Hera, Demeter, Hestia, Gaia, Dana, Anu, Ala, Mawu, Anatu, Isis, Cybele, Shakti, Kuan Yin.
Mothers are many and they are influential.
It is mother’s day, the day for mothers. A day of Hallmark cards and piss poor ads on the teevee extolling blood diamonds and spa getaways, overpriced buffets and brunches.
It’s a day that is confusing to me for so many reasons, not the least of which is that I don’t aways know what mothering means, or how to relate to being a mother myself, but I do know that mothering can come from people other than your mother, and you can give it to those not your children.
“Mother” is powerful. Breast, skin, vulva, womb, root like cord connecting us to them inextricably, even after it is cut, whether we want it to or not.
They birth us, love us, harm us, frighten us, achieve for us, fail us. Mothering is hard work no doubt about that. Being mothered is a challenge at times, a desperate need at others. Sometimes in the very same breath. Mother me please, go away do not touch me.
This day is a fraught day, a magic day, a day for those with mothers and no children, those who are mothers with no mothering for them, those with both and those with neither.
I don’t want cards or flowers. My own relationship with my mother, lost now to Alzheimer’s, is fraught, but it always was, a mother who decided early she wanted no children but got one anyway.
I don’t want a reminder one time per year of the magic inherent in the word “mother” rather I’d want the ongoing reminder that mothers are people and fallible, and most certainly not sacred or better, but that we all have that holiness in us to mother, to father, to be connected to some divine spark of passage into and out of this world.
I”m going to drink my tea, brought to me by my boys, watch Dr. Who, and do the dishes. I’m going to visit my own mother, though she won’t know me. I’m going to know how important it is that we all find ways to love each other in the ways that matter most, no matter the role, and that if someone needs me to be their mother, and I can be, I will.