“Once upon a time, when women were birds, there was the simple understanding that to sing at dawn and to sing at dusk was to heal the world through joy. The birds still remember what we have forgotten, that the world is meant to be celebrated.”
~Terry Tempest Williams
Sunday 8 May 2016
Today is a day for celebration. It’s Mother’s Day, and we’re celebrating mothers. Let’s do it! But let’s do it for real, like storytellers do. Let’s tell the story with all the pieces and layers.
The work that I do in the world is centered around story.
The stories we’ve walked.
The stories we tell ourselves and
the stories we want to live.
Good stories have a lot of data. Of course they do; information makes for a good story. But data alone just doesn’t cut it; the best stories have data and heart. Using only data when you’re trying to explain Mother, is like trying to put a sunset in a spreadsheet.
There are so many versions of Mother out in the world. So many stories.
In all of these stories, Mother dwells. Mother is found in the pain and the glory.
Let’s celebrate the women who have carried babies that didn’t make it to life on this earth. Miscarriage is such an awful word. It implies that a baby got dropped. That a mother couldn’t carry the extra weight long enough. That something was broken. May hearts and bodies be healed and arms be full in their proper time.
Let’s celebrate the women who have chosen to remain childless for whatever reason, and there are many. May their choice be re-framed away from scarcity and selfishness to abundance and giving to the world.
Let’s celebrate the mothers who are gone. Some were so loving that we wonder how we will ever be whole without their presence. And others left behind more void than love. May we embrace our opportunity to understand and grow.
Let’s celebrate the mothers whose children are gone. The mothers whose children died before their time. Every mother expects that their children will outlive them. We expect our children to have abundant lives that last long after ours. We never expect loss. May these mothers experience an extra measure of grace and healing salve.
Let’s celebrate the complicated stories. The ones that have more pain than connection. Where hearts are broken rather than knit together. May the heartbreak point the way to health and restoration.
Let’s celebrate adoption and all the characters in that story. The birth mother. The family that adopts. The adoptee. The expanded family. May we all know a sense of safely and family whatever the genetics and timing say.
Women are powerful for many reasons.
One of them is that we mother.
Mother has way less to do with birthing a baby than I ever imagined.
Mother transcends time and space and actual birth relationships.
I have since reframed Mother’s Day as a pause. A holy pause.
Celebrate your place in the story. Mothers in the past and mothers in future are gathered around in a circle today to celebrate the Mother in you.
BE in your life,
p.s. I must not fail to thank my daughter Andrea for Blackberry Waffles and Prosecco on a lazy Sunday morning. Celebration is a real thing.