amphitheater style, so each child had a perfect view. They engaged in the usual classroom squirming, changing positions, although not a head turned from the charts before them.

Several Blue Cross Nurses circulated among them, their insignia, a tiny silver star above a blue cross, twinkling as they moved. Occasionally a nurse leaned down to straighten a tangled leg or help to turn a textbook page. At the Great Guard’s direction, everyone recited together:

“Love is a flame that burns ever. Love cannot be quenched. Love is the fire that enthuses, a fire that ever burns higher, always upward. True love needs no assurances. Love knows itself and its own. Love is the end as well as the beginning. Love feeds upon itself and not upon the loved one. Love magnifies the one whom it loves. Love asks no favors and gives all. Love’s strength lies in its self-sustaining ability. Its keynote is a deep, abiding devotion to the one who is loved.

“True love burns steadfastly under all conditions, joy or sorrow, separation or unity. Love counts no effort too great nor too small, and no task too hard nor too long. Love is lifting, opens all doors and is all-compelling in its power to unite. Love is never conscious of giving but, like sunshine, shares itself with all. True love withstands all separation and lives forever.”

Then I heard the most wonderful chimes, ringing from a vast distance. Instantly the Great Guard stood and nodded his head. Every child scrambled to his feet, leaving books behind to file onto the narrow terrace and down the steps to the avenue. Older children waited for the younger ones in front to leave first.

Our cloud lifted straight up and on every avenue, children marched double file, attended by Blue Cross Nurses. My Nurse said, “Remember, as many children live here as on earth. Change is constant, of course. Some remain here only long enough for their Great Guards to summarize the needed earth lessons and verify that their sudden arrival here has not damaged any of their memory cells.

“We must confirm that memory cells will be ready to open on earth in the new body. Those charts they were using are the picture-patterns for their earth actions, and they memorize them for recall when the actual problem arises on earth. The more the child actively trains his memory cells here, the easier the work will be for the child and its parents — memory cells developed here awaken under parents and teachers’ training on earth.

“The most intense work we do here is with moral codes for honor. On the opposite page in each book is the written Law dealing with each action. The children may not fully understand the Laws now, but they must encode the picture-patterns and words in their memory cells before leaving. Their parents would be unable to teach them on earth without this memory.

“Most difficulties in communication arise from so many different interpretations of the same symbols. Different interpretations can cause difficulty in family life. Children are great symbolists, reading and inferring the symbolic value of adults’ tones of voice, gestures, and all they say and do.

“In all lives, souls must advance up the scale of civilization. In each earth life the soul must express new actions, each time in a more pronounced and comprehensive way. Therefore, during each interlude here they must develop new cells to carry new ideas to the new body on earth. The souls going to earth now have six to twelve mental faculties already opened. Someday children will arrive with forty-four faculties awakened.

“When a soul lives high in consciousness, it contacts the realm of answers where one can see photographic pictures. A mother should give her child a desk on a cloud. He can study and learn on that cloud. Lessons well learned here mean that the soul on earth can intuitively draw upon a set of actions from the super-conscious memory cells to cover a day’s problems as they arise.

“Of course, where the situation is a crossroads — a point where the soul has always gone wrong in the past — the Great Guard and Lesser Guards will stand with the soul to urge by powerful suggestions the right road to travel, the right decision to make. Once they reach a crossroads, the choice must be right or the soul is in danger of retrogression.

“The Great Guard’s voice sends a powerful vibration to open the memory cells that store the chart blueprints for this very moment of need. The visual impression made on the photographic memory cells is far more important than the written Law that goes with the chart. It flashes before the individual, who then visualizes what will happen on either path.

“Uncovering the memory of the chart opens the Law-cells and the combination of the two modes of memory will be strong enough to send the soul down the right road of honor. This is why some children discipline themselves. They listened and made good blueprints by studying the charts, impressing them on their memory cells where they can awaken them in an instant.

“A flash of light from the Great Guard wherever he is and the soul acts perfectly. Their own Book of Life is always open to them, no matter whether they are conscious of us. It is just a sense of ‘knowing’ with them. They become ‘old souls’ after many such lives, not in years or age, but mature in making each experience pay them dividends. Sometimes older souls spend life after life in misery induced by wilfulness or by perverted thinking that it is the will of God for them to be miserable.

“Your own son is old in earth-experience gained in many lives. However, the danger always exists that selfishness may creep in and overlay the interlude lessons, covering his memory cells until he forgets his high mission when sent to earth. Most parents have been trained here in such matters to aid such children to avoid the danger. However, reinforcement on earth would be wonderfully effective.

“Morning and evening prayers of rededication are crucial for parents or sponsors of children. Even a simple ‘good morning’ opens a child’s record for the day, and he goes forth guided.”

Your father’s voice awakened me. I’d finished the last words of my lesson, then thought I would watch the lake for the lovely mists, but I slept.

Most precious one, I love you.

October 4, 1912

Darling, after writing that I could extend my vision past the mists over the lake I’ve lost the combination! I couldn’t focus it, but dreamed during my nap today. Michael will be late for dinner so I will have time to finish.

I’ve had no self-problem, except whether to tell John. It might burden him too greatly, it might even hurt him, but I don’t feel sorry enough for him not to tell him. I used to confide in him before I met Michael, and it would relieve me now.

Am I reaching for sympathy and understanding I’ve always counted on, which I can’t seek from Michael now without hurting him? Does a guilty conscience make me hesitate to tell him?

I went for my nap and slept at once. I awoke on a cloud sitting beside the Nurse. We floated above the first broad east avenue, then our cloud settled beside a bowered archway to the center of a circle of seven pavilions. All were one story and open-sided with pillars supporting domed roofs of that iridescent opaque glass.

The courtyard held a square-cross-shaped building with a beautiful central dome. The arched roofs of the four arms joined the dome gracefully and were of the same glass. Long tables, heaped with piles of fruit, ran the interior length of each wing. Boys in white page-boy suits carried large shallow straw baskets of fruit to replenish the piles.

Girls wore white three-quarter tunics, with short white socks and white woven sandals. They squeezed fruit juices into fat pitchers along one side of the table. They didn’t use their hands, but some silent white machine-like devices that seemed to run by themselves! Girls on the other side mixed these juices in drinks of various combinations. Between each mound of fruit were piles of what looked like soft-shelled coconuts, whose hulls were textured like orange rinds. They poured the milk into pitchers (it looked thicker than our earth coconut milk). I think they use this milk as a base for nearly all the drinks, though they filled some pitchers with only the coconut milk.

Another wing held a table of fruit I’ve never seen on earth, and the girls were making sandwiches! They sliced fruit that looked like oversized bananas in shades of cream, pink and a darker cherry red. It was the “bread” for sliced peaches and a strawberry-red fruit. They looked delicious. They also pared a pale green fruit, nearly the size of a medium orange. It looked exactly like bread when it was sliced for sandwiches.

Girls in blue robes carried pitchers and woven straw plates of fruit to the circular pavilions. We followed a Blue Cross Nurse into a pavilion where I stood between the pillars staring in amazement. Eight long tables radiated (like the spokes in a wheel) from the center into the circular hall. Each seated twenty-four children, a boy and a girl at the ends, with eleven girls on one side and eleven boys on the other.

I turned to my Nurse and asked, “Do they always eat together? I haven’t seen boys and girls together before, except playing.”

She answered at once: “Yes. Each age group eats together in its own pavilion. They have the same teachers and study the same subjects and all attend the general moving pictures, sometimes in mixed age groups. They play together at certain hours and times, although they also have separate lessons and games.

“At age twelve, the Children’s Council promotes them to the Youth’s Realm. A Lesser North Avenue divides their living quarters. The maids live from the Lesser North Avenue to the Great North Boulevard, and the youths live from the Lesser North Avenue to the avenue separating their realm from the Music Realm.

“The Reception Stations for pregnant mothers are just above the highest degree of the Maid’s portion of the Realm. We conduct all class lessons in the Youth’s portion so the class pavilions are above that for balance, and for quiet in the pregnant mothers' area.”

We walked slowly to a table on the far side of the pavilion as she talked. My Nurse paused to say, “The end seats at the tables are positions of honor that rotate. Everyone has the privilege of serving there as part of their training in courtesy and good manners. When a child is disobedient, he or she forfeits position on serving day. Occasionally, if a child has rebelled against discipline, he or she may lose several turns, according to the magnitude of the disobedience. We do this to impress the child with its responsibility.

Sometimes a disobedient child repents quickly, goes to the Nurse Mother or the Great Guard directly and voluntarily sacrifices a turn, setting his or her own punishment. They always accept this. Sometimes the child needs a greater sacrifice and the Great Guard will question the child until he or she sees the need. Rarely they must impose solitary retreat and silence on a child.”

Then I saw you at the head of a table — they must have deliberately brought me today to see you there! Before I could feel too proud, I remembered it was only your turn. Your expression was sweetly dignified. You took your position seriously enough. You offered sandwiches to those near you and requested the nurse to fill a little girl’s glass with milk.

Another girl let her fruit fall into a full glass and it tipped over, splashing milk over her face. The nurse called an aide to wipe the table and floor while she cleaned the child’s face. The cloth was not porous, but absorbed the milk immediately. When the tiny tot surfaced laughing, all the others laughed with her. Some of them had laughed at her spluttering, but in sweetness and fun.

Each plate and glass was decorated with nursery rhymes or scenes such as the mural artist is painting on your walls. This reminds me that I should find dishes for you, too.

As I walked toward you, you put two thin sandwiches together and bit them. So, I know your dignity is not as great as the width of your mouth when you eat! You’ll try all kinds of little-boy tricks on Molly, who will be equal to them all, my son.

When I came abreast of you, you held the little sandwich plate toward me, saying: “Mother, dearest, please, will you have one of our sandwiches?” The instant my astonishment that you saw me subsided, I reached for one of those luscious-looking red ones — and Molly was bending over me, bringing my afternoon juice.

How much easier it would be to care for our children here if we knew exactly what lessons they needed to learn and accept to complete their earth experiences! We could avoid so many clumsy blunders we make with them now. At best, we are often guilty of sending them into rebellion when a jot of diplomacy would give them joy in obedience. My heart aches for those we settle more definitely in their old grooves of opinions and prejudices.

Little son, I so want a high sense of honor to be your lodestar while you’re on earth. Your father’s training will maintain you steadfastly on that high path, I know. Thank you for seeing me and asking me to share your lunch. I only wish I’d tasted it. Would I have remembered the flavor?

You’re my most beloved little son.

October 5, 1912

It’s rained two whole days and I've felt quite cooped up and restless. Molly suggested I watch David, the mural artist, as he puts finishing touches to his work on your walls. He’s finishing the faces now and I do believe he’s “dreamed” them, for they’re beautifully real people. Each figure looks as if it might step right off the wall and speak.

He said these were the people he’d always seen when he read and fantasized about the knights. So I know he really saw them. He puts a bit of himself on your walls with every brush stroke, little son, and I know they’ll help you recall your star home.

Today the rain and wind lash at your windows, but it’s like spring here on my couch — some contrast to the fury outside! I can gaze through the doorway into the heart of your nursery fireplace.

Yesterday, when I put away my journal and closed my eyes, my last consciousness was of the flames in your fireplace.

I found myself floating with my Nurse holding my hand. We were above a narrow east-west avenue lined with pavilions. They were the same for several blocks in both directions, seven to a circle, with Temples in the distance. Every few blocks was a huge circular, one-story building as large as a circle of seven pavilions.

While still above one, I could see that a terrace walk ran all the way ’round. We came to rest on the walk and entered the building through one of several archways that opened directly onto the walk. It was octagon-shaped — the west wall held a low platform. Lighting came from the ceiling dome in many rays that fused halfway down to become faint and soft, but not misty. They were showing pictures on a screen above the low platform. The seating was graduated amphitheater-style to accommodate the smaller children. An aisle ran all around the platform between the chairs and the pillared archways.

We moved halfway down on the left side and stood where we could see everything. All the seats were filled and nurses were everywhere. How could I see you so clearly in the front row? Nothing else was as clear. Nothing happened like that telescopic vision, so I don’t know how it was done.

“The Guards of Light here have sent a beam between you and your son,” said my Nurse. “They focus it on the object of your desire and all you need to do is follow it with your eyes. This isn’t hard, since everyone does this automatically. When your vision rests on the object of your desire, you then focus your eyes gazing steadily at the object. The steadiness and depth of desire create the right conditions for seeing.

“Your love for your son condenses invisible rays to form a ‘seeing’ channel between you. All the Great Guard needs to do then is to create a magnetic wall around the beam to keep the light from scattering as they beam it for you. They send everyone to earth with such equipment, but few ever exercise it. Since love is the only method by which the soul can awaken this faculty, many — even here — haven’t developed it to see back to earth.

“Others on earth grow so frightened with their first ‘seeing’ that they permanently close the cells, never exerting the tremendous power of real love to open them. Any fear closes out our world. When doubt of its reality is added to fear, the channel can be closed for many earth lives. You and your son have developed this ability during many earth lives of expression and you’ve both used it from this side to see back to earth.”

I grew somewhat dizzy, and she led me through an archway — then I was on my couch, opening my eyes to the flames dying in your fireplace.

’Bye for now, from a sleepyheaded mother-to-be, to a charming four-year-old. You’ll soon leave your beautiful heavenly home to become an infant on earth, and forget for a time who you really are.

I used to think naps were silly, now I laugh at the change you’ve made in me. My motherhood view on life has almost reversed my previous ideas. You, or my love for you, has changed me. A four-year-old or sweet baby, I love you forever.

October 6, 1912

Darling, I’m so happy! I “dreamed” myself back to a picture pavilion last night. This time I could see what was on the screen. I don’t know whether you were there, because I didn’t see you. How often do you attend those pictures? I suppose I went there because my curiosity was at fever pitch when I finally fell asleep.

The first picture was an ordinary school room on earth, everything the same, clothes and teacher. A small boy stood and recited. A little girl drew on the blackboard. The teacher drew and wrote something beside it, then used a pointer to show the words, which they recited together.

Another scene came on with older children in a huge gym. A drill group was in one corner, an instructor led exercises and at the other end a team practiced basketball. The Great Guard would stop the pictures to explain.

As I turned to leave, my Nurse was there to explain: “Have you never wondered why earth’s continued changes, from oxcart to automobile, don’t surprise children? Think of the shock to the soul returning to such earth speeds after being with us for several hundred or even fifty years?

“Children seem to take it for granted, don’t they? Yet, occasionally, a child goes to earth and is afraid of new experiences, especially of elevators. Sometimes it results from an accidental fall causing their death or sometimes because they wouldn’t look at the pictures over here, even being afraid of them.”

Before she could go any further, I broke in with, “Why is it necessary to shatter Heaven’s calm with gym drills and whistles? Surely they can learn about it soon enough on earth.”

“I’ve just finished telling you part of it,” she said. You were inattentive. They’ve enough personal fears in their hearts and minds to contend with without adding general fears that we can avoid. We can’t rid them of all their fears, but we can help with those of a general nature. Have you ever watched an uncoordinated child? Sometimes they carry this clumsiness through an entire life. We must teach them proper use of their hands and feet over here.

“They must see the pictures and practice the games enough to impress their memory cells and develop thousands of new cells for learning new skills on earth. When a soul concentrates a whole life on perfecting just one subject, you can be sure he has refused to learn here.

“They must practice new skills here to use them on earth. They hold regular classes for youths and maids and special classes for the underdeveloped, of course. They drill everyone in the powers of observation and concentration before they can leave us. Otherwise, it hinders parents and teachers in their training.”

I asked, “Why do some parents have such awkward children when they’re perfectly coordinated themselves?” She responded with another question: “How could we ever grade a child upward without sending it to perfect parents from whom it can learn how things are done on earth?

“Sometimes the parents have made a sacrifice here before leaving to receive a retrogressed soul for training. When such a family remembers and spends enough love on the child — although they may see no improvement while it is with them — they so impress the memory cells with their goodness and love that it propels the soul on the upward path again. Usually, however, we bring the soul over here as an infant or very young child for its start. Often they go to such parents just to give them what we need to help them begin again.

“In other cases, ‘family pride’ may cause a family group to disown or fail to help such a retrogressed one of their own. The Great Councils send the soul to the same group in the same relationship to live it again, giving the family group a chance to pay its debts and the soul a chance to ascend. We’ve taught all souls in that group where they went wrong, but often only one member in such a family group will love the weak soul enough to pay all debts and start it on the upward course again. Love is the miracle worker, you know.”

When I opened my eyes, it was still dark, but I pondered your world for a long time before I slept again. I’m truly exalted in heart and mind, darling. While I’m much more accustomed to living in a high state of joy, events that make me forget it, even for a short time, surprise me. The sun was shining when Michael kissed me awake.

Little son, I need you every hour, and you let me know I have part of you right here with me! You’re a strong young fellow, which pleases Michael tremendously. How we watch for you and long for you and love you.

October 10, 1912

Today, little son, the lake turned rose-red, the boat sails to shimmering fire, and the mountains towered above me, glowing in sunset’s colors. The moonlight then panoplied the world in silver. I tried to impress it on my memory cells so that I can take it with me over there. If I can impress my memory cells at all, it should be possible. I’m ashamed, little son, but again I’m struggling with my desire to stay here with you.

Deep within I’m happy I leave you with such a wonderful father. You’ll be companions always and I know how he’ll love you. Still, today I feel that having the two of you here on earth, I could do without Heaven for quite a while. I love both of you so much I ache!

I know I must turn my attention from me and concentrate on something else — that’s the only cure for this selfishness. Dearest, it isn’t good, for I feel rebellious. Not very, but enough to distress me considerably. How can I reconcile myself to leaving you? How can I reconcile myself without any reservations?

Always I leave a tiny spot of yearning to cuddle my son like any mother-to-be, instead of digging out the whole thing forever. I know I must accept it, yet I don’t seem able to conquer my grief about the loneliness of leaving you here.

I love you so much. I’m still so very sad. The burden of knowing I must leave, and carrying it alone until I obey my call, lies heavily on my heart at times, despite my love for Michael and for you, today especially.

You’re wonderful, Michael is wonderful and I’m just a weak woman reaching for love to hold right here on earth. I don’t want to leave you!

October 11, 1912

Molly brought lunch to the nursery today, and her troubles, two of them. One, I am not finishing the christening gown fast enough, and the other, her sister’s oldest boy in England. He wants to attend college here.

I sent her to Michael because it is a money problem. This shouldn’t concern her when we can handle it. I’ll suggest that we manage the education and other expenses for all three nephews. We could easily have the oldest boy here, since we’ve plenty of room on the third floor.

I’ll do better on stitching the robe, too, for how could I leave it half-finished for you? I’ll stop all day-dreaming and work.

I fell sound asleep at nap time, awakening on my bench by the Field of Flowers. I knew exactly what I’d been thinking as I fell asleep. I was brooding again about leaving earth, fussing because I don’t dream at night, and haven’t seen you. I dreaded my deception, and dwelt on Michael’s grief that I haven’t shared my anxieties with him. I fear that although I’ll give him a son, he probably won’t understand my choice for a long time.

As I sat there, my dilemma became clear. It’s not good enough to make my conquering just a near-rebellion, instead of a right good rebellion! It’s not good enough to try to be just a little more selfless every day, or gain a higher point of self-discipline. I’m keeping us apart. Though God may understand my weaknesses and the Great Council may want to help me, they can’t set aside the Laws of Heaven to make me happy. The Law says I can’t take grief to your world. I can be admitted only on a vibration of joy. SO!

I saw my situation clearly as I sat there thinking, and returned with the solution clearly in my mind. I settled into my body as lightly as a misty cloud on a mountain top. I kept my eyes closed while I finished thinking, knowing I was on the couch before your fire. My physical body was weightless and I couldn’t even feel your movements.

A log dropped in the fireplace, and instantly I felt my body resume its earth weight. Mentally I held perfect continuity along the same line of thought, with no break in consciousness going over there or returning. My movement between the two worlds was fluid and glorious. Now, can I continue this? I lose so much that I learn, it comes and goes. Perhaps my memory would be stable if I held myself stable. I’m the one who fluctuates.

Remember, my wonderful son, never, never would I choose differently, never would I change my mind. You’re my most precious gift to Michael. No matter when my call came, it would be too soon for us to part. We would never have enough of each other, never. Just as I’ll never have enough of you, never see enough of you — and we’ll be together someday, I know.

October 12, 1912

Today I feel sorry for the Great Councils and the Great Guards. If the weave looks so irregular underneath the loom of life, what must our muddled pattern look like from above? They’re stuck with us! We’re the best earth-material they have to work with. They must hold us fast, re-doing their work with us repeatedly, never letting go, never having a vacation from us. They must hold us until we finally learn to weave straight lines straight and curved lines curved. In rebellion and resentment, we discard the color we should use, for another that suits our desire for brilliance, only to discover we don’t like it after all. Just so do we disregard the needs of our own particular patterns of life.

The Great Ones must want to weep for the senseless tragedies we bring on ourselves. They must want to laugh in benign love about our outrageous and ignorant antics and capers. Surely those Great Beings of Light can guide us with the same power that guides the suns and planets on their courses. They plan our destinies and open doors before us so that we may fulfill them, and they can move us into the right places at the right time, I know, but everything depends on what we choose as our course in life. I’m sure our own puny rebellions and resentments cause us to lash out and refuse to enter the new place. Then we find ourselves under the thunderbolt when it falls, instead of in the place they’ve prepared for us.

Again, last night, I sat on my bench over there. This time I was regretting that I fall so short of my high ideals as your mother. As I watched the shifting scene, I realized how completely we take ourselves with us through the gates when we leave our earth bodies. Whether we like it or not, we’re climbing steadily upward with the stream of life.

Though we often must re-weave parts of our life patterns, someday we’ll weave them true. The Great Councils help us to unravel each imperfect part, arranging a new loom of life for us on earth. While our progress upward may be too slow to recognize while on earth, we are still ascending. In my longing and yearning about the vision of perfection, I closed my eyes tightly and allowed the moment’s glory to fill me and overflow to Michael.

As a hand touched mine, I opened my eyes and looked into my Great Guard’s eyes. “Do not allow yourself to be grieved by anything,” he said.

“The Great Council considers all aspects when awarding credits, after striking a balance between debts and sacrifices for payment. The Great Council has decided it will aid your son for him to be alone with you several times in those last days, just before the summary of his crossroad’s lessons. This is possible only in cases of progress, where love is great enough to build a protective light.

“When the descending soul deeply impresses the memory cells with all lessons, it may take soul flights to higher Realms. In your case, we are preparing you to go with him because of the greatness of your love for him and its protective quality. This son who is coming to you is the one who sought you before as a mother. Because of a past accident, he has had to wait over here until now, so every influence and vibration might be exactly right and too powerful to allow him to choose anything but the right.

“It sometimes takes many years for the planets and rays to be in the right position. They cannot move them all for just one soul’s descent. Love has bound the three of you together through many lives. You and his father planned to go to earth to build a vibration powerful enough to hold your son to his mission this time.

“He has failed at the same point several times because of willfulness. Each time he has been unwilling to wait for his true love, taking some spurious earth counterpart. Each time he has been forced into extra worldly ways just for material gains and enough fame to please the selfish one he married. This time he’ll hold and choose rightly because of his father’s great love and yours, watching over him from here.

“He’ll meet another ‘Claire’ like you, and this time the mating love shall be as eternal for him as it has been for you and his father. Your prayer for him is already answered, for you follow the Great Council’s plan and desire. The Great Councils reach far into the future with their rays of light, knowing exactly what each soul’s decisions must be and where each step, right or wrong, will take him. This is all done before the soul’s lessons begin.

“This time your son will win. He shall become the judge of justice, honor and of mercy, which he just missed being so often in the past. His father’s training will hold him and the love between them will help him decide correctly when he reaches the crossroad where he failed. Be happy, for you’ll hold him before you leave, not for long, but satisfyingly.

“All your present struggles will pay you dividends of tranquility and peace after he arrives on earth. The Great Council has shown me that you’ll really let go and be quite ready to come across to us because your love for God is so great.”

I’m thrilled, but sad, too. I should rejoice that I’ll be ready to go when they call me, but another part of me wants not to be. Yet, I do see what he means. When I finish my mission, I suppose it will remove all my rebellion because I’ll have won.

Your father refused the office of a judge because he felt he was not qualified for that work. It will overjoy him to see his son move onto a judge’s bench, and to him, it will be much better than occupying it himself. He’ll love this.

Where will you meet your “Claire?” He did say my love could reach back to help protect you, didn’t he? That’s what I needed, to know I could sometimes be close to you and see you and love you from behind the veil. God is good, isn’t He? I do love Him so much, with you and Michael.

October 18, 1912

Molly is no longer just hinting that I think more of my journal than I do of finishing your christening gown. She is always hovering with the work basket, ready to substitute it for this book.

I suppose I should stop my daydreaming and work more diligently at the embroidery. I did my finest, most beautiful stitches on your gown and love every stitch. Counting the curling stems and leaves rising from the flower pattern around the edge, it will have almost three inches of lovely embroidery in some places.

John gave all the women lovely little pearl pins at his dinner party the other night. I’m leaving my pin with a note addressed to John’s daughter. I know this sounds silly, since he’s not even married, but I’m a very silly woman this way.

Since my Great Guard mentioned another “Claire” for you, the idea I’ve been toying with is a confirmed fact. He’ll find someone soon, a loving wife, a mother for his children. I’m as sure of this as I am that you’re coming as our son.

John and Michael walked me home after the dinner party and I enjoyed being with them as we’ve been together countless times in the past. I left them by the library fire and went to bed. I slept dreamlessly until morning since you were as quiet as a mouse and never even rolled over gently as you do sometimes.

Only two more portrait sittings! I’ll be glad when they’re finished, but I’m also glad I agreed to the portrait. I know it will comfort Michael once his grief is past.

It’s satisfying that you’ll know how your mother looked, though I feel he’s painted me idealistically and not as I actually am in daily life. He’s going to frame it for me in time for Michael’s birthday.

I’ve told Molly where to dispose of everything after you come — after I’m gone — she never says a word, but listens intently when I tell her my wishes.

She has the beautiful baby book, and will give it to Michael at the right time to interest him again. She has the tiny ring I had her find for you. When I asked her to get it for me, she said no one ever gave a boy baby a ring. I said it was just a whim of mine, and she’s to give it from me on your first birthday. She didn’t even look at me, and walked away. Nevertheless, she brought the ring.

I’m positive she knows what I’m doing, but I can’t bring myself to talk with her yet. I can bear it better when I ignore the whole matter. To talk with her would make it too real, and I believe this is why she always walks away from me — she doesn’t want it to be real, either.

Molly tagged the extra pin from your party and someday you and your beautiful wife will love that, too, for Molly will raise both of you. She suggested I put it in Grandmother Matthew’s jewel case where I’ve put all the lovely jewelry from your grandmothers and my own. Could she, too, be thinking of another woman?

I had another dream I can’t date because it came while events were hectic and I had no time alone. It was during the night and not a daydream. I’ll record what I can recall of it.

I was floating along as lightly as the nurses I’ve seen. It was a delightful sensation. I knew I was above the study pavilions because children were coming and going with their books. I came to rest near a small pond with a sandy shoreline, and knew I’d followed a beam put up for me by my Great Guard because you stood with three other little boys your age at the edge of this shallow pond! How I knew, I don’t know, but I was certain I was invisible to you.

You were discussing something important. You were so earnest. You moved apart and knelt to put your large sail boats in the water. Inhaling deeply and with as hard a shove as you could give, you all sent your boats onto the pond. They collided and you took off your sandals and waded in to untangle what looked like a hopeless mess.

After another lengthy discussion, you altered the sails, measuring them with care to be certain they were alike. You all inhaled to the bursting point and blew! Out the boats went, this time halfway across, where one tipped and capsized them all.

Again you waded out, untangled them, brought them back to send them away again with another mighty puff. This time, three capsized near shore, and one just leaned over. After four more tries, you shortened the sails again, this time stationing yourselves at four opposite points. You were trying to send your boats across to each other! To my complete surprise, you did get them to sail all the way, passing each other without touching.

It was exciting to watch your eager faces. I noticed your huffing and puffing were quite adequate when you all breathed together. I also noticed that when you lifted your boats from the water, they sparkled but didn’t drip. Evidently finished, without a word being spoken, you all walked off down to the narrow north avenue that runs down to the Grand Terrace.

As you might guess, I sat entranced with your play. You weren’t competing with each other but were trying to do the same thing together. This is much harder to do than to play a game where only one needs to win.

Little son, I want you to be safe, but not overly protected. I want you to be successful, but not at another’s expense. I want you to strive for perfection in all you do, but never to cause another discomfort. I want you to have compassion for one who misses the mark, and know that everyone is a success at night — perhaps not the success they wanted or desired, but successful in their ability to keep striving. No one is a failure who keeps at it, and we always have another day.

I’m proud that I bequeath you such a wonderful father. My only fear is that in his great love he might overindulge you, not in ways that would hurt you — but he may forget that it takes many small sacrifices to build the resistance to withstand self and make a large sacrifice.

Dearest, I hope I can reach with my heart’s arms to hold you steadfastly through your own trials by fire when they come. Please, will you love your father very, very much, and understand him and his love for you? Remember, you must love him for both of us.

October 19, 1912

Darling, I’ve had another sequel-dream! These dreams where I go to the same place and am shown how the first part finished, make me happier than when I recall the whole thing for some reason. I awakened early this morning and there it was, just as clear as when it happened. I was lightly conscious without being body-conscious here, yet I relived it over there. I promised myself to record it this morning, Molly or no Molly.

Last night, the minute I was in bed and stretched straight, giving you plenty of room, you acted like an angel.

I became conscious and began to “feel” over there, exactly as you four were disappearing down that narrow avenue. I started to follow, to see where you were going, but I lost you among the many children. I peered at every face looking for you and tried to find my Nurse.

Suddenly without my volition or any warning, I rose lightly into the air and took off like a bird. It reminded me of my childhood “flying dreams,” dreams that stopped and never did return after they sent me to school. I never forgot that feeling of joy. It is with me now as it was then.

This flying was nothing like the floating I’ve been doing since my first dream-visit, for I went high and swooped low over some buildings. It was also different from my previous night-flying because I couldn’t more than clear the rooftops and the trees then.

I wasn’t exactly directing my movement, yet when I saw something in the distance, I would suddenly be there gazing down on the scene or building. I didn’t realize it, but all the time I was going down toward the Grand Terrace. My flying glory ended quite a way below as I found myself let down on the Grand Stairway itself. I tried to “take off” again. I must have looked absurd to anyone who was watching me as I jumped into the air and flapped my arms.

I never remembered to wave to a cloud or call to my Nurse or Great Guard. For some dim reason, I felt I was supposed to walk home. It seemed I should get on with it since I had to go back in time to meet Michael. Descending step by step was a slow business and I didn’t see a single nurse or Great Guard. A thin mist shrouded the view and the Grand Stairway was as veiled as the earth below me.

I smiled, wondering at my predicament: How do I take off? Where was everyone? Why had they allowed me to rise into the air so suddenly without previous instructions? While I considered calling for someone to rescue me, I looked down the Grand Stairway. Below me, just climbing from the mist into my range of vision, came a small boy. He seemed almost too tired to climb farther, which of course suggested he’d been climbing for a long time. Every step he took was a laboring effort.

His page-boy suit was crushed in wrinkles — clothing over there is immaculate, his suit and that mother’s rumpled dress were the only earth-like things I’d seen there. His weary attitude compelled me to reach out and comfort him. The nearer he drew, the more fascinated I became with watching him. He was utterly forlorn and wept bitterly as he kept up his faltering, trudging pace. He lifted his head, as if to penetrate the distances above, and I turned to look upward in sympathy.

Why did his Great Guard allow him to wander alone in such grief? We were cut off and in a world of our own, the mists swirling more densely than I’d ever seen. I noticed his large eyes were that appealing cornflower blue that pulls at the heart strings. His coppery hair held a glint, satin-like in texture and his body was straight and strong as any six-year-old.

As he climbed beside me with unseeing eyes, I reached to touch him. His lagging footsteps stopped and he sagged against me. I caught him and sat on a step to hold him. He was one great mass of grief. He looked at me with those beautiful eyes and said in a piteous voice,

“They didn’t want me when I got there.”

My mother-hungry heart yearned for him as I hugged him. I asked him, “Who didn’t want you, and why does it make you so unhappy? Why are you coming from earth alone?” His sobs increased and I gathered him closer, crooning to him as I waited for him to stop long enough to look up at me and say, “They didn’t expect me for another two months and I’ve been slow, so I had a lot of lessons to learn, and more body building to do. I thought I had plenty of time.”

Looking at me with wide eyes, he said, “I do know how to follow instructions in body building, you know, because I’ve done it several times. This time I could do a lot more of it by myself. I was studying to awaken memory cells then going straight to earth to develop them in my new body. They were good cells, too, because my Great Guard who stands and helps me is a very great one.

“He called me right in the middle of my morning class to hurry to my new body because my beautiful mother had been in an accident. I listened hard to all he said and promised to do everything he told me to do. He told me how to help him finish my brain cells from inside the new body and I know I could have done it, too. He cautioned me on our inhaling breaths again and I began to move into my body. I could have finished my body. I could.”

Here he burst into uncontrollable sobs again and leaned harder against me — I held him more tightly and kissed his head. He said, “I was just promising my Great Guard always to be faithful to my trust when I heard the earth nurse say, ‘There isn’t much hope for this baby now, is there?’ So, I took the great breath that takes you all the way into your body and do you know what happened?”

Here his great eyes grew larger and I had to shake my head, because his story left me speechless. “My very own Great Guard snatched me right away from my own body!” His weeping surged again, his little body shook.

I asked, “What happened then, my dear? Can’t you tell me? Perhaps I can help you.”

“My mother does want me with her, I know she does, and I just couldn’t have heard her saying, ‘I’m glad, I’m glad, I never wanted a baby anyhow.’ That’s when my Great Guard said he was bringing me out of my body. He told me she would want me very much, later and I could build a much better body then, but I know my very own mother never said any such thing! She couldn’t, could she?”

I quickly reassured him, saying, “Of course it wasn’t her voice. No mother would say such a thing to her own son. You must have heard someone else talking. You know, dear, you were probably confused by all your hurrying to get there in time. Your mother loves you dearly and she does want you, I know, because I’m a mother.”

I wiped his eyes and asked him to tell me what had happened to make him climb the stairs all alone. “Now, darling,” I said, “tell me exactly what happened after that. Where is your Great Guard? Why aren’t you with him?”

His grief was too adult for any tiny boy and it took me longer to quiet him again. I’ve never seen deeper sorrow than he suffered. Finally he said, “When my Great Guard wouldn’t let me get into my new body, I slapped his face and struggled until I was free.

“I had to get into my body because I’d promised my mother I would come to her when she was ready, and I had to keep my promise. We had to wait such a long time, so I had to get to her and she does love me and want me, she does! I waited and waited for her to grow up and get ready for me. It was such a long time to be just a little boy. I had to try all alone because no one would help me, my Great Guard and the nurses from over here just stood silently and watched me trying. I almost got into it twice, then the doctor and nurse down there wouldn’t help me anymore either, so I had to leave my mother all alone again. Do you suppose she knows how hard I tried to get to her? Do you?”

Wiping his eyes again, I tried to comfort him by saying: “Of course she knows and she’ll wait for you and someday soon you’ll go to her again. Next time you can build a much nicer body and stronger because of this delay. You’ll see, your mother will love you more than she ever has in the past. She’ll be glad to have you with her.”

“But you don’t understand” he wept, “I’ve failed in honor to my Great Guard and I’ve failed my mother, too! They might never let me go to her again after such disobedience to him. I love my mother so very much, she is very beautiful and I’ve lost her and I’ve lost my Nurse Mother, too and my Great Guard is gone. What shall I do? Oh, what shall I do?”

I took a deep breath, and said, “You’re going to find your Great Guard and tell him how sorry you are for not being obedient and for being so rude. You’re going to ask him to take you back and teach you until you never again forget obedience first, so you’ll always remember your mother loves you and is still waiting for you and you’re going to her soon.

“Your Great Guard loves you and is waiting for you. Your Nurse Mother is waiting for you right now and she loves you, too. They all know how hard you tried to keep your promise to your mother and you’re not to waste any more time weeping. Your mother needs you more than ever. She needs a strong young man to love her and help her, not a weakling who can’t go to a Great Guard and confess he’s wrong. You must love your mother more, promise you’ll work harder to be ready for her. Promise me.”

As I talked, he relaxed, his weeping stopped and as I ran out of words, he turned his flower blue eyes up to me and started to say, “Yeee …” — and he was gone — sound asleep as I sat hugging him close, loving him, wondering what to do next.

Then I was fully conscious here, so I don’t know what happened. I don’t know even now how I dared to make such extravagant promises, but it seemed perfectly natural at the time. I was to try to make them come true for him. I couldn’t bear that he should lose credits for such disobedience, when he was so unselfish, and for a mother whom he is supposed to honor.

Somehow, I know they left him alone to learn about being disobedient, and he has already paid for it by his grief for having failed everyone. Such suffering isn’t right for little children. I know some mothers are like that on earth, but it shouldn’t touch the children coming to earth. I may grieve that this happened to an innocent child, but I’ve learned enough to know it would have hindered this boy.

Darling, I know they’ll give me the rest of this soon — why they let me find that child on the Grand Stairway. It must be significant for me personally.

You, little son, are coming to earth on clouds of joy, wanted and loved with great devotion. Our love has created a strong line of light for your arrival, I know. I hope my rash promises won’t get me involved over my head. I share my joy with you.

October 20, 1912

Beloved little son, I’m so happy. God is very good to me. They took me over there during my nap yesterday and my Great Guard told me the rest of the story!

After lunch, Molly tucked me in for a nap by your fireplace. As I watched the flames, I pondered deeply about the little boy, and hoped they would reveal the rest.

Nothing ever just breaks off over there. Life has perfect continuity of expression. Things just don’t fade into nothingness anywhere.

I fell asleep here, and awakened over there, sitting on a bench overlooking the Grand Terrace below the Field of Flowers. Our Great Guard sat beside me, passing his hands over my eyes again. He was saying, “Follow the lights with your eyes, for this time I’m going to open what we call the Soul Records for you. Every event is fixed forever on a certain grade of substance and can, by knowledge of Law, be flashed on the silver screen made by a combination of the right lights.

“These invisible records contain every action, speech and thought. The lights are now making a silver screen before you and I’ll project the record of both speech and actions on it. Watch and listen.”

I did as he bade me, and soon the lights stopped whirling. I saw myself holding the little boy as I sat on the Grand Stairway at the end of the former experience. A shadow fell upon us and a hand touched me on the shoulder. I looked into the face of our Great Guard, whose smile was compassionate and forgiving, and began to feel exactly as I had on the day of the dream. A feeling of comfort filled me, as if they’d already pardoned me for anything I might have said or done wrong.

He said, “Of course you had to love him. It was your work to reassure and return him without an earth taint upon his love for his mother. You had to clear his mind of any doubt about her integrity. Do you recall wondering if you would have any of those small children under you? Those whom you had seen when you were a child? Well, this is one of them — he’s also one of those in your charge as Nurse Mother when you left for earth. That’s why he responded to your love so completely. Only you could have saved him from many months of suffering from this feeling of being unwanted.

“Here, our lights would have helped him to overcome his fear and hurt, but it would have left a scar on his subconscious memory cells that would have taken several earth lives to erase entirely. In the few moments you held him, your love wiped it forever from his memory, leaving blameless his love for his mother. You’ve replaced his mother in his mind since he fell asleep, and the memory of you will remain with him when he awakens from sleep under the lights rotating over him now. We can finish clearing him of earth-taint before we awaken him.

“Under ordinary conditions, we can bring the child here asleep from the instant his Great Guard receives him from the new body. We can eradicate all the words and emotions connected with the matter at once by the lights. This child has an exceptionally high sense of honor and his mother-love amounts almost to worship. His intense struggles to enter his earth body so impressed the action and words on his memory cells that he might have grown resentful of his Great Guard’s interference. His grief about being rude made it much worse.

“His blame, which he could not direct at the mother whom he idealizes, he would have directed at me, since I am the Great Guard for all those in your charge. Most of his grief was for having failed me as his Great Guard. His feeling of failure in his duty to us burned the memory into his soul-substance too deeply for us to erase it all for him. With all our skill, the soul must share in erasing its old debts by learning how disobedience can hurt others.

“Your past love for him and his for you made what you did for him possible, allowing us to use you to symbolize his mother for him. He’ll awaken knowing she held him and her love will enfold him protectively. Of course, it will be your universal mother-love, but all mother-love is of the same vibration when it is truly unselfish and pure, and has no cross-vibration in it.

“This father’s accident of carelessness came as an unexpected shock to all concerned. Gladly would we have saved him the grief of hearing his mother’s repudiation of him and his father’s answer. The father’s words — ‘I didn’t want a baby interfering with our fun. Now we can play again and dance’ — were engraved on his memory cells because of his straining desire to enter his body. Both parents said what they had been thinking for weeks.”

I seemed to waver at this point — he took my hands and said to look deeply into his eyes. I did and could feel strength flow through me. Soon I could watch my special screen again as our Great Guard bent down and lifted the sleeping child from me. The screen faded, and I was conscious of my Great Guard speaking again:

“If this child had already breathed himself into his new body, we could not have saved him from an earth life of martyrdom. Such a life would have warped his soul. This father hated the idea of a child in the first place and would have hated a damaged son more so. The mother’s growing indifference to her son would have been lethal. Such an atmosphere would have combined to send him from his body filled with hatred for them.

“Since he heard the words on his great inhaling breath, they would have been indelibly engraved on his conscious memory cells, establishing an inhibition of knowing they did not want him. Of course, such a feeling would have veiled every lesson we taught him here. I could not have reached through properly to guide him in finishing the brain cells and the glands that are an absolute necessity for life on earth.

“He would have been hopelessly disabled from birth, with no glandular ability to grow, to walk or to talk in anything except cryptic, unintelligible words. His thinking would have been unimpaired, but he would have no way to express it. Inarticulate, bound in such an undeveloped, crippled body, painful always, able to hear and understand everything said about him — can you see how bitter hatred could have possessed him?

“He would have watched his mother sink into sordidness and actual ugliness, stripped of her beauty and stripping him of every ideal vision he had ever held of her. If his body had gestated for fully, I could have allowed him to possess it even under such conditions. Yet we could do nothing since it was still two months premature.

“To perfectly finish body building there must be no interference from any source, especially from inside the body itself. Quiet and love outside and a listening soul inside can work perfect wonders in an incubator. However, if the soul’s own mind is closed to the Great Guard, it is hopeless. Such repudiation opens the brain’s memory cells to cross-vibrations, which can destroy the delicate membranes that should be protected by the walls of the mother’s warm body enfolding it.”

As he stopped, I asked him eagerly, “Will they allow him to return to this mother as I promised him?”

He answered, “Of course, the Great Council had already outlined such action when making the other four alternate plans that compensate for many of earth’s accidents. They also sent me the flash signal to enfold the child in the instant before the mother spoke aloud. That’s how I could catch him on a great breath. I had to remain invisible, for we had to let him learn as much as possible from his disobedience. His lonely walk had softened him and made him ready for your love.

“Lights sent you there to be ready for the first of your Nurse Mother work as you come from earth to be with us again. Your gift of compensation was to allow you to fly to the right place. I stood beside both of you at the time. As the Great Council gave me the right words, I ‘thought’ them to you, though you could call it putting the words on your lips. You fulfilled our plans perfectly, and you must begin to realize you have important work here. You’ll again take your position as a Supervisor of Nurse Mothers.

“You see, it could even prove disastrous on earth to the three of you to leave you there with only one small son upon whom to lavish the wealth of your love. Over here, the same amount of mothering love will spread itself among a thousand children hungry for it. Unconsciously, you might have disabled your son by weakening his independence, while building up a sense of possession for those whom you love so dearly. The love lines you leave behind will carry them safely across the Abyss again, with no chance of failure. You shall help hold your son much more steadily from this side and he’ll need it as a young man.

“Our promise to you is that you shall find yourself strong enough to finish the soul-conquering you’ve begun. The record you’re leaving in your journal shall guide your son. He’ll use your description as his example of what love-mating means. Thus, he shall be saved from a mistake in this earth life, one he has made in the past.”

As he finished, I asked, “But what will happen to William’s mother and father on earth? Will she learn of her mistake? Will she remember to ask for the little fellow, and will she love him again?”

He smiled at my eagerness as he said, “I wondered if you would ask these questions. Yes. They’ve had the same beautiful mother-son relationship that you and your son share. She did go to earth to make a place for him. She did want him and she does love him. With her last consciousness here before she left, she asked him to remember to wait and come to her. Her infatuation for this present husband obscures her vow. She forgot that she was supposed to wait for us to send the right father for her son. She had become more involved in earth’s pleasures.

“We were constraining the boy from going to her at this time. However, he slipped away from us. He saw the lights that mean the joining of two parent cells within the mother’s body and sought the Great Council, begging to be allowed to go immediately. After due deliberation, the Council decided he was strong enough to overcome the father’s lack of high honor. They decided that leading the mother back to us was necessary. We’ve established her on the upward path already. We opened by having the doctor describe her little son and what a wonderful little body he had. He was shocked at her words of repudiation, too, you know.

“When she slept, we had her dream of the little son whom she had left here, waiting for her to grow to adulthood. Later we shall allow her to dream again of the whole event, hearing the cruel words she spoke and remembering them when she awakens. She’ll see her own heartlessness as it is and wonder how she got where she is.

“Her pleasures will become forced and she’ll grieve often for the little son she lost. Her indifference will cause this present husband to grow bored with her and soon begin to seek others for his pleasure. This would have happened about the same time anyhow, grieving her. Soon, with her eyes opened to his lack of honor, she’ll realize it was only infatuation on her part.

“Later, we’ll bring her own true mate to her and their love will form the background for the child’s return to earth. When he’s nearly eight, he’ll have a twelve-year-old capacity and will be called a ‘genius’.”

As he spoke, I began to feel the same weakness as before. I watched my Great Guard beckon to a cloud and he helped me on it. Soon I felt stronger as our Great Guard held my hand. He said, “Watch.”

I saw him help me onto another cloud, as he held the little boy. I watched myself float alone into the mist toward earth. Then, quickly, he was on my cloud again, lifting me and showing me how he’d laid my desire body in my earth body. He did it again and I felt that beautiful vibration begin at my toes and move to my head.

I awakened just as Molly began to shake my shoulder gently, telling me I’d overslept. I’m so happy! I’m so happy to be me. I feel so wanted, so protected.

I do realize I could have become a domineering mother and a wife with a swelled head. Michael would never stop me, for he loves me too much — but! I love you and await my next lesson-dream in deep joy and reverence.

October 21, 1912

So many important events have happened while I’ve been entranced with my dream-visits, I must record a few here.

Molly found a manager and Michael approves. I spent part of the morning in a conference with Katie, Molly and Jackson. He may be what Molly needs. He rightly defers to her as a family member. He also knows how to flatter Katie with just the right touch. Now I feel reassured about Michael’s routine when I can no longer look after him.

John came to report on Michael’s birthday party, which will be big this year since John was not home for last year’s.

I’m working hard to finish your gown and dare not spend too much time dawdling with my journal, much as I love it — but I do love you.

October 27, 1912

I’m very happy today. I’ve put a note in the jewel case. Michael isn’t to let you give any young woman those family heirlooms until he’s certain she loves you with all her heart and she treasures them as we’ve done.

I can’t bear to have them worn by someone who wouldn’t appreciate your father or his family. I’m not only loving you, little fellow, I’m trying hard to protect you from the mistakes of your past lives understand, please? You’re my precious son.

October 28, 1912

Mr. Anthony brought the portrait today. It presents your ordinary mother as a woman too sublime for this old world. What astonishes me is that he’s captured on canvas the smile I thought I held only in my heart for Michael. I really didn’t know anyone could see it! That smile will comfort Michael, I know. He must have won the artist’s sympathy that night when they moved the tapestry to the library. I’ve sent the portrait to be framed.

Are you calming down, or am I getting tougher? Thank you for less violent thumping within your retreat. The doctor is well satisfied with both of us. I can hardly wait for Michael’s birthday. John is acting so mysterious about it.

October 29, 1912

Our new manager Jackson looks at Molly as if he’d only just dreamed her — and acts as if he can’t believe his good fortune! I know you’ll like him, for he’s quiet and gentle, though firm.

Michael’s eyes twinkle as he watches Jackson waiting on Molly and Molly taking it as her right, although no one has ever done it before. It’s a wonderful late-blooming romance or I miss my guess. It thrills me!

Young Tom Parks is home again; he’s the son of Michael’s deceased partner. He has completed law school back east, returned with his new bride, and he’ll take his place as a junior partner with Michael.

Diana, Mrs. Thomas Parks, will make your father an ideal hostess when I’m gone. Everything is working out so beautifully, and I’m delighted. I hold you so close, little son.

November 2, 1912

I’m in bed, resting for your father’s surprise birthday party. John has invited all their old friends.

I confess that yesterday I wept secretly because I’ll never share another of your father’s birthdays. Darling, it grows no easier to leave him. My heart could almost burst with love-longing right now.

I credit myself with some fortitude that I can let go such selfish thoughts and concentrate on your father’s happiness instead of my own. I’ll seek my happiness in the fact that next year he’ll watch you play and hold you on his birthday. I love you!

November 3, 1912

Molly has relented and allows me to sit up with my bed-table to write. I awakened this morning concerned, feeling the same peculiar fatigue that affected me before the last illness.

The doctor came — Molly and Michael hovered and Jackson waited in the hall. Doctor Allison told them to leave me alone because I was one woman with sense enough to sleep when I needed it! I was relieved and gladly went back to sleep. To make sure, I’ll take it easy for several days. I’ll take good care of you, little son.

Molly loves having me completely under her eye and thumb, but she’s a sweet tyrant. I had a wonderful time at the party and forgot to rest, which is what ails me today.

Please, little fellow, always send cards and letters to your father for both of us? Did I ever tell you how I love you?

November 4, 1912

Last night I felt up to hearing what Michael and John had to say about the party. Tonight, we’re dining together again and my soul is robed in glory.

I’ve told John. Last night while we discussed the party, a client called Michael to the phone. John and I had a half-hour alone. It was all the time I needed to enlist his help. I asked if he could find time to take Michael and me to the island where we met. Telling him that I wanted some pictures of “me” with “you” easily led to sharing my fears.

He just put his hand over mine, and looked at me in a helpless sort of way as he grasped the meaning of what I said. His face paled with surprise and a wounded look. Then he twisted his hands together, looked down for a moment and that was all he let me see. The next second he was smiling, everything but concern for me veiled, although his eyes looked teary.

He said, “You know I love you, and would do anything in the world for you, don’t you? Of course, I’ll arrange the cruise right away before I leave. Michael knows how sentimental I am. I just can’t believe in your fears, but I promise to stand by Michael through anything that comes, as long as he needs me, on my honor.”

I’m relieved. I can leave everything to our dearest friend John. He’ll take care of Michael to the end. When Michael returned, John suggested the trip and Michael said it would be a wonderful finale before John leaves. John said he stops there once a year because it holds such grand memories. John, our beloved friend, to go there alone every year! This will make as shining a day for John’s memory book as it will for Michael’s.

I watched Michael keenly as we entered the library for cake and coffee. An expression I’ve never seen transformed Michael’s face when he saw the finished portrait on the table. The light in his eyes was wonderful! I know I’ll carry that vision of him with me forever.

If a cold portrait can make him look like that, what will his eyes reveal when I put you in his arms? I’m positive now that I’ll live long enough to see that glory. Right in front of everyone, he took me in his arms. He held me as if he could never let me go!

I’ll carry that protected feeling with me and never fear the dark the ignorant world calls death. I’ll set myself to remember the feel of his embrace before I sleep each night. Perhaps they will allow me to wake up over there as I have so often, and keep me until it is too late to return. I do hope for this, just to go out in my sleep.

Before Michael let me go, he looked at me as if he were memorizing my features. His eyes told me no other woman on earth could fill my place in his heart. I leaned on Michael’s love last night. I’ll tell you a secret: Once the fires of unselfish love are lighted from the burned-out ashes of self, the soul radiates the glory of immortality, and that glow escapes through the eyes. I recognized it in Michael’s eyes as he looked at me and when I turned, I saw it in John’s eyes as he studied the portrait.

Grief can never chain Michael’s soul in bondage to earth, for he’ll soar again in his love for his son. With this joyous tumult in my heart, I’m absolutely convinced that though Michael might live long, no other woman could ever enter the holy place in his heart where I’ve dwelt with him in love and this great exaltation of soul.

This comforts me and I’m glad, although I’m sad, too.

Darling, last night I was your happy mother. Today I’m your happy mother.

Michael said it disturbed him that he could do so little to help me pass these days of discomfort. He realized how hard those sittings were and said how much he appreciated what I’d done.

Then he said something that surprised me: “Sweetheart, did you know John has always loved you? Last night he told me you had refused him just before we met. He’s always been glad that if he couldn’t have you, that you chose me, then he could love both of us. He’s been a loyal friend and a gentleman in the highest sense. He deserves more than his life seems to be giving him, doesn’t he? He said he could now be happy near us, he needed us and was going to live at home more. He appreciates your loveliness and beauty more than ever. He asked if I begrudged him a share of heartwarming at the great fires of our love.”

As Michael kissed me, I asked him what his answer had been. He said I already knew his answer. John is a part of us and is always welcome to be with us and share our life.

Such words, my darling son, a woman usually writes upon the tablet of her heart only, but I dare to record them here in my journal, for they are as much a part of you as they are of me. They must lift your beloved heart to that same height your father achieved. They must be a guiding star and light on your love-path.

Darling, if only I could give you some idea of what love really is, what love can really do. The love of both Michael and John is that undying, unselfish giving love that does not ask in return, and never possessively demands.

Precious babe in our arms, then son grown-to-manhood, this is the love I wish to bequeath you. I pray your love-life will follow the pattern your father has set. Your Uncle John will show you many wonderful ways but I, your mother, pray that you follow the path laid before you by the man I’ve chosen — your father.May you, too, one day be as grateful as I am that I had the good sense to give you Michael as a pattern to follow.

November 7, 1912

Yesterday dawned with heavenly weather and sun sparkling like splashing silver drops on the waters of Puget Sound. Later the Olympics lifted their misty veils to expose their beauty.

Michael and John were slap-happy and clowned as I took their pictures. We sat on the sand and drank huge mugs of hot tea. John told us he had never forgotten the stars in my eyes when I met Michael for the first time. He confessed that when he had a large problem to solve, he always brought the cruiser to the cove.

Then he shocked us both! He’s met a young woman, the daughter of a business associate back east. Her name is Sarah Cunningham and they’ve been seeing each other for several months! Because of his past unfortunate choices regarding women, John has hesitated to pursue anything more than a casual social acquaintance. He said when he paid her a farewell call before returning to Seattle, he told her that the future was uncertain and his visits to Boston would be fewer!

Men! They never tell you what’s important without your having to mine for gold! Immediately I wanted to know all about Sarah Cunningham. I questioned John until he begged for mercy and Michael was pleading his case. No matter what either of them think, little son, I know Sarah, golden-haired and green-eyed, is the mystery-mother of your “Claire!”

How could John have just walked away? I asked him that and how Sarah had responded. “She just looked at me — then she smiled,” he said. Her smile was so beautiful, so familiar, but I couldn’t place it. Not until last night, when I saw your portrait and recognized the smile you reserve for Michael alone. Sarah smiled that smile for me.”

He said all this wonderingly, then shrugged as if he were being fanciful. Michael saw that funny look on John’s face when I asked if he intended to pursue the “matter of Sarah Cunningham” — he told me so later.

We left when the sun cast long shadows. When we entered the harbor, the skyline was glimmering like some fairyland rising from the sea. Now we have recent pictures of us together. You’ll love them, I know.

John rushed in this morning and bluntly asked to speak to my doctor, saying, “I want to talk with him before I leave. That is, of course, if you don’t mind.”

I said he could do anything but warn Michael; I put him on his honor about that before telling him. I feel that knowing this has given John the anchor he needs to hold him at home more. He’s needed this “home” responsibility for a long time now.

Sarah and John … Mr. and Mrs. John Farnsworth … Sarah Farnsworth, hmm.

November 8, 1912

I’ve grouped all the photographs, and they wait for Michael’s printed captions to go with each. I’ve written the names and dates on the backs, so the whole project is really complete. Molly will use them as story books, and they’ll read like fairy tales — your grandparents and John’s parents had romantic adventures together.

I sit here before your nursery fire to write. All promises of my growing awkwardness and size are fulfilled! Michael won’t remember me as a sylphlike figure. Never mind, I love you, and though it is by freight, I’m getting you here.

November 9, 1912

I’m having another luncheon soon and Molly and Jackson are polishing the silver. Jackson is in love with our Molly. She’s showing off for him — they love it and so do we.

While all my friends are here, I’ll ask their help — I want their daughters to be hostesses at the mural tea to introduce the two young couples. This will be a lovely party for the two brides.

Michael adores such affairs, and I want this to be our best. We’ll have music for dancing afterward and serve supper later. I love you, little son. ’Bye.

November 10, 1912

My heart is heavy, not with self-pity, just a sadness about John’s leaving. He had an early breakfast with us, and we both ached when he left. Shall I see him again? He held my hands before he left and said he wanted me here so we could have fun raising our children together. “Our children must grow up as Michael and I did, and we need you. How can we be happy without you?”

John has never had his heart’s desires, despite his great wealth. He knows how to stay busy, but there’s so much more to life. I know he’ll come for the holidays, if he can. I want him to come so I can see him hold you, too, for he’s next to Michael and you in my heart. John never mentioned seeing the doctor. I’ve not stopped hoping that Sarah’s smile haunts him!

November 11, 1912

I’ve met Jane, the mural artist’s wife. She and Diana came to lunch here. They seemed to like each other very much, and will be delighted to receive guests at the mural tea. So, Mrs. Thomas Parks and Mrs. David Johnson will receive our guests.

With life in such a state of “doing” all the time, no wonder I’ve had no more soul flights. I’m eager to know “what happened next.”

I seem to be like an earthworm with no wings to spread and fly into heavenly places. I’ve joined those who hug the earth for fear, it seems. Tonight I’ll sleep with my soul-wings spread wide and pray for a sight of you.

My little dearest, I wish my life away on one hand and on the other I want it to last forever right here on earth — or while you and Michael are on it. Just now you’re my lodestar and I love you SO much.

November 12, 1912

I’ve embroidered all morning with my mind on you. I wonder when they will allow me to soar again.

Molly has lunch with me daily now. Jackson serves it, watching her always; Molly treats him in a dignified manner, but I know she must be aware of his attentions.

Katie, Molly and Jackson are preparing for your father’s party this coming Sunday afternoon. With the tea the following weekend, my entertaining is complete. It’s now exceedingly hard for me to stand for a long time. I don’t seem to be spreading though, for which I’m thankful, since my clothes are in the last notch now.

I’ll take a long nap this afternoon, because last night was one of the few wakeful nights I’ve ever had, even with this long body building period of yours.

(Later, after my nap) Darling, I was over there again! I’m so grateful they allowed me to go, although I didn’t see you.

I found myself in a new circle of dormitory pavilions, which had balconies around both stories. Both balconies had hammock-swings, tables with chairs, making small outdoor living rooms for the children.

Outside stairways on either side curved to the second story, gracefully opening onto a balcony, then descending to the grass. In front, wide stairs led to the entrance arch. A Nurse Mother approached us — my Nurse was with me — saying, “Come with me.”

We followed her up to the balcony. The slender wrought railing and pillars upholding the dome gleamed like silver. Rooms opened off the balcony — each had a bed, a dresser with a mirror, chairs and a table, fluffy white rugs and many open shelves filled with books and toys. The rooms were in perfect order, but the balcony tables looked as if someone had called the children away suddenly, leaving their toys and projects.

A small boy was busy building something with wood and metal parts, which he took from a box on the floor. Stepping closer, I saw that he was fashioning a bridge. The Nurse Mother said, “He’s to be a builder of bridges on earth when next he leaves. He’ll have time now to finish learning about it here.” Imagine my shock when he turned to us — it was the little boy I’d befriended on the Grand Stairway! He smiled politely, but with no sign of recognition, and turned back to his bridge.

His Nurse Mother said, “He spends all his spare time with his new models now and we must remind him of his classes and lessons or he would miss them! His classes include all manners of fieldwork, exercises and drills that everyone here must take.” Then she asked, “Would you like to see the Maidens’ Hall?”

We turned as I nodded, and descended the outer stairs to the central garden with its rainbow fountain. Tiny iridescent scarlet and indigo blue birds dipped in and out of the spray, glinting with sparkling droplets, as if their feathers were encrusted with diamonds. That water looks as if they “charged” it to make it glisten as it does.

I heard laughter, right here in your room, and Molly was bending over me with my afternoon fruit juice!

I feel light and glorious! Part of my joy is that the little boy is free of all hurt. This interlude will better equip him than if he’d stayed on earth this time. He’ll be strong in love when his mother is ready for him. To have played a small role in this delights my soul and pleases my heart. Somehow it makes my love for you seem less selfish.

I sit here looking at your murals more in awe about the work than ever. David has managed to portray messages of honor and courage on the faces of his knights and “ladyes faire.” The scenes have the spirit of high adventure about them, but the one next to the fireplace, depicting the Holy Grail, fascinates me. With all this to feast your young eyes on, nothing evil in the world of men could touch you.

Our household flourishes under romance! Even Katie enjoys it. Jackson treats Molly like a queen and she loves it. Everyone loves this courtship because it is so “just right.” I can see Jackson answering your day-to-day little-boy questions I won’t be here to answer for you. I’m deeply content and grateful that Molly found Jackson. He’ll be such a mainstay for her. Darling, how I do love you!

November 13, 1912

John wrote to us from New York, which he’s enjoyed. He said he’ll soon be off for Boston!

He wrote: “I miss both of you more than ever, and I’m still sorry I had to leave. However, I promise to have New Year’s dinner with you and to help you keep your New Year’s Day open house. We’ll do it together as we did in the early days after our parents passed, remember? After all, ‘We’ are our family, aren’t we?”

My heart is overflowing with enough love to lift the world! John shall have his heart’s desire, and he shall love his child, and it must, it must be a little daughter!

Today is a soft, rainy day when dreaming comes easily. I went to sleep feeling such a protective love for Michael that it must have opened the “gates” during my nap.

I found myself stepping through an archway into a pavilion just across from yesterday’s visit, although I couldn’t tell you how I knew this. My Nurse was by my side, and the same Nurse Mother greeted us and began to speak: “These dormitory pavilions alternate between boys and girls in the same age group. Older and younger children mix for diversion, play and visiting.

“Older girls are encouraged to mingle with younger ones to learn responsibility in supervising them. While they may do almost anything they love during their free time under our direct supervision, we do suggest some activities helpful for the lessons they must learn while here. We encourage them to play and entertain each other in mixed groups to save them untold trouble when they go to earth.

“Even now, after all our work with them, some children refuse to mingle or socialize and want to remain completely aloof. Naturally, they must learn to associate with each other or remain unbalanced. Inability to mix with others will cause parents and teachers much concern on earth and is one of our greatest problems here.”

She took us to a large room off the central hall, which was a study and a play area. The study tables were at one end and the recreation materials at the other. The girls were eight to ten years old and every table was full — they glued their eyes on their books and paid no attention to us. I think we must have been invisible to them, although the Nurse Mother spoke in the same tone of voice, gentle and quiet, but not a whisper.

They’d been laughing heartily as we entered, but all became quiet as we watched. At one low play table a little girl around four years old was painfully trying to make a doll dress under an older girl’s supervision.

Nearer, in the center, two older girls were practicing an intricate dance step. I couldn’t see how they produced the music, but it was beautiful, just loud enough to hear plainly. As we watched, the tempo increased and their flying feet kept pace. The music’s rhythm kept increasing and they continued to keep perfect timing in the fancy steps they were dancing.

Finally, they could keep up no longer. Their feet got tangled and they sank gracefully to the floor, feet crossed, arms around each other’s waists, while their laughter rang joyously again. The unadulterated delight in their eyes and glee in their voices caused my own laughter to join theirs.

My eyes opened, and I was on the couch by the nursery fireplace, my own laughter ringing in my ears. Molly, looking startled, asked, “What are you laughing at in your sleep?” It was only a rhetorical question, or I don’t know how I could have answered!

She was interested only in the fact that I’d overslept, and it was past my snack time. She left to get it, and I laughed again about how it would have shocked Molly if I’d answered her question truthfully. A Heaven with dancing? Never! The idea made me smile all afternoon — little girls whirling like dervishes to mazurka music while others were sewing doll clothes, reading and studying. What would she say if I suddenly asked her what she thought little girls did when they went to Heaven?

If this is Heaven, please give me more of it. A place to go where one may work or play, doing what one loves best, being helped to learn what one has not had time for on earth, even dancing! For me, this is Heaven and I love all of it, loving you most of all, little son of my heart, so soon to be with us, to be held tightly in our so love-hungry and long-empty arms.

Just one day nearer our heavenly Paradise on earth. I love you.

November 14, 1912

I was weary when I went to bed last night and didn’t enjoy reading as I usually do, so I turned off my light long before Michael was ready. He held me, kissing me goodnight as he always does, whispering our daily ritual now — “one day nearer.”

I know he could feel the yearning fervency of my love pouring over him, for he called me the one name he reserves for only our highest moments together, those moments when he needs an extra-wonderful name for me — Queen.

It’s all wrong to wish away our time together, though I want you here as much as Michael does — if only it didn’t mean losing his kisses and love-words. I love him so dearly. Yet I’m torn between my love for him and my desire to make him this gift, which is still such a part of my own body.

I slept at once and didn’t awaken again on earth until Michael’s good morning kisses. I knew, however, that I was sitting in a large chair on the lower balcony of the girls’ dormitory pavilion. The same Nurse Mother was watching me and my Nurse sat on a stool beside me. They took me by the hands, gently helped me up and we turned to enter the central hall, the girls’ large round play room.

The stairways and upper balconies were the same as in the boys’ hall. All the rooms opening off the balcony were double, each had a bed, fluffy white rugs, low tables, chairs, and a dressing table with a mirror. The beds had lovely carved headboards. Books filled the shelves and were scattered about the rooms. As we passed through one to the balcony, I observed an undressed doll spilling off a little chair, and an open doll trunk. Evidently they’d called the little girl in the midst of her play, because the doll clothes were scattered around the trunk.

The upper balcony was wider than the one in the boys’ hall, and it wasn’t quite as tidy as the bedrooms. It had islands of tables and chairs where children sat engaged in many different projects, each pleasing herself. Open books, paints, scrapbooks, paste and scissors lay where children had abandoned them in haste. It wasn’t exactly disorder, more like any child’s playroom. It had a busy, cheerful look, as if real children lived there.

Four girls sat at a table painting. Some tables held four working the same activities, others only one or two and other groups were doing different things. One little girl pored over a book of fairy tales, but her partner at the table was making doll clothes. It looked like a real child’s paradise. The Nurse Mother said: “The balcony is the children’s workshop and play area. Everyone from eight years upward helps in training smaller children.”

She pointed to an older girl who was making a large rag doll while helping a smaller child to make one about eight inches high and said, “This child came here about a year ago from earth. She belonged to a family who owned a doll factory and specialized in marionette show dolls. She was ten when she left, but has not grown since, for she is waiting for her twin sister who is coming over in six months. Five girls and a boy will continue the name and the work on earth.

“These twins went to them for the sole purpose of learning this rag doll business and, of course, to learn how to handle a puppet show. They are experts now and will return to earth, still as twins. They will become great artists in this line, making their own puppet show dolls. You can see she is teaching other children to make rag dolls, giving to others that which she knows best how to do.”

A group of laughing children scampered in as we reached the bottom of the stairs. I heard the celestial chimes ring as we approached the front archway. The Nurse Mother turned, saying: “The children are going upstairs to put on their ‘supper’ robes. They have two meals of fruit and nuts daily.”

An entirely new thought hit me and I asked, “Where do the children bathe, or do they even need to?” All I’d seen anyone use was the golden oil. The idea of children never having to bathe intrigued me. I thought maybe that was the reason for their aversion to water on earth.

This so diverted my attention I suddenly found my nurse and the Nurse Mother guiding me through a small archway to the left. We went under the balcony to a stairway curving down from the central hall. It ended on a narrow gallery that ran all the way around a circular room whose outer wall was exactly like the room where I’d seen the Eternal Flame burning. Trailing vines, beautiful with blooming flowers, gracefully twined around the pillars. Other flowering vines hung from baskets between the pillars. A shallow pool filled the whole space, which was beautiful with shadows dancing on the sparkling waters.

I know my mouth hung open for a few seconds in surprise, then I felt a deep, inner joy that made my heart sing. It seemed so exactly right. That water surely is charged because millions of tiny bubbles constantly rose from the bottom, as if blown by mermaids’ breath. I suppose I should try to find a more dignified word than “fizz” to describe something in Heaven, but that’s exactly what that pool was doing, in a refined way, of course. It was fizzing!

Those bubbles in countless myriad colors, were sparkling and dancing sometimes as if hands splashed them. Earth’s heavy pigment colors are poor substitutes when trying to portray heaven’s scintillant, exquisite spectrums. The pool sloped to a deeper end, where older children could dive and swim. The shallow end was completely filled with excited, laughing, splashing little girls, all in their birthday suits! I stood transfixed with wonder. This was a major amazement — a bathing pool! I knew these pools were nothing like the heavy element we call water on earth!

When they climbed from that pool — their bodies sparkled with drops of rainbow light for a moment, and the next moment, they were dry. Tiny iridescent bubbles covered them like jewels, then seemed to “pop” like soap bubbles on earth as the girls reached for their play suits.

It took both my Nurse and the Nurse Mother to get me started back upstairs. The Nurse Mother said: “Has no one told you of the etheric waters here? They are not ‘wet’ because we charge them with what we call the ‘Breath of Life,’ which causes those bubbles that fascinate you so. It is a high, fine electrical vibration. Its main purpose is to cleanse all cross-vibrations and recharge their desire bodies with vitality and energy.

“Every dormitory pavilion has its own pool. Each time the children bathe, we cleanse more of earth’s leftover vibrations. The etheric waters work in harmony with the lights. No matter how ‘good’ one is or has been on earth, the desire body retains a certain amount of earth-taint. These taints can infect the soul itself unless the soul freely chooses to bathe in the Lake of Purity after coming over to us.

“Cross-vibrations interfere with right choices. We must wash these clinging vibrations away before the soul can sip the ‘Chalice of Immortality’ at high altars or before entering the Great Council Chamber. This is Law and cannot be set aside. There is no grime to cleanse as on earth, but only continued bathing in the Waters of Life washes earth’s darkness from the memory cells. While the children are unaware of what they are doing, the bathing prepares them to enter the Lake of Purity when they come over the next time.

“Occasionally, a child comes from earth so afraid of water that it takes months to coax it into the shallow end. Adults coming from earth, who fear this, may sink to the first degree of the Desire Plane, where they first bathe in a minor Lake of Purity. No one can stay away from earth unless they bathe in the Waters of Life on some level or Degree. They must either incarnate or become ‘floaters.’”

Today I muse about the fact that some children dislike the touch of water on their new bodies. Is it because it is so heavy and coarse it shocks their highly sensitive nerves? How can you ever stand the harshness of our water, little son? I could weep knowing our greed for a child to hold and love has lured you from your wonderful home over there. Yet, how else would evolution go on? How could soul ascension go on over there? You must come to earth!

Darling, I’m mothering another “fantasy!” Someday, when your first child is coming, your own precious wife and mother-to-be will sit here with you where I sit today, before your nursery fire and both of you will read this journal again. It will form extra special bonds of sweet love between you.

My Great Guard was right — because I would have wanted to save you pain, I would have unconsciously interfered with the lessons you must learn. You might have gone home with lessons unlearned and taints of earth clinging that the Lake of Purity couldn’t wash away! I realize nothing less than personally learned lessons will carry the soul through eternity. We must learn them to become satisfied with Heaven.

I want you to come with all my heart, but oh! How I wish that I could save you some tests and trials you must face alone. I would warn you about the pitfalls that beset the unwary, yet you must learn what they are first hand.

My heart yearns for your sweet dearness, and I love you, now so close to us.

November 15, 1912

Your father’s party was a great success. I’m glad the tea will finish all my major social obligations. It just tires me to be with so many people. I’ll think of some way to avoid standing throughout the tea. I’m sure I couldn’t. Perhaps Michael will have an idea.

Molly brought lunch early yesterday because I’ve had a few restless nights and can never eat much afterward. She wanted me to take a long nap. I’d recorded my last dream that morning, so I prepared to nap at once. I went to sleep with the flames in my memory, and awakened with a start, really jumping.

I took up your gown to embroider while I sat thinking the flames had taken on a mysterious quality. I seemed to see through them into a beautiful garden, but my eyes grew heavy and I fell soundly asleep.

I awakened beside my Nurse, sitting on my favorite bench overlooking the Field of Flowers, which was full of children. Evidently, I’d been there awhile, but I lost the beginning of what she was saying: “… This is why they are spacing your soul flights so irregularly, sometimes several in succession, other times at odd intervals.

“Your spontaneous laughter pleased the Great Council, because it shows you’re rapidly awakening memory cells. They always cover the memory-knowledge of your life here when you go to earth, although you use different sets of memory cells for the earth experience than for the assimilation period here.

“Coming to us from earth on soul flights or in transition, you must gradually awaken the memory cells for here as you are arousing yours now. Once here, they must draw a veil over the earth-memory cells until the soul establishes itself here. Otherwise, a loved one’s grief might recall a soul, and he’d lose those first important months for assimilation of experience after awakening here.”

I asked something that had puzzled me after my laughter: “Why didn’t I feel any heart reaction after jarring my desire body with such hearty laughter?”

“Laughter doesn’t jar the silver cord when your activity sends you back suddenly. Your physical heart can be jarred in a destructive way only by some harsh noise or by a sharp or loud call that startles you on earth. This causes the heart to tremble and swell.

“Have you ever found yourself falling in a dream? You’ve never hit anything have you? Instead, you’ve awakened surprised at still feeling as if you had fallen, haven’t you? No other harm had been done, because this is the desire body suddenly falling into the earth body. This happens when the soul is out of the body without permission. Sometimes the soul dashes back without waiting for the proper lights to restrain the fall.

“Many earth-bound people leave their bodies and float near earth’s surface. Just as you settled on the Grand Stairway when the lights were gently withdrawn from you, the one who is floating will fall back into his body when he consumes all the desire body energy. This happens without any need to know the how or the why, and one can only fall into the earth body. You’ve no place else to go.

“They’ve adapted your visits here to the reaction of your earth heart. We can bring you here only because your silver cord is pliable, and it has become more flexible as the lights have played over your earth body. The lights can strengthen any physical heart under the Great Guard’s guidance. As the silver cord stretches higher, the lights moving through the physical heart rebuild its cells.”

“If that’s so,” I asked quickly, “why can’t they rebuild the cells of my physical heart so I can stay on earth with my husband and son?”

“You were supposed to ask that question. The answer is that it has been rebuilt as far as it may be. What you’re doing in conquering is called ‘Initiation.’ Initiation consists in becoming selfless in service where it is needed, under guidance from the Great Councils through one’s Great Guard.

“Your life plan was ‘set’ before you left here, as you know. Your mission demanded a heart strong enough to give birth to your son. You and the soul who is your husband made this sacrifice willingly, and the credits have already been added to your son’s credit. The Great Councils would have to withdraw them if you suddenly demanded to be left there with him. He needs these credits. Don’t you recall that you were told he’s failed several times in the past? Your sacrifice is holding his mission open this one last time.

“You and your husband undertook this mission to give him this opportunity to make good his credits. It took what you’ve given him to open the door to this opportunity — your great love desired this for him and was allowed by the Great Council. Without these credits to open the way, he would have to begin again quite low on the scale, and work hard to win the place he’d have held if you’d completed your share of the sacrifice you vowed before you left for earth.

“With his training here and his burning desire to ‘make good’ his vows and retrieve his failures, with his father’s training and love, he can ‘come through.’ This is what we call it when a soul wins over self. If you’d partially failed in your own conquering, you wouldn’t have reached the point of consciousness where you could’ve asked the question. Coming as far in your sacrifice as you have, it becomes your right to choose again. The Great Council has held all lights on you and is certain you must choose rightly, though your love for the two who will be left on earth is so great, and your desire to stay with them so deep.

“Of course, even where there is such devotion to the Great Council, there is still chance of selfish decision. Such choices are made often here. However, you’ve passed all other ‘trials by fire’ and for you to meet the Council and make the right choice now will double your son’s credits for strength. The Great Council never fails to recompense a soul for heartbreaking sacrifices made.”

As my Nurse fell silent, I heard it. From above where the chimes ring, I heard a great Voice speak, saying: “Do you want to ask again why they cannot remake your heart cells for a long earth life?”

As I listened for more, our Great Guard stood before us and said, “Come.”

We followed him from the beach and onto a small cloud that soared at once and swiftly over the Great North Boulevard. It flew up through the mist above a park-like place with many tall trees, something like poplars, but whose branches spread more widely. We crossed a vast sparkling lake and skirted a glittering domed white Temple, coming to rest before wide stairs leading to its lower level on the right side.

With my Great Guard on one side and my Nurse on the other, we entered this hall. An aisle lined with benches led to an altar high above the floor level, which we approached. On the floor level, two tables were set right and left with three Great Guards seated behind each. They wore mitered headdresses and stiffly embroidered robes of deep ivory satin under gold lamé tunics embroidered in scarlet and gold insignia.

The steps to the altar were graduated in three levels. In the wide area between the first two flights was a long table at which three of those magnificent Great Guards presided.

They, too, wore mitered headdresses, quite tall and not like crowns. Their ivory satin robes were also heavily embroidered in gold, but their mantles, which were gold lined with scarlet, were not embroidered. We three knelt at benches before the chancel rail in front, facing them. My Great Guard said, “Under orders, have we entered the Council Chambers.”

I was really frightened and speechless. Kneeling there I knew I had to tell them my question had been an idle and foolish one. I had no desire to interfere with their original plan for my son in any way, and I wanted to keep my vows of sacrifice! All I could do was to think it because I couldn’t open my lips to speak.

Then I heard the Voice again, that Voice of grandeur and love: “Daughter of earth, why art thou dumb before me? Why doth thy heart tremble and wax fearful? Is thy heart not pure? This thy heart, is known to me of old. Look up and live again.”

Darling, I looked up and His Face filled my whole range of vision! It was so grand, and its all-compassionate, all-understanding benign appearance is indelibly imprinted on my soul’s memory. I’m no longer just myself. I am His servant. Forever. It has become impossible for me to ask another foolish question or feel fears and doubts of anything.

It was easy to speak to Him then, but I can’t remember what I said. I know I told Him I could not change my vows and I was joyous to give my whole life into His keeping. I heard myself saying I would await His call in devotion and love, ready to leave earth in joy. As I finished, the great chimes pealed again in a rhythm I’d never heard and I thought I heard a heavenly choir singing “Holy, Holy, Holy.”

When I looked up at the middle table, the three Great Guards were smiling at me. They said, “Thou hast chosen well, daughter of earth and all shall be well with thee and thy son. Thou shalt transit to us with all thy soul-faculties awake, knowing when thou dost leave and when thou dost arrive.

“This is open to many, but only a few care to make sacrifices great enough to earn the right to use it. The ways of sacrifice of self are hard to follow on earth but the joy for so doing is very great, even as great as thine own exaltation of soul. We have other glories for thee to be shown. Blessed art thou on this day. Go thou in peace.”

The chimes still ring in my ears after a whole night of meditation on what they gave me during my nap, just as they did when they ushered me into my body on your couch. A log fell onto the ashes, sending up another glory of sparks and flame, almost as I had seen them when sleep closed my eyes before the dream.

The Temple and sparkling lake, the gardens and the trees slowly faded to the background of my mental view as I awakened here, with a crick in my neck because my head had fallen sideways as I slept upright on the couch.

As I write now, I remember my promise that I would be “ready and happy to leave” when my call came. Now I can understand the how and the why. After such a vision of Him, I wouldn’t want to stay away from there for too long. I wouldn’t want to forget Him ever again.

Precious one, my darling, I’m grateful for all the help they’ve given me. I’m on the knees of my heart with gratitude. What if I’d failed you? How little we understand the great impact of our smallest decision down here. How those we make for the “little self” cause uncounted trouble for so many unseen workers.

I’ll carry the vision of His Face with me hourly until they call me. Nothing can take this glory of heart from me. I’m glad, glad to serve Him. I love you more deeply, my beloved son.

November 16, 1912

Little son, when our wondrous mountains’ snow-capped grandeur stretches before you, when you see spring’s shimmering beauty on their slopes, please, darling, please lift your eyes and allow the Light from above to possess you. When you see the sunlight dancing upright in electrical splashes of pure liquid silver on the reaches of Puget Sound, let that inner vision — which is your heritage, the birthright of every individual on earth — tear the earth-veil from your outer eyes. Let the buried flame of Light in your heart ignite in a blaze of joy.

My dearest darling, I’m unutterably delighted! My soul does magnify the Lord in very truth. I’m privileged beyond my earning, I know, and I do love you.

To know the Source of that Voice! To have heard the words He spoke! Now I know anything can happen. I do hope my earth-heart is swept clean of self at last. You shall succeed, my son, you shall! Michael will be prepared for your training and he’ll understand what I’ve tried to set down here and be content, too.

When I arrive over there one day, I shall ask a favor of the Voice. I’ll ask that Michael may hear the chimes and know that the Voice is in charge of our destinies. Today I would give the world a share of my glory, if I could. I dread any outer circumstance calling me from this beauty of soul. I love you.

November 18, 1912

I’ve been alone for two days with my meditation, and it has given me a strength I lacked previously. I truly feel I can count on my courage now, despite moments when I yearn because Michael will be so lonely for a time. I grow happier every day as your arrival approaches, but today, despite my vision and the Voice, a motif of sadness runs beneath everything.

This sadness is not “dark,” but partakes of the light of my deep love for you and Michael. It is not grief — it does not really touch me — yet there it is. Perhaps it’s because I know my time is running short, even the hours of love I can pour on Michael.

Last night I had a short dream that must be part of some regular personal lesson, because it seems quite disconnected when compared with the rest of my dream-experiences.

After another love-feast of an evening together, I fell asleep quickly and found myself walking easily over there. I was wandering from nowhere to nowhere when my Nurse appeared and wandered aimlessly with me. I’d been thinking about names and asked her, “Does anyone have a name here, one of their own?”

She answered in her soft voice, “Names are not quite as important here as they are on earth — nothing here interferes with our sense of identity, but everyone has a name. Those of us here who are friends use names exactly as you use them on earth. Your son’s Nurse Mother, who brought him to you that first time, has a beautiful name, the one by which she was called during her last earth life. We know her as Mother Mary Alys.

“Of course, the Great Guards stand by broadcasting when parents are ready to choose a name for the new child on earth. Parents who live in understanding and love for each other usually hear his voice, though they may not hear at any other time. Each soul must be called by the right name, since the name opens the vibration that, in turn, unlocks the memory cells for the earth-expression, freeing the memory lessons for the newborn soul’s use.

“A wrong name, which is usually a name the soul detests, can and does cause the brain memory cells to thicken until even the Great Guard’s love voice can’t penetrate the heavy coating with his suggestions. Sometimes naming a soul with a family surname is legal, to save time. The name’s already built vibration may be similar to the one the soul is to use for success. This already built-up vibration shortens time for each succeeding generation. However, parents often don’t hear the Great Guard as he whispers the child’s proper name, but give him an old family name, then he must pay all the spiritual debts of the ancestor whose name he bears.

“You must remember that there are no fixed rules for earth-experiences. Principles are changeless, but we may modify and change lesser Laws to meet the soul’s needs on earth. We may not set any Laws aside, but we may modify Law to suit their application to the egoic soul needs. All souls must obey Law, but each case is considered separately. One soul must assimilate a Law in one way while another will work it from another approach.

“Sometimes when parents have given a wrong name, the Great Guard will make suggestions to all concerned until they call the child by an entirely different name, a nickname that has no connection with the given name. Those who change their given names must pay all spiritual debts with each name change. No one may escape their foundation vibration.”

As she finished, the chimes rang, and I slept dreamlessly.

November 20, 1912

I’m so glad they warned me before I leave. It must be dreadful to awaken there and discover one has left a muddle here. I know of families who have separated in hatred because someone left his affairs a mess. The loved ones were so hurt and angry they couldn’t resolve it.

Much can be said for living each day as if it were to be one’s last day on earth. One might earn a few really needed credits over there. I doubt that any family would bother passing credits on, but we can trust the Great Council to know their business, which is apportioning credits.

We had a grand time at our tea. We sent David, the artist, upstairs to the nursery to show the murals, and to be on hand for any orders coming from the sightseers. I took Jane up with me later, leaving Diana with Michael. She really likes him and Michael thinks she is perfect, so that settles Michael’s hostess need. Molly reported she took over beautifully when I left for upstairs, where I could sit or walk as you and my aches dictated. Besides, I was curious to hear what they said about your murals.

I introduced David to everyone, and by request he organized a series of classes that will more than pay their expenses this winter! Later Jane confided, with tears of joy in her eyes, that their baby is coming late in the spring and now they need not worry about expenses. A dozen of us dined, including the two young couples.

The most talked-about feature of the tea was the sunset. Mountains out and their crests tinged that lovely shade of deep rose, while their cold, stark winter blue made one want to shiver — our Olympics are never twice the same. Lights in all colors flashed in the west, brilliant rose-pink wavelets with lacy bonnets. Then night gently tucked the weary day into its lovely, cloudy grey blankets of dusk. It was a glorious ending to all our entertaining and we’ve the pleasure of knowing we’ve launched the young people who are already fast friends.

Little son, life is so wonderful and I’m so happy, with my love growing. You’re my treasure and not too far away now. I wish I could write “I love you” in letters of flame that would last forever. My son, my precious one, you shall be filled with Heaven’s love always.

November 22, 1912

Last night, we sat in the library after dinner. When we were ready to go upstairs, Michael took me to the table and turned the portrait so he could compare the faces. I thought I detected something in his eyes that I’ve caught several times lately, but each glimpse has been veiled so quickly I couldn’t be sure of seeing it.

Each time it alarms me, and I think of all those old fears that could ruin all my plans right at the end of these perfect months together! We are so closely attuned that I quickly lift my thoughts to loving him so he can’t “catch” anything from me.

He held me tenderly and said, “Darling, you’re growing quite unearthly in your beauty. Did you know it? You wear motherhood like a jeweled diadem. Others have commented, too, especially at the tea. So I know it isn’t only my imagination or those rose-colored glasses you so often accuse me of wearing when I look at you.”

I stood with unashamed tears in my eyes as he turned to kiss me, saying: “Claire, dearest, no other is like you. You spoiled all women for me on the day I met you. In that instant they became only ‘other people.’ I’m so happy, my heart pounds whenever I think of how soon I’ll hold our son. Our love is eternal, isn’t it, my dearest? Don’t you feel that way, too?”

I answered yes, of course, but my heart fluttered because he touches the very issues that trouble me, as if he knows I’m leaving when you arrive! Does he remember? Is he hiding his fear from me? I can’t have it that way! I can’t! He may even be thinking I’ve forgotten. Not that, please, dear Ones above, not that.

He said he’d originally refused Mr. Anthony permission to display my portrait at his spring exhibit (he has titled it Motherhood) but after showing it to his friends, Michael has changed his mind. He feels the world should see what ‘real’ motherhood is like. Do I mind this, little son? I know the artist put sparks of his own soul into the portrait, idealizing motherhood through me, so I ceased to be an individual woman. I told Michael that anything he wanted was all right with me.

It really hurts worse now than ever to leave such love as Michael showers on me. Yet I can turn more easily, too, to the exaltation I feel in being your mother and my dream of snuggling you so soon. As I think of you here with me, I’m always lifted to and unexplored realms of joy.

Dearest little son, perhaps someday when you look into the eyes in the portrait, they will become the living eyes of your mother! I might even be able to think a smile to you! How I wish that such a fantasy could come true. I love you with all my heart, dearest, sweetest little son.

November 23, 1912

Last night I managed to get through the last dinner party we’ve planned. Afterward, I left everything to Molly and Diana, who did very well. Molly looked in on me later to see if I needed anything.

I went to sleep, waking just before Michael came upstairs. He said the tickets for Molly’s nephew are on the way to England. Stanley will share the third floor suite with Jackson. The sitting room is large enough for two desks, Jackson’s for accounts and house business, and Stanley’s for university studies. Molly confided why she couldn’t afford Stanley’s education. Her youngest nephew is recovering from eighteen months of rheumatic fever, and her sister had a serious operation last year.

I guess she never told me because I’ve never let her see how much I love her before. Dear Molly has responded to love as a flower to the spring sun. She said she had been saving to buy her sister a cottage. Won’t she be surprised when she learns what I’ve left her? I’m thrilled! I couldn’t resist telling her that I’ve arranged my affairs to help her toward the house. She gave me an all-comprehending look, but only said “thank you” quietly.

Little son, I’ve moments of glorious exaltation, then I could have moments of near-despair if I didn’t know of your world. My love for you and the Voice always holds me and lifts my heart before I slip. I do manage to keep the main line up. Oh, darling, how much I love you! How much we want you! How ready we are to greet you! Have you seriously considered that Christmas gift for your father? Please?

November 24, 1912

Darling, your christening gown is finished! Molly laundered it and the slips, and they now lay “in state” in your nursery where they may be “seen and not touched.” They are as lovely as I pictured them. Sweet son, they are not just thread and cloth, for the love I bound in each stitch has made them of soul substance.

Molly had the great cedar chest brought to the nursery for your blankets and woolens. We’ve enough for triplets! She spent the morning laundering and ironing your monogrammed towels and nursery things. I’ll bet she does it again before you come, just for the pleasure of handling them. I suggested she put them away but she said it made the “blessed event” feel nearer when she sees them hanging.

Molly is catching up on her social calls and Diana and Jane keep me company. I enjoy their fresh viewpoints, and they understand what you mean to me more than any of my old friends. They appreciate what it means to Michael to have this child, so I know they will give him special consolation when I’ve left.

It is only one month now. That is not very long to live, is it little son? What sort of old lady might I have been? To me, age itself is beautiful when illumined by the glow born of a lifetime of lavishly spent love.

November 26, 1912

Thanksgiving Day means more than ever this year. I sat in the sunshine (wrapped up, of course) for an hour this morning, warmed by a moist chinook wind blowing as softly as a spring zephyr. It has rained for days, so no mountains have shown their faces, which always leaves me lonely. I could never have lived in flat country. I’ve so little time left to enjoy sunsets and mountains. I would like to go “out” on a day when they all display their vivid beauty.

Molly and Jackson’s romance grows stronger. There is no question of their love, but I really doubt they will ever marry. I think they are satisfied just to be together, appreciating each other’s exceptional qualities, for both are experts in their lines.

I came in for a nap and fell asleep, feeling myself whirling upward within the pearly mist. This is the first time I’ve known when I left my body.

I awakened reclining on a cloud-bird with widespread wings. For a while I could see no farther than the wing tips, then the mist began to clear. When I peeked over the side, I saw vast gardens, much larger than any I’ve previously seen. I know I went higher than ever, because I had to look down a long way to the Grand Terrace. The Grand Stairway was only faintly visible.

Small, open pavilions were scattered randomly in the park. Children came from them carrying fruit, fruit sandwiches and transparent cups of juice or milk. The tables inside were loaded with large basket-trays full of what looked like cookies. Children and nurses were eating fruit that looked exactly like our pomegranates but the kernels were as large as grapes!

Toy ships dotted several small ponds. Other play areas were filled with all types of swings, including basket swings that closed and held the smallest children while nurses pushed them gently. Several merry-go-rounds were decorated with horses whose boxy saddles prevented the children from falling, though they moved too slowly to spill anyone. Little girls played with baby dolls, cradles, doll-buggies and tiny bassinets. Everywhere children sat reading and studying. There was no disorder or confusion, but everyone was having fun.

My cloud-bird rose and drifted above other meadow squares edged with shade trees and benches. Older youths and maids were playing all kinds of games — intricate formations based on the Maypole dance, croquet and badminton. Then my cloud-bird hovered farther east, parallel with the Grand Terrace, which was now lost in the mist.

Suddenly, something instantly brought me upright and wide awake. My first thought was, “This time my imagination is running away with me!” Nurses supervised tots of three to five years of age who climbed the railed stairs to a raised platform carpeted with grass mats. Below that were six slides strung one after another down a hill! My cloud lingered above them.

The nurses helped them up the three shallow steps to a slide. Though each nurse started her child right-side-up, they didn’t always stay that way. Two nurses caught the children as they slid down, and passed them to the nurses in charge of the next slide. At the bottom, a group of nurses caught the children, flashed to the top to begin the play again, then returned for another child.

The slides were not too steep, although the children took many spills! They always righted themselves and floated slowly onto cushioned mats that bordered the slides. When a child went over the side, he would get up and run gaily to the next platform to continue. One little girl couldn’t right herself, but before she was halfway to the mat, a Blue Cross Nurse caught her and set her on the next set of stairs.

They really floated to the mats when they fell off. When they landed at the bottom upside-down, everyone laughed heartily! The children’s costumes were so different and wildly colorful, I decided they must be allowed to choose their own on such a play day. Their laughter was like the lilt of song birds, sweet to the ear and the heart. My cloud chariot floated past the slides and above a counterpart of the playgrounds I’d seen on my first visit. Everyone was playing with balloons.

Guess what? As I looked over the side, your little face stood out! I was so thrilled I almost fell, but my cloud hovered right above you. I could hear your sweet voice, pleading, “But I can carry more, nurse, please?” She handed you several more balloons, which you held easily and still you insisted on having more. She gave you another large one, and you did all right until a breeze swept you off your feet!

The nurse caught you as you floated over her head. She stood you on the grass and took the last balloon from you. You refused to give up anymore! She held your shoulder tightly until another boy came for a balloon. The instant she let you go, off you went, floating just beyond her reach.

This time I observed that you’d fastened to your other wrist the string to a kite-bird with gigantic wings! I suppose your idea was to hold enough balloons to follow the kite. None of the other little fellows cared about getting off the grass! Your balloons and kite were several sizes too large for you, little son. I don’t imagine you were supposed to fly, that must’ve been your idea!

In a flash your nurse swooped down on you from above, relieved you of a balloon and left you to float gently to the grass. My last vision — one small boy, determined to manage a kite too large, wheedling a nurse to aid him in something daring for his age — remained as I came to earth. You are willful, darling.

November 28, 1912

After a delightful Thanksgiving dinner with Tom, Diana, David and Jane, we drove to West Seattle to see a brilliant sunset that never appeared! Mt. Rainier had shown intermittently since early morning but retired behind grey veils before sundown. The Olympics were more forbidding and austere than I’ve ever seen them. Their icy blue made me feel cold.

Molly insists I stay off my feet today, and I feel I should after our long drive yesterday. However, I can finish recording my last soul flight. A place must exist between “here” and “there,” where one can “see” nothing. As I last returned to earth, I was aware of descending through space, wrapped in a silver mist. I heard the wonderful chimes just as my cloud-bird started its earthward drop. I was still conscious of being on a cloud when everything faded.

Today I can “see” what happened when the chimes began ringing. I’m sure I didn’t notice it then because I was watching you. However, I understand now that as the chimes sounded their beautiful melody, the Voice spoke and the nurses and the children started to gather all the toys. They formed groups under Nurse Mothers who appeared from “nowhere.” A cloud settled near each group to be loaded with the children and toys and off they floated toward their dormitory pavilions.

What they gave me today is somewhat different, yet it’s quite clear. Before, when my Great Guard has allowed me to observe a scene, he’s made a funnel before my eyes, but this was within my own mind somehow. I suppose this is part of that awakening they promised, some element of inner vision, but I’m ignorant of “how” it works. I like it, however.

Later — I had a peculiar experience during my nap. Since I’d slept late in the morning, I wasn’t sleepy when I lay down to stretch the cramps from my legs.

Soon I could hear my Nurse’s voice distinctly. As I closed my eyes, she came into view, sitting next to me on my favorite bench. The Grand Terrace and the Grand Stairway stretched below, but they were open and empty. I knew everyone was invisible to me, because activity never stops there. Nurses change, but the work continues. Her lips were moving, but I couldn’t hear until I finally listened “hard” enough to tune in on what she was saying.

“Speaking of freedom, while the children are free to come and go under certain Laws, some restrictions are placed even on the Laws of Freedom. They must be strictly obedient and rigid in self-discipline always, although we enforce it in different ways than earth uses. No child appreciates a father or mother who treats him carelessly or overindulgently; both attitudes are unbalanced. Justice demands a balance of love and wisdom. Children hold softness against their parents because it produces ‘dry rot’ in their souls. Mothers must train their children in how to conquer self.

“Yet even in training children parents pay a debt on a demand. We dare not make a demand on another. Law works inevitably to build situations of experience in which each may pay his soul debts with interest when he dares to make demands upon another. This happens no matter whether either party is conscious of it. Demands are always rooted in pride. An ‘intellectual’ mother, who is afraid of spoiling her children by loving them, has unbalanced wisdom without compassion. The purpose of many life experiences is to balance love and wisdom.

“In disciplining a child, we reprimand firmly when necessary, but always with the foundation and undercurrent of love upholding and fulfilling it. Only love can fulfill any Law anytime, any place, for any reason whatever, for anyone! A reprimand without the fullness of love is barren, sterile and unproductive. Results come not from forcing Law upon a child, but from love that enfolds, fills and lifts the one who receives the Law.

“When we and their parents have trained the world’s children, they will erase this from their own hearts. Both parents contribute hereditary characteristics in the two cells of life. When they pass them on, it becomes part of their debt in training that child — in sacrificing and love they may pay or cover the child’s present debt.

“Some mothers say they’ve ‘sacrificed so much’ for their children when, in reality, they’ve not sacrificed enough. When a woman brings an egoic soul into the world she receives credit for making her body an altar of sacrifice. The Councils always pay surplus credits to the mother and deposit them for the children, if the mother doesn’t ask for special credits from her children. Those credits form arms of Light that hold and protect the child when it goes into the world.

“The Great Council determines when regular duties begin according to the soul’s wisdom, not by years. Some children here are wise at two years of age. However, real work begins only at four, unless it’s for a special earth mission or when one who has been an adult returns to us as an infant or from an early accident. They are all brought to their Nurse Mothers at four years. From the four-year-old to the adult, Laws governing school, study hours, picture lessons, Temple duties and meal times are the same for all.

“Although nurses stay in the background, they always maintain the closest supervision. Nothing escapes notice. Here we can often avert disobedience by our instant action. A nurse appears with interesting suggestions to divert the child’s attention at that critical moment. Then later, lessons, charts and pictures are presented in drills to prevent any recurrence.”

My mind wandered to the different color robes and types of play suits. The Nurse responded to my unspoken query, saying, “They’re free to choose their own garments and the color for all play times. Even when they consult a nurse or a Nurse Mother, her answer will be in suggestion form, which still requires the child to choose.

“They must develop the ability to discern and to choose while learning all other Laws, to keep them free of selfishness and wilfulness. All earth’s difficulties come from an inability to choose wisely. We have just one uncompromising rule: Once a child makes a choice, whether in work, study or play, he or she must fulfill it. Nurses, Nurse Mothers and the Great Guards always make suggestions to help the child to fulfill a choice.

“We allow certain freedom. We allow investigating, so the child can seek until it finds what it wants to do. They always put up lights between the child and what he should find to do. This opens the training in following their own beam during their next earth life. Once they really get the ‘feel’ of the lights when they follow their own beam, they can return to their own place if they lose it by mistake or accident.”

Again she answered my inner question promptly: “Yes. This is why one feels right or wrong about some event or choice made on earth. The call of conscience comes when one gets off the beam. Conscience is the Light from above penetrating to the memory cell lessons from over here. A soul can shut out the Light until it can’t penetrate, but such a soul has no conscience. Once one begins a new project, we show them the way to perfect it for as many interludes here as are necessary to develop coordination of brain, muscles, nerves and eyes.”

I was still awake when her voice faded. How is it done? Do I tune in on some etheric current? I certainly saw and heard my Nurse speaking.

Sweetheart, each time I learn something I’ll use later, I know.

November 29, 1912

Last night at dinner, Tom and Diana told us they are eagerly planning to have children when they can, but they want to start building their home first. I think I saw calculation in Michael’s eyes. We’ve plenty of land just north along the lake. I know Tom and Diana like it out here. I think Michael will fix that home business for them so they can handle it easily.

Darling, I apologize for keeping you up late, but I haven’t done it often. With time running out so rapidly, I can’t bear to miss anything. I suffer for it, of course, for you show your disapproval in no uncertain terms, stretching and squirming to your utmost possible length, then kicking ferociously against my poor bruised and battered sides.

Right now, I sit at my desk and gaze at a rose-tipped cloud that looks as if it is coming to rest right atop a poplar near the lake. Long flaming rose banners stretch behind it, becoming brilliant apricot to scarlet flames as they rise, finally mingling with and fading into the dark grey clouds high overhead. Between the streamers of rose to orange, the sky is aquamarine. With these futile words I’ve recorded, nothing describes the glory or the beauty that reaches into the depths of my heart and lifts my soul to stand on tiptoe before the handiwork of our Creator.

Soon, little son, you’ll be here. Our songs of joy and love will fill the heavens while we watch your first hours on earth. I do rejoice, darling, that I feel so wonderful. All my fears about getting you here have vanished into that thin and pearly mist.

December 2, 1912

You can’t fool me! I know why they put up all the holiday decorations so early this year — because I went to the city! To see the doctor, and my first trip to a department store since you began this long journey to earth. After examining me, Doctor Allison said I can get you here in perfect safety! God is surely good to me, and my love for Him grows and grows.

Michael’s temperature rose several degrees with pride and joy when he joined us later. He escorted us to lunch in the highest of spirits, and I enjoyed every minute. Michael was proud of his two women. I’m amazed when I realize how you’ve changed Molly’s old-fashioned attitudes — and how Jackson has changed her wardrobe! She selected two lovely dresses and a long-sleeved dinner gown. When Michael saw this, he bought her a coat, which thrilled her.

I didn’t realize how exhausted I was until Molly helped me into and out of a hot bath. Michael had to rub my back and legs to stop their twitching. They hurt in a thousand different ways and places. We ate dinner later. Michael was at his best for funny stories. His joy is bubbling over because it’s December and you’re almost here! Later in the evening, when we were alone, he told me how ghastly it would’ve been for him had he found that his wife couldn’t laugh with him. He makes me love him more each day.

You’ve done this for me, little son. And you’re doing more with your stretching and pushing and kicking. Still, I love every pain your kicks bring, darling.

December 3, 1912

Strangely enough, I slept easily after we laughed together, though I’d been so extremely tired and jumpy.

The great chimes awakened me, and I was floating above gardens. I listened for the Voice I’d heard during the children’s playtime, but could hear only the chimes. I’ve never heard them ring so long before. Then I sat on a bench — I didn’t recognize where, but my Nurse was with me. I was awake enough to ask, “Does the Voice give all the commands?”

She smiled as she said, “The lights from the Source of the Voice guide the Great Councils in their decisions to call any assembly. The Voice announces all the following day’s general assemblies at eventide. They hold assemblies only when the greatest good can come of it, for instance when they allow principled parents to seek their children. First the Great Council must untangle lifelines and straighten many others before they can allow a search. The parents who desire to search are tried for honor, then we gather all children in the gardens for relatives to search among them. Such a day is not merely a diversion, the Voice announces it as a Holy Day, because it brings together scattered family groups, according to their desires.”

As she spoke, I heard beautiful organ music blend with the chimes, which were still ringing in overtones. The harmony was glorious, yet it created profound stillness. That music haunts me today, darling.

December 4, 1912

Beloved little son, such glory resounds in my soul today that earth and its mundane activity seems distant. Your father’s love, and the walking I must do, are the only two realities. Molly allowed me to sit on your balcony, well wrapped up, because the sunshine is wonderful.

All day yesterday the organ music accompanied all that I did. As I lay down to sleep last night, it grew louder and clearer the moment my head touched the pillow. Its hymn echoed all around me with no melody I could identify. It waxed and waned as if borne on some vagrant breeze, lulling me to sleep on earth to greet me when I awakened over there.

Floating on a cloud with my Nurse, I saw a huge domed Temple, formed like an open-sided square cross. It was on the west side of a huge grassy common bordered with a waist-high flowering hedge. All around the common’s interior, bisecting it diagonally, was a walkway of the glittering substance they use for the avenues, and the inlaid mosaic patterns were beautiful.

We alighted at an arched entrance covered with flowering trumpet vines. As we entered the common, the rainbow-rayed brightness streaming from the great Temple entrance drew my attention. This light became a diffused glow as I watched. Rainbow hues also played over the Temple’s central dome, upheld by twelve jeweled alabaster pillars. The outer pillars upholding the cross-shaped wings were of the same alabaster substance. Huge baskets hung between the outer pillars and trailed slender vines that twined around them without covering them.

As we approached the entrance, I observed the first three steps were broad but not steep, with a wide space between them — I had to take two steps across each. The next flight of five steps was as broad. The steps and floor inside were mother-of-pearl inlaid with a gold filigreed pattern.

A beautiful altar, also of gold-inlaid mother-of-pearl, completely filled the west end. It was draped with an ivory lace cover, embroidered with Madonna lilies outlined with iridescent pearls. Golden vases filled with freesia and long-stemmed lilies of the valley stood on either side of the altar, which was strewn with gardenias.

An open book lay in the exact center, illumined by a Light that varied from soft brightness to an almost dazzling intensity. The Light shone through a convex window just above the altar; it was separate from the lights that filled the Temple’s interior from the great central dome. This was exactly as it has been in all the buildings I’ve seen. As the Light over the book waned, I could see it clearly. When it brightened again, its brilliance made me close my eyes. The Light and the flowers’ almost overpowering sweetness made me feel faint. For the second time over there I had to close my eyes and try to hold my consciousness. I didn’t want to miss any of this.

Three broad, shallow steps led to what would have been the chancel platform in a church, but there was no railing. The platform space stretched between these steps and the three that led to the altar itself was quite deep. Along the top step lay many pillows, small white velvet squares spaced for kneeling. A shallow, wide basket of wrought gold lay on the step above, between each pillow. Suddenly I heard children’s voices singing, “Holy, Holy, Holy.”

My Nurse and I returned to the Temple entrance in time to see two queues of children enter the square by the same archway we had used. As they slowly entered, I noticed they walked in pairs, a boy and girl. They were from four to six years of age, the younger ones in front. As they processed up the center walk, they held gardenia garlands above their heads, slowly waving them to and fro as they sang.

When they reached the center before the Temple, they separated, the girls turned left and the boys turned right. Each pair wore robes of the same shade and no colors duplicated. Their pace remained unvarying, but they lowered their garlands, swung them side to side at knee height, then over each shoulder as the music’s volume varied, which it did constantly. They marched around the square once and met at the center before the archway, crossing lines to change sides. First they paced the diagonal walks to the commons’ side, then to the front, where the walk ended before the Temple.

Then boys and girls all wove in and out in circles and squares, and back to mixed pairs again. They drilled in the center in the most beautiful parade of all, pairs in mixed colors, then to pairs of the same shade. Finally, swinging their garlands side to side, they paced up the center walk into the Temple.

My Nurse had taken me to the left entrance where we stood partly concealed by tall palms. They never stopped singing the same verse of “Holy, Holy, Holy” slowly and softly while they entered the Temple. They continued singing even after the second group began their drill in the Temple Square. As they reached the altar, the next group entered by the outer archway. They uncrossed their garlands and swung them side to side above their heads as they paced slowly to the front.

When they reached the low benches facing the altar, the little girls crossed to the right and the little boys turned left, crossing perfectly each time. Half of them knelt on the velvet cushions, the others stood waving their garlands and chanting while they awaited their turn at the altar. The Light was subdued as the children knelt, bowed their heads, still chanting and carrying their garlands breast high, curved over their heads. Then the Light above the Book burst into a greater Glory and spread to rest on their heads.

As the Light touched each child, white doves, tiny as a canary, floated on outstretched wings down its brilliant rays. The doves circled above the children’s bowed heads until the Light began to wane. As the Light faded, the doves withdrew on it rays. Each child lifted the garland high overhead, brought it forward in an arc and placed it reverently in the waiting golden basket. This ceremony concluded, the child at either end of the line rose and led the others through the right and left exits.

As the little boy on the nearest end rose, I realized it was you. This scene of worship had so entranced me I’d not tried to distinguish faces. It surprised me that you had been so close the whole time. I felt in awe of the wondrous beauty of the scene, and the rapt devotion lighting each small face. Such soul-exaltation comes seldom to one of earth, I know. The rapture remains with me today. The ceremony lasted for only one song verse.

As I looked across the Temple at the little girls, a tiny dove lighted atop the head of a curly haired four-year-old. It had not been withdrawn with the others on its ray of Light, but remained poised there with her. No one paid the slightest attention, but it still fascinates me to think of it riding with her into the sunlight. How will it return to the Light? I stood as the remaining children approached the altar. The instant one left the center, another came to kneel. Their timing was perfect and no nurses were anywhere in evidence.

No religious service for children on earth could reach such a height of devotion. Did ancient sun worship spring from this adoration of the true Light from above? Might it not have been some memory-cell desire to contact this rapture but dimly recalled on earth? The utter simplicity, solemnity and reverence of this ceremony satisfy a yearning within me. Earth could do with more beautiful silence, instead of the bullet-like firing at our brain cells of most worship-in-words.

As the last group left the Temple, I slipped swiftly to the cushion your knees had so briefly touched and knelt to the Voice I’ve never heard on earth. I remembered His Face as it filled my eyes that day. As the next group’s singers approached, I asked a blessing upon your arrival on earth and for my dear Michael. Just as I started to rise, the Light enfolded me in its brilliance and a tiny dove touched my hair as if to kiss it, then it circled my head three times. I know the Voice sent it in answer to my prayer.

My Nurse escorted me out the right side-entrance as the next group approached, and on the steps — she disappeared! She was there, then she was gone.

I opened my eyes here in bed at dawn, still smiling about the girl and her dove, while my heart sings a Gloria for pure joy. Love is all that is, little son. I know. Bringing you to earth has proved my life’s great adventure. All else was but a prelude.

I’m grateful for those above who have given me so much happiness. No one who has held such high devotion for the Source in his heart can ever leave it for lesser earth-paths. Somehow, you’ll benefit from it while on earth. I’m certain of this today, dear little love, dear little son.

December 6, 1912

Never has Michael been so delighted! Never have I been so happy. Our hearts have wings! He grows younger and comes home eagerly, saying, “one day closer, darling.”

Although I remember nothing I saw or did last night, I must have made a soul flight because I felt myself slip into my body this morning. My heart picked up its rhythmic beat and my bloodstream flowed faster, while the whirling from my feet upward warmed me. I lay awake a long time trying to recall it, but I couldn’t remember “seeing” or “hearing” anything. The “feel” of returning is well-established, however. This time I think I can remember it.

My love enfolds you so closely, little darling.

December 7, 1912

Last night I sat on my favorite bench, then I was “home” again, but I recall part of what my Nurse said.

“Anyone who desires to visit relatives on earth must gain the Great Council’s permission. The Council usually requires them to give up three days of diversion here, for it takes that long to build the proper vibration for the descent.

“…”The first day they must ‘rest’ by being quiet while their Great Guard and others build the lights around them to protect them from any cross-vibrations of the lower planes and earth. Then comes the day of the visit and a day after the return to regain lost strength. It always expends a soul’s energy to visit earth from here. This applies to souls just beginning their interlude over here or preparing to return to earth, not the Great Guards or other workers between here and earth.

“Sometimes a child or adult runs away. We usually find runaways in a state of collapse, completely drained of all energy. It usually requires a month to rebuild the vitality of one who has gone without permission or proper help with the lights. The brain cells are always affected temporarily, unless the soul has gained a high place here.

“…”While they build lights around the soul planning to visit earth, a Great Guard stands near the one to be visited, making suggestions powerful enough to ‘break through’ to them before their loved one arrives.

“Usually the soul incarnate on earth ‘thinks’ of the visiting soul. Sometimes they ‘feel’ a presence and once in a great while they may actually ‘see’ the visitor. Unfortunately, the denseness is often so great that the earth-dwelling soul is unable even to ‘think’ of the visitor.”

This is what I can recall today, but I think she said more. I’m too full of aches and pains to enjoy walking or sitting. Lying straight in bed is the only way I can avoid discomfort. I can’t stand too long, except over there at night. Why do I never have any trouble after I fall asleep?

I love you dearly and am glad you’re so strong, my darling, but I long for the promised rest period and seeing you when I visit your world.

December 8, 1912

Darling, I decided to finish a petit point cover for Michael’s hassock. Last year I planned it as his birthday gift, then for this year. However, you interfered with that. I’m working on it now to keep my fingers busy. I confess, I look into the flames and dream more than I stitch.

I hear the phone, so Michael will be here soon. Goodnight, little son, goodnight.

December 9, 1912

We enjoyed last night. Michael was full of plans for Tom and Diana Parks’ new house. I knew he’d arrange it for them! They’ll be only a mile from us, so Michael will have companions for riding and golf. They plan an early start on the building next spring after they excavate and level for the foundation and grounds.

We decided to give them furnishings from the collection we’ve stored away, pieces that will go with the antiques Diana’s mother sent her. Michael loves doing this. It’s as if they were his own children.

Remember, little son, Diana will occupy the daughter-niche in your father’s heart only until your own wife arrives to love him — she’ll be a real daughter to him. He also said Tom is a wonder and has adjusted rapidly, so Michael can spend more time with me.

This is my perfect gift from above, I know. So little time is left. Your father grows more precious day by day. I love him deeply. When he said his one dream was that his son would look like his father, I wanted to smile — but didn’t because he was so earnest.

Looking like his father would make you look exactly like your father. I know that whatever we want, you’ll look just like yourself. However, I do believe you’ll have the same bone structure.

December 12, 1912

Darling! Guess whom I’m going to write about today? YOU! And our first real “visit” over there!

I awakened on a cloud settling near one of those tiny “landing” mounds in a pavilion circle’s central garden. I was ready to alight when you stepped onto the cloud with me! You bowed first, then molded some cloud substance and made a seat near me. Since I’d wondered how they made the cloud seats, I was pleased to learn from you.

Having examined and admired your baby clothes before going to bed, it took a few moments to readjust to my four-year-old son! I knew this was a special occasion, for you were wearing the same little robe you had for the Temple ceremony!

(I forgot to describe it before. It was pale lemony yellow, with a flared skirt and sleeves, the belt lapped over at the side, trimmed with silver tassels, topped by a silver-lined short mantle. You wore the same silver circlet around your head.)

I ached to gather you close, but you were so grown up and dignified, evidently on your best behavior, I dared not act sentimentally. I realized you were my escort on this expedition and must play the part. Surely you earned this with hard work and needed no interference from me. I’d just have to wait. You said I mustn’t mind leaving you with your father because you’d been together before. You promised you’d be very good this time and do everything you’re meant to do. So saying, you leaned back with the most complacent smile. I’m more grateful than ever that they inspired me to leave this journal for Michael’s guidance. Will you remember to be obedient? Will you heed your father’s discipline? Or will you have to hurt him and yourself to learn your earth-lessons? I know you’ll love him, but will you love him enough?

You pointed to many places of interest as we floated along, but I confess, I saw nothing, for I was interested only in watching you. When my Nurse dropped gently onto our cloud, you sat on my lap naturally. You seemed glad to have finished your escort duty and cuddled with a heartwarming expression of your love.

It was perfect when you put your arms around my neck and kissed me on the eyes, exactly as Michael does. With twinkling eyes, you informed me that you would enjoy being little on earth. You were well nigh irresistible when one corner of your mouth lifted as you smiled!

As I held you close, my Nurse said, “After each of your visits here together, your Great Guard will take him to a Temple for retreat, where they’ll review all his lessons. Then they’ll call him before the great Examining Council for questions while the lights shine on him. This will determine where any weak memory cells may be, so they may strengthen and build them before he leaves for earth. They do this only for those four years old and upward.”

I was caressing you, loving you dearly when she finished — and, just like that, I awakened here in the dark, almost weeping to hold you.

I think your father will almost worship at your crib. How he’ll want to hold your children in his arms! I know he will because he’s already talked about our grandchildren. How I pray I can see this from wherever I’m working. Little son, so precious and dear, from my travail of soul I’ll present you, my beautiful gift to your father. Knowing surely that I’m leaving you, I can still say: All is well with me and with my soul.

December 13, 1912

All day yesterday I felt your dear arms around my neck, so my soul flight last night was no surprise at all, but a continuation of what I’d felt for hours. I wonder, did a small part of me remain there with you? Or did I come back here and return to you? I know I was with you on a cloud again when I became “dream-conscious.”

We were floating above an avenue as wide as the Grand Terrace and parallel to it. Groves of broad trees no taller than a man, interspersed with fields of low bushes sloped gently upward as far as I could see through the mists. Both trees and bushes bore fruit and berries, the largest berries I’ve ever seen.

We came to a grove of all kinds of nut trees. They had soft shells; I could tell because their blossoms were similar to those of fruit trees. Youths dressed in white page-boy suits gathered fruit from the trees and bushes, then loaded it onto large shallow basket trays. When a tray was full, up floated a cloud and away it went downward. We followed one that came to rest near circles of one-story pavilions on the Great North Boulevard.

Young girls presided over tables in the pavilions. Some opened and cut fruit while others pressed different fruit into molds, then turned them onto plates. The finished products looked exactly like cakes. One girl filled two thin, creamy-looking layers with peaches. It was just the right consistency to slice. Many maids disappeared across the Great North Boulevard carrying heaped trays of this prepared fruit and pitchers of nectars. They were going to the adult Realm.

Then you said, “My Great Guard told me that they only have to pick fruit for two hours a day because just enough ripens each day for the whole Kingdom.”

Our cloud hovered just above so we could see what they were doing. The last scene I remember seeing was a girl who was rolling molded fruit, cutting it into cookies and topping it with coconut milk beaten like whipped cream. My Nurse had told me that Great Guards who serve near earth must enter a retreat to eat the fruit and nuts to make their bodies heavy enough to sink to earth.

I looked up and saw the white peak of a cloud-mountain — below was the great Temple I’d glimpsed on that first day. Now I recognized that it was formed of that jeweled alabaster substance, dazzling with lights. I know the Great Council abides in the Temple and above, somewhere in the fastness of that mountain, is the Voice.

I know why we must look up in times of trouble, why scripture tells us to lift our eyes unto the mountains for our strength! Mountains guard the Gates of the Beyond from whence come the chimes and the Voice. That’s why I’ve always had to have my mountains on earth! I know that they magnify the chimes and the Voice from this Temple a millionfold so we can hear.

You hugged me, kissed me again, and told me you loved me. You said, “I loved you when we three came over here all at once last time in the shipwreck. This time I shall finish my work.”

As another cloud drifted near, the Nurse took your hand, and you both stepped onto it. Away you went, higher and higher until you disappeared in the mist. I think she took you to that great Temple.

Oh, my sweet boy, I love you. I love you. I love you! I still feel your sweet kisses. I feel as if I share them with Michael, too. I know my life over there will be beautiful beyond anything earth can offer. I’m so happy, and I know they’ll allow me to visit you here. I know I will, for my love shall bridge the abyss — I’m positive.

December 14, 1912

Sweetest son, my joy is boundless. My delight in my soul flights makes my heart sing. I’ll go to a beautiful land, where my work will be an outlet for my love and mothering desires. Because I’ve kept my inner life to myself, its bloom hasn’t faded, no one has had to make allowances for my “condition” or “fantasies,” and no arguments against it have spoiled its beauty. When your father reads my journal, this record will so comfort him that I know he’ll accept as he reads. He’ll have no mental barrier of doubt, because I’ll be gone.

For Michael, your arrival lags — his hours pass on leaden feet, he’s so eager for your arrival. For me they race, each day but a flash. When I dare let myself think of the shortening time with Michael, my heart wishes we might go home over there together again. You did startle me when you said the three of us drowned in our last earth life! I suppose I shouldn’t lightly mention such an event, for idle words are all it could be. I wouldn’t change anything! I find I’m content. Is it always so when you’ve finished your mission?

Last night our cloud had wings! We crossed the Gardens of Play and I saw that all the avenues beyond ended in great pavilion circles that enclosed large fountains. These low, pillared pavilions had no walls, each was completely open. It was quite park-like with lovely trees. A regular pattern of buildings stretched along the degree we were on, as far as the mist allowed me to see: Every fourth block was a great open-air amphitheater, three were quite distinct.

My Nurse said, “A few amphitheaters seat a thousand. That large one seats nearly a hundred thousand when they use the gardens.” It covered four square blocks! Heaven’s gardeners had decorated the scenic approach with flowerbeds, trees and benches. I heard orchestral and choral music as we floated over it. The Nurse said a thousand children made up the choir and orchestra we could hear. “There are two Directors, one for the orchestra and another for the large choir singing the melody,” she said.

“They have four orchestras of children, and twelve of adults. Each orchestra plays for two hours in rotation. They are amplifying the music through those great flowers carved in the trim around that shell-shaped canopy on the stage. This music sounds muted and lovely, although those on earth with sensitive ears can hear it clearly enough. We call it the Music of the Spheres. The College of Music is in the Music Realm. As you can see, they’ve built the campus around that square with the fountain shaped like a four-leaf clover.”

The fountain displayed a central statue surrounded by four three-foot statues facing outward. Many fountains sprayed within it, shooting six feet high in light and colors that rippled in waves toward the rim. Tree-edged walkways bordered and bisected the square, all aligned on the cardinal compass points and diagonals. A fountain separated each walk. To the north was a great round building, which she said was the Temple of Music. The four main buildings (each a symphony hall, she said) were tall with colonnades running between them.

“The palace of the Queen of the Music Realm lies behind the south building, down that broad avenue lined with other great palaces,” she said as we drew near. Her palace was reminiscent of an ancient Greek Temple — it was beautiful, with low, flagstone steps rising in a terrace on which Grecian-style couches were scattered. The circular foyer was marble, lined with statues, busts of world-famed musicians, and a fountain in the center, a miniature of the one in the campus square. It depicted the Queen of Music, poised for flight, as a winged Victory.

Marble benches faced the front, arranged in a square of potted trees, among which birds flitted. To the right was a domed salon, with open colonnaded walls. My Nurse said this room was used for concerts. To the left was an audience chamber decorated with velvet drapes and couches around the walls, and filled with singing birds. From the foyer, one could enter a rear courtyard like a Roman patio. Stairs led from left and right, first to a balcony, off which were guest rooms, then to the roof, covered with awnings and a gorgeous hanging garden.

“All musicians return to these pavilion circles after they’ve had an earth experience. Some have been here in this Realm for five hundred years. Some have returned just recently. They never lose any time, but continue their work right where they left it. They compose all their great works here before they go to earth. The great musicians on earth have already written their masterpieces or many lesser works before they incarnate. They compose throughout their interlude, and train others to go to earth to play musical instruments. Each musician learns to play every instrument, but usually has a favorite.

“They study and practice all the arts in this Realm. Some pavilions are devoted to painting, drawing or sculpture, some to literature, drama, mathematics, and geometry, others to all styles of dance. Below us are avenues of smaller studio pavilions for all types of practice. Some are used for individual lessons, others for small groups.”

Our cloud descended to hover near a large pavilion, and we could see the practice floor beyond the pillars. The dome was quite lofty and the floor looked like iridescent glass. It scintillated as if lit by flames underneath it. Prismatic lights showered a dancer who wore a costume of gossamer silk chiffon dusted with opalescent sequins. A billowing skirt of bias-cut panels, like a huge inverted lotus flower, flowed from the slim bodice. Each softly gathered layer shaded to a darker hue beneath, and you could see a rainbow as she pirouetted.

Her beauty was glorious, breathtaking to behold. Every movement seemed born of the same flame that flickered below the glass floor. Her dainty slippers barely touched its surface as she whirled and flew in unearthly ballet steps — she was as light as thistledown! She floated across the floor on pointe on her toes. She went like a flash, madly whirling a glissade around the pavilion, lifting her diaphanous skirt into butterfly wings to soar, alighting in graceful slowing whirls and postures.

My Nurse said, “This dancer will be a famous child prodigy on earth in sixteen years. She came over a short time ago after being burned accidentally in a theater fire while she danced. She should have stayed many years longer. The whirling fouetté movements and figures she performs are more intricate than any dancers on earth now use — she’ll take them with her, dancing as soon as she can walk. All the artists along this avenue are preparing to go to earth soon. Many have come over suddenly, but are returning immediately, since they must have additional earth experience before they can learn anything new here.”

We descended from there faster for some reason. I held you on my lap with your weary head closely against me. You hugged me again, and said, “Mommy, I love you,” when you kissed me. As I tried to kiss you, the mad speed of our descent was so great my head spun. I gasped for breath and my vision blurred completely.

My gasp awakened me as Molly was opening my shades. The sun was so bright on the lake it rivaled the brilliance of the lights over there. I’d slept right through your father’s morning kiss and “goodbye.” I’ve lost a morning with Michael.

I don’t know if you came all the way down with me, or where my Nurse went. However, that was some ride! My head was still whirling when I sat up, and Molly told Michael about the dizzy spell when I awakened. He called the doctor, who thought something I’d eaten the night before might have caused it. Wouldn’t it shock them if I said I’d a right to feel dizzy, falling from Heaven to earth?

Not so long now, baby son, is it? Have you chosen our Christmas date together? You can see how important this is to your mother to see you in your father’s arms on the last Christmas we’ll share together, can’t you, little son?

December 16, 1912

Baby mine, you’re almost on earth. I feel you close here since holding you there.

I wrote Diana a note, asking her to be good to Michael, to ride and play tennis with him, and act as his hostess. Michael will read about it here, and Molly will remind him to ask her, so that is settled.

The notes for Molly to find are finished, and I asked her to wear my watch during her days in the nursery. As usual she hurriedly went elsewhere. I do believe she’s afraid of tears!

Long ago I wrote a letter for my beloved, yet I’m no longer that Claire. I’ll write another after I’ve seen you in his arms, then I’ll burn the first, which is full of the sadness I felt then about parting.

Darling, I must undress and lie down every afternoon, because I’m so full of scattered aches and pains. I didn’t know so many muscles could cramp and hurt. I was under the impression these last two weeks would be quiet!

I love you so much, baby mine nearly here.

December 17, 1912

During a long refreshing nap yesterday I found myself on a cloud, dangling my feet over the side. It felt heavenly — no aches, no cramps in my legs, and the grandest sense of freedom. I’d been so uncomfortable before I stretched out, I suppose the contrast was greater.

My Nurse stepped onto my cloud and asked if I’d like a surprise, to which there’s only one answer, of course. She sat on the edge with me, and up we went. I discovered I’d been coming up the Grand Stairway all along, because we then sailed over the Grand Terrace. How had I found the cloud? Did someone put me on it? My Great Guard could, I’m sure. We returned to the avenue of small studio pavilions and stopped before one.

Imagine my surprise when I found you, my little son, playing the violin! At least you were going through the proper motions, although I couldn’t hear a sound. I took it for granted you’d play the piano, but I never thought of the violin. My Nurse smiled radiantly as she does when she can indulge me in unasked questions.

“You can’t hear any sound because every teacher builds a magnetic wall around his work so that no sound penetrates. These walls whirl and absorb sound. Children can concentrate despite the many different activities nearby. The Nurse Mothers or the Great Guards build such walls for them. The call is automatic; when they deeply, earnestly desire to do anything, the lights respond at once. Your son has played the piano before, but never professionally. His music has always been an avocation only. He’s learning the violin to open new brain cells. He’s always been a philosopher, engineer or scientist, once an astronomer. This will be his first time with a violin.”

You were placing the violin in its case when I looked at you again. You saw me waiting, waved, grabbed your case and came tumbling down the first couple of steps. Then, stopping almost in midair, you ran back into the studio. You made a little bow to your teacher. He smiled at you, said something, then you turned and walked out sedately. Somehow, your impetuosity makes you more real and alive than anything else you’ve done.

I held out my arms and unlike that first time, you came right to me, your eyes filled with love. I kissed your eyes, your chin and your cheeks. You kissed me, then leaned back and said you loved me! I can feel your kisses on my eyes and my cheeks. They are my crown, the peak of my exaltation, little son. My Heaven and my earth are complete. Now, to hold you in my earth-arms, my mission will be finished and I can await my call in confidence and in love.

My Nurse called a cloud-bird and we all stepped onto it. We crossed some avenues where the pavilions were full of groups, four, eight and twelve to a unit, all practicing fancy drills. She explained that they learn all drills in this manner. When four learn, they combine as a team of eight, then group as twelve. This is the basis for the perfection of the larger groups I’ve seen.

I watched the glorious colors of robes and lights until they vanished as we descended along the buildings above the Grand Terrace, much farther than I’ve been. We stopped before a long, single-story Grecian style building, much taller than any others I’ve seen. The dome seemed higher, too.

I don’t know what the interior looks like because Molly called me. I’d slept away the afternoon. I dressed for dinner and daydreamed about your kisses, your violin and everything about you.

I love you, darling. I love you. Isn’t it delightful that you may come on Christmas? If? Maybe?

December 18, 1912

Darling, dearest darling, I went to the Grecian building again last night.

I still wonder who puts me on a cloud down here. Can I do this even if I’m not really conscious of doing it? My Nurse helped me off.

The building’s length made me think it was different, but it really wasn’t. It was exactly like all the other Departure Stations inside, though there were two sets of Nurse Mothers and glass inserts for signaling names, one at each end. I noticed an absence of nurses. Nurse Mothers and Great Guards were the only adults there. Then I realized the children were all your age. I thought, why, this is what I’ll be doing before very long now. It seems more wonderful that my place of service is ready and waiting for me. No one loses their position.

My Nurse pointed to two Great Guards who entered and stood near the checkout nurse. One was our Great Guard. You stood with him, clasping tightly the hand of a little fellow whose other hand our Great Guard held. As we approached, I heard you say, “Now, William, you mustn’t be afraid or run away before you get into your body. Promise me you won’t? I promise I’ll remember you on earth and we’ll be friends. You must breathe into your body or you’ll soon be up here alone. Just remember that.”

You turned to our Great Guard, calling him by his name, which I’d not heard before. “Lord Jeremy, you’ll take good care of him, won’t you? He’s so worried. I keep telling him he’s learned his lessons so well he’ll recall them at the right time, and you’ll always be with him and help us to find each other on earth. You will, won’t you?”

Then a name flashed on the glass insert. Our Great Guard gently gathered up the child and away they went. You talked to another boy as my Nurse spoke to me. “Usually the Nurse Mother escorts the child to earth and delivers him to the Great Guard. When a child is timid and fearful, the child’s Great Guard escorts him personally. This prevents the child’s fear from affecting the heart in the earth body. This child was in danger of trying to abandon all these hard months of body building. That’s why we brought your son to encourage him. Sometimes such a fear will cause the child-soul to panic and seek escape. He’d lose the new body, waste all the time spent building it, and cause untold grief to the parents on earth. Fear can also cause all kinds of weaknesses in the new body. Fear doesn’t allow the soul to breathe itself into the body properly, leaving parts of the new body soul-empty.”

You came to us, saying, “Mother, dearest, Lord Jeremy sends you a message. He’d expected to speak with you today, but this call is twenty-four hours early, and Lord Jeremy had to take William to his mother. Mother, will you please remember this gift they allow me to make? I’m to tell you today that for three weeks after I’m born on earth, I can remember everything that’s happened here. Of course, I can’t use the new body yet, so I can’t talk to you. When you look into my eyes, I’ll be telling you how much I love you and how happy I am to be in your arms. This is true for all babies, but my gift is that they allow me to tell you about it now. We’re happy to be little on earth, you know, because we’re free to play for a time without responsibility.”

As we walked along the Grand Terrace, each of us holding your hand, my Nurse spoke to you, “Your recklessness in causing your mother to descend so rapidly yesterday could’ve cost her the life we’ve tried so hard to save. You must think about conquering such complacency as you’ve shown lately, or you’ll find too many self-placed obstacles in your path on earth. You do understand me, do you not?”

You looked straight into her eyes as you answered, “Yes, nurse, I do. I’ve made my sacrifice for my negligence, and I shall take good care of her today. I know this is my last visit with her here. I’ve promised my Lord Jeremy, and I shall review all my charts and lessons about this at once, I promise, for I do want my earth life to be right this time.”

You turned to me, saying, “Mother, don’t be sorry to leave Father with me. I’ll always remember who you are, and I’ll wait until I can visit you here. I’ll wait to hear from you, always. I do love you.”

You called a cloud and made seats for us, yours high enough to look into my eyes. You held me protectively as we slowly descended. I hugged you, told you how precious you are to me, and kissed you until I grew faint. Did you accompany me all the way back? I think the two Lesser Guards who remained with my earth body must have put me on a cloud and helped me into my body here when I returned.

Each hour brings you nearer earth and our arms, while my interest in earth’s affairs fades. Earth is becoming unreal and Heaven is becoming very real. The Great Council is fulfilling the promise that I would be ready to go. Heaven as a Place intrigues me more as your birth day nears. I’ll be ready when my call really comes.

I love Michael beyond death or time. While I’d love to stay with him, I’m content to fulfill the vows we’ve made. I’m happy to leave this complete soul-record for my beloved. He’ll find comfort in it, I know. I’m blessed as a woman of earth.

All my love, little light of my life and my heart.

December 19, 1912

My dearest little son, you’re practically here on earth. It can’t be too long now! For the last time I helped Molly wrap small gifts to our friends and guests on New Year’s Day. Michael will want to show off his son! His first party for you!

If only John could be here with us for your birth, it would be heavenly. I can confide my fears about the birth pains to Michael without any danger. He’ll understand that, and comfort me enough to satisfy my heart. My only fear is I might weaken and waver about going. If Michael were to guess, it would ruin all my efforts to protect him.

I do love him enough to stand — I do! I must! Love must be enough to show me how to be steadfast and reveal no weakness.

December 20, 1912

I confided my birth pain fears to my beloved last night, and his love enfolded me until it erased all sadness from my heart. He was so sweet and so happy to be able to do something for me. He felt wanted and needed.

I went to sleep last night wondering about little William.

I awakened to find my Great Guard helping me step off a cloud. His first words answered my last concern before I slept. “The little fellow is all right. He breathed himself into his body perfectly on his young friend’s last assurance and my suggestions. His mother is like you, and his parents’ love for him will guide him through all his fears before he reaches the earth age of four years.”

I asked whether finding someone, as you’d promised to find William, was why we feel we’ve met someone before? He said it is. Then he spoke at once about what I needed to know: “We shall make your coming across as simple as possible. You’ll fall asleep there and awaken here. The only difference between this and your soul flights is that I shall stand by your earth body and withdraw the last remaining lifesparks from it for you.

“Remember, our gift to your husband is that you shall leave in beauty as perfect as it has been during these months. You’ll look like a newly crowned queen for him. This memory of you will console him throughout the years he must wait to join you here.

“For a time you’ll forget everything related to earth. This must be so, for if the soul is untouched and unhampered by the grief of loved ones on earth, it may reach greater heights during the first three months here than it can hope to attain in the next three earth-years. I shall receive you and take you high above to the Temple below those mountain heights you glimpsed the other day. We can give this as our gift only to those who have conquered sufficient self.

“First, you’ll experience the same extended vision, looking back from here to earth. We will not aid you in this extension of your vision. We will instruct you in how to do it, then you must practice until you can see your loved ones. Sometimes the mist will be too dense for you to penetrate, for we put obstacles between you and your final ability to descend to earth to visit and work. Later, we will permit you actual visits to your loved ones.

“As you continue to conquer still more ‘self’ here, you, too, shall make right suggestions to them. You must earn every step of the way to be permitted to do this. This discipline will build your faith into unconquerable certainty. Your love shall become invincible, and you shall be able to fulfill any service for us. Remember, the more love you express during your final days on earth, the greater will be your beauty and loveliness in your period of Transition, and the greater the consolation it will be to your loved ones.”

My Nurse appeared on a cloud, and as I joined her, I asked why they’d appointed her to escort me. She said, “The Great Council ordered me to conduct you for two reasons, mainly because you are my Nurse Mother, and you’ll train me here for my next earth-experience. You see, I’ve not been there for nearly fifty years, and it will be so different that I must be trained in new ways. I needed to make these flights with you. Much of what we shared was new to me, too! The Council is preparing me to help develop a new early childhood training and teaching method for earth.

“They hope that it shall one day be accepted by all earth’s civilizations. They’ve said that part of your work here will include ‘thinking’ new approaches to me while I’m down there!”

Darling, everything seems to have come full-circle. My bag is packed and waiting for our trip to the hospital. I love you so very much, my sweet son. I know you’re happy up above in the great Temple, for you don’t kick me nearly so hard now!

My Great Guard instructed me how to breathe myself out, and said my soul flights are finished now. When next I “see” over there, it will be the “real” place to me. I’ll spend my time now just loving you and enfolding Michael in my mantle of love. I love you.

December 23, 1912

How I rejoice that the waiting is almost ended. I’m your very proud mother and all my love surrounds you. I’m positive about holding you in my arms. My heart sings that soon you’ll fulfill our dreams. It seems this is my whole earth life. That former life, with its many activities, has faded almost into oblivion while these months have become the long years. Just to be allowed to sit near your bassinet will be joy enough for me. I can’t be very active.

I’ve been such a coward! I’ve never told Molly about leaving, but she knows — she’s done too many things that prove it. I’ll try to talk to her after you arrive, perhaps it will be easier. I want her to know how content I am to leave you in her care.

If it were possible, Michael’s love and my desire to know you as a child could anchor me to earth. Since that is impossible, I dwell on the prospect of Heaven’s beauties. It seems odd that my inner excitement about abiding over there doesn’t interfere with my love for Michael or my desire to cuddle you here. How terrible it would be if I grieved about leaving now, as at first.

My inner and outer lives are truly one and a great gift They’ve given me.

December 24, 1912

At the hospital — YOU are coming! YOU are actually on the way — before Christmas! I wanted it. I begged for it. I prayed for it, but to have it is almost too much happiness for one heart to contain! How I rejoice and I’m so grateful to everyone over there. Someday soon I’ll see them face to face and tell them how wonderful they are. I love THEM so much.

And John is coming! He wrote that he couldn’t bear to be away when the baby came. He’ll follow on the heels of his letter to keep our New Year’s date. Nothing could prevent him from helping Michael to show off his new son! I’ll have my own heart’s desire seeing you in the arms of the people in my life who mean everything to me. What a gift!

The mountains, which have hidden themselves for days, stand out in all their grandest, most magnificent robes, as if blessing your parents on this greatest adventure of our lives. I take it as an omen of love — it always lifts my soul on wings of light to see them.

No fantasy about it, you’re real and will soon be in my waiting mothers’ arms. Butterflies in my stomach began during lunch. I said nothing until I knew the tiny cramps were going to continue.

Michael phoned the doctor, who said to bring me in before dark. So here I am and no one is having any dinner! I sent Michael and Molly home, but I doubt if they can eat, not Michael, anyhow.

I’m writing between pains. It helps to keep my mind off them. They are getting quite bad now, though still only every twenty minutes. The pains keep crowding faster and the doctor just said, “Close your bookkeeping.”

Shortly they’ll take me to the delivery room and you’ll really enter our world. So, little son, this is it! I’m thrilled! Pains and all, I’ve made it. No pain can keep my ecstatic joy from bubbling up.

Little son, beloved heart’s desire, I call to you! Have they told you yet I’m almost ready? Are you awaiting the call in the beautiful Departure Station?

I can see what you must be doing, plus being here and … ouch! Come quickly, I’m ready — I love you!

Christmas Day 1912

“Merry Christmas, Mrs. Matthews, here is your perfect son, delivered to order, a gift for you and your husband.”

These unforgettable words of a fulfilled splendor ring in my ears, linked by my love to your first cry. I’d been unconscious of what was happening until your cry penetrated the mists of ether, calling to me and awakening my mother’s heart. It wasn’t a wild cry, but a sweet protest against being disturbed. I was conscious enough to know the doctor was holding you where I could see you, but I was too weary to open my eyes. I was vaguely aware of Michael — he kissed me and whispered my name, but I was busy sleeping.

My darling, thank you for arriving just after midnight, but I know I must also be grateful to a Higher Authority. I thank everyone in Heaven now, and will soon thank them “in person.”

New Year’s Day 1913

My dearest son, I’m much too weak to do more than to gloat about presenting you to your father. Molly or the nurse must put you in my arms, and for short periods only — but you’re always beside me in your bassinet. My one desire now is to be strong enough to sit by your nursery fire near you. I pray my call comes while I sit where so many of my soul flights began, where I feel so much closer to the world you’ve just left, where I could find my way to you easily.

Michael has been an angel of love. He has unquestioningly accepted the doctor’s verdict that I must be quiet for several weeks, giving my heart every opportunity to rebuild itself to normal. It really did a grand job and I’ve none of the old pain; I’m just weak and so easily tired.

I’m enormously thankful and relieved that Michael is satisfied and does not dream of anything being wrong. He watches over me, but seems not to have the slightest fear. All the glorious exaltation I’d anticipated filled his eyes when he first held you. And it did make the joy-bells ring in our hearts to have you with us! Little son, that door to the children’s room in his heart swung wide on your birthday morning, and from it will pour upon you a flood of love all your life long.

Darling, Molly tells me I must rest, but I’ll try to finish my final message on this first day of the New Year. I cherish every moment I spend with you and I watch for that recognition in your eyes whenever they allow me to nestle you close to my heart, while I whisper of my love …

Baby mine, Heaven answered my second prayer! After my nap, Michael came in with a broad smile on his face — his special John-smile — so when he stepped aside and John came in, I was not too surprised! He greeted me, then went to your bassinet. The look on his face was almost as glorified as Michael’s had been.

Later when he held you, I know he was thinking of holding his own child. Surely waiting for you with us has fostered a sense of fatherhood in his heart. I’m free to go whenever my Great Guard calls because John will be with Michael this summer. He is staying in Seattle.

They are downstairs entertaining the first of our New Year’s Day crowd. At four-thirty, Molly will proudly escort you so Michael may present you. I hope you look at them with your wonderful wide-open eyes as you do for us up here! They are such enquiring eyes, and Michael notices it, too.

I’m pleased I’m strong enough today to finish my journal. It’s such a perfect time to close it. Then I must write a new letter to my Beloved. I feel so differently about everything now, especially about leaving earth.

My vision has spread far beyond considering life as a short span of earth-years. Years are drops in the ocean of eternity! My Nurse Mother’s work in the Children’s Realm will be well under way by the time Michael, my dearest one, is ready to come “over there.”

So, little son, now in your new earth body, strong and beautiful to watch, I want to tell you again that you’ve fulfilled my earth life and brought a rapture greater than all my imagining each time I’ve held you. The wonderful intimacy we enjoyed before your birth fades as I bask in your nearness. Yet the exaltation of seeing you in your father’s arms makes the glory in my soul soar higher on broader wings. I love you so dearly.

Now I must share you with the world. You, who lived so long only in my dreams of you, are no longer my personal magic key to Realms of pure Joy. You’re the magic of Michael’s glory in fatherhood and the joy of Molly and our household. Your magic has influenced our wonderful John with a sense of home-responsibility and the dream of fatherhood. You’re a real person to the doctor, nurses and our friends.

My son, you’ll belong to many others, but never, ever as you’ve belonged to your mother, as your sweet personality called me to ascend into ecstasy beyond earth’s ability to comprehend. My hope now reaches to conquer my lessons and extend my vision to “dream” to you from that Realm — to see the beauty of your sweetheart, sharing in your joy with your wife and the mother-to-be of your children, my love enfolding you both.

I hope that my love from over there could send the sun’s glory, the moon and the stars closer to earth for you. I pray that the greatness of my love for you, the height of my joy in presenting you as my gift to Michael, creates in your heart a bubbling spring of joy to last your whole life.

Now that I’ve finished this journal as the mute witness of my love, I wish I could leave other more potent signs of it for you, because it will be years before you see these written words. No matter how often I’ve written it, I’m still unsatisfied and would write again — I love you, I love you, I love you. Always remember, my darling, I’m crowding a whole lifetime of love into these few pages.

I wanted a son. Little fellow, though you can never know this ecstasy of glory, this exquisite pain and rapture of creation, this feeling of the miracle of growth, the wonderment at that extension of yourself in another tiny body, a body being formed within your own.

Still, it may be that this, my record of motherhood, will make it possible for you to share the same glory with your own lovely wife someday. I pray that her motherhood might lift your soul to the same great heights of exaltation your father has reached through your coming. Though the world may call my soul flights fantastic, I thank you with all my heart for opening the door that made my dream life possible, and for the heights of joy I’ve reached. Each dream is a precious pearl.

My deep desire now is that I may go “beyond” wearing the beautiful strand I’ve made of these, my pearls of love. I also pray that I may slip out on my call so easily no one will know I’m going. Little son, no one can disprove the Realms I’ve visited in my soul flights. So I ask you, darling, when you’ve grown to adulthood, after reading your mother’s words, please sit for a time, pondering and waiting. Who knows? You might prove them true for yourself, for I’m positive you’ve brought to earth that power of extended vision that opens the door between the two worlds.

Darling, you’ve fulfilled my destiny as a mother. I’ve given my husband a son. I’m the mother of a son. As I’ve written so often, I love you! Surely you’ll feel the love behind these words, and share with me the joy it has been to bring you to earth.

May your life be a success. May you be more faithful, understanding and responsible because of the long wait that we, your parents, have known. May the mate you choose bring you the same deep glory that we’ve shared all these years while we longed for your appearance. May your life-pattern be triumphant, with your life’s lessons learned, with the radiance of my joy reflecting itself throughout your life as a conquering Spirit. When your call comes, may you be prepared and ready to meet the great and wondrous change.

Yet, now that I face the close of my earth life, I, your very proud mother, would like to find new ways to say I love you. Farewell for a short span of years, my little son, my darling and my treasured one. Welcome, my son, so beloved, to earth!


“Dad?” The heavy oak door muffled the boy’s voice, his knock was tentative. For two days now Mike had confined himself to his room, eating the meals Jackson brought at Molly’s insistence. Mike hadn’t let him in with the trays, or her to change his bed. He’d been too embarrassed because he’d cried until his eyes were swollen, and that wasn’t something that a grown man, well almost a grown man, should do.

He couldn’t help it. So many passages in his mother’s journal had struck responsive chords. He believed, though he was reluctant to admit it, even to his father — no, he knew he’d heard her voice murmuring his name and felt her fingertips touch his hair while he was reading, especially that part where he’d promised his Great Guard to obey.

What could he say to his dad? He couldn’t think past “Dad, I love you.” But he’d decided that he would go to school in the East, just as his father had advised. That meant, of course, telling Liz that they wouldn’t be seeing each other except in the summers. And how was she going to react? He’d practically agreed to marry her!

Claire! Aunt Sarah and Uncle John’s daughter! He’d barely considered her as a girl, though he was awfully fond of her, and she was turning into a beauty, like her mother. His other, more unformed ideas about Claire were all mixed up with what he thought was his mother’s voice. He would have to ask his dad about that.

Mike knocked again. “Dad, are you in there?”

The door opened so quickly that Mike’s thoughts fled.

The two men closest to Claire Matthews’ soul were instantly trapped in a bond of intimacy neither had known before. They could not break their gaze. Each stared into the other’s eyes, both for the first time knowing the exact vertical nature of their ties.

“Dad!” Mike cried, as he flung himself into his father’s arms.

“Son,” he heard his dad say. “Oh, son.”

“I love you” they whispered together.

Claire simply smiled.

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Edna Miriam Lister
1884 – 1971
The original Christian Pioneering Mystic,
Platonist philosopher, American Idealist, Founder, Society of the Universal Living Christ, minister, teacher, author, wife, and mother.

Edna Lister