Guatemalan clay bird whistle

“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.


sunset Krueger National Park, South Africa

Data and heart and context.  It’s impossible to truly understand a character if you pull said character out of their story.

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.


Sedona, AZ

Let’s celebrate the women who want babies, but don’t yet have them.  May their longing be met.

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.


The last time our family was all in the same place before Luke left to travel for most of 2016. Group hugs were necessary.

I used to ignore all overly commercial holidays.  Mother’s Day is hard when there are multiple fronts.  We’ve had several misses on sending cards and flowers and now know better than to try to get a brunch reservation anywhere today.  I want to boil the entire thing down to its essence.

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.


That time when Joshua bought me a monogramed mug, but the B was the wrong color, so he bought M for mom in the color of my soul

Let’s take a minute today and celebrate.   Whether you hear the word Mother with joy or with melancholy, longing, remembrance or all the glitter and sparkles in the land.  Whatever Mother means to you, may you celebrate today.

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.