Nourishing life, community, family, home.

Posts tagged ‘humanity’

Mother’s Day, 2017

Mother’s Day, 2017

Right now, my husband is making breakfast while I linger in bed. My son is cuddling next to me watching me type out these thoughts. My teenaged daughter is entrenched in her bed. Everyone is enjoying the break from the harried pace of weekday mornings on this gorgeous May Sunday. Facebook greetings and well-wishes are going out. It is a wonderful day to celebrate mothers.

Enjoying the day

Enjoying the day!

Being a mother has as many faces as there are mothers, but here are a few thoughts about mothering:

  • Being a mother sometimes means allowing your body to be transformed—I think I used the term hijacked during my first pregnancy—by the development of another person. Other times, mothering means making a commitment to a person to help them develop and grow.
  • Dinner tables become the stage for sharing stories, playing games, family debates, arguments, and forgiveness. Our family table is, at some microscopic level, probably still covered with clay, paint, paper mache, candle wax, poked with felting needles, and yarn. And of course the energetic layers of so many birthdays, potlucks, tea parties, holiday dinners….
  • The garden becomes a surprise of beans planted in clumps instead of rows and the flowers pulled out with the weeds.
  • Your bed becomes the scene of cuddles and tickles and snuggles, and comforting tears, sick kids, and hugs of appreciation.
  • Being a mother means driving…the endless driving (or bus/train trips) and the support of all the activities you are transporting your child to.
  • Being a mother means creating the space for a person to go through all the steps to becoming an adult—a healthy, contributing member of a healthier society—knowing and supporting the acquisition of the skills needed to thrive.
  • It means surrendering your life to be in service to another person’s best interest—forever.
  • It means failing in that surrender, because you are only human. And you are only human in a society that is not set up to help anyone succeed in being healthy or whole. This means taking responsibility for the wounds you inevitably, unintentionally inflict.
  • It means holding your heart open while pieces of it leave on their own journey through life.
  • It means continuing to grow and develop on your human journey through life—developing your skills and insight, so that you become a better mother, a better elder. That means facilitating community and culture towards wholeness.
  • It means holding irresponsible people accountable for the harm they do to your children, their development, and the world we all share. The Earth is our first mother.

We are all responsible for the well-being of our Earth. We are all able to respond to the needs of the Earth. While we are checking in today with our human mothers, why don’t we take a moment to appreciate and care for our first mother. The birds outside are singing…the catbirds are watching the berries grow toward ripeness…fish are nesting in the lakes…frogs are calling by the pond.

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I had a dream…Occupy

In my dream, I walk down from my local apartment to an Occupy Movement site–with just maybe 20-30 people in the barricaded area. It was in front of an old civic building (I’m not sure what was inside). The Occupation had no tents, no kitchen…it was tiny. But constantly rotating people. Some of my old friends from forest activism days would rotate in and out. Many young people were there–but just as many of the forty and fifty-somethings. At the front of the crowd–nearest the civic building was a row of policemen–maybe six of them. I passed through the crowd and to a makeshift bench on the far side. Just after I did, the policeman that was nearest the entrance to the Occupy area began taking a sharpie and writing numbers on everyone’s arm. No one was allowed to enter without one. The policemen began giving orders and interpreting the rules. This could be done, this couldn’t be done. The crowd became more creative in order to lodge protest. My friend and fellow community organizer began subtly buckling on a harness and gathering some black nylon rope for a stunt. The mood in the crowd shifted there was an edge to the group and then a conscious decision by the crowd to embrace the situation, to rise above it and to respond with a higher wisdom. The policeman at the gateway became more nervous, more agitated. Those next to him were also on alert. But off to the far end was a policeman–no helmet, no riot gear. He had curly red-brown hair. He started talking to everyone. Just side conversations. But he shared that he’d been practicing tonglen (a Tibeten Buddhist meditation for compassion). He reached out to touch me–a reassuring gesture. In that moment, all I could mutter was that didn’t want to be touched. I couldn’t bear the thought of that odd juxtaposition. But then I realized I’d been wrong to react that way. I told the policeman that and he smiled. The whole crowd smiled.

Shifting to a drowsy, waking state I realized: This movement is really about getting to know each other. What a wonderful opportunity for humans to show their best. What a great way to get people out of their homes, into reality, and talking to each other. The barriers aren’t just the physical ones. And love can come from anywhere.