Thursday, May 11, 2006

Mothering on the Journey

Last night I was making Mother's Day cards for some of the "moms" in my life and cherishing what each of these remarkable men and women have brought to the spiritual journey that we have shared at different junctures in eachother's paths.   Some have traveled with me, step by step, day by day, for many years...others for shorter segments...some have only been present as a voice on another path calling out either ahead or through the forest "keep going!!!"...I am grateful for each of them and all of them.

My daughters have mothered the best in me for years now.  Hannah, who was my playmate during some of the sweetest parts of the journey, now demands that I stay on my path and not try to walk someone else's...Emma has skipped way ahead requiring that I keep walking because I love her and want to get to, and help her with whatever her needs are.. as quickly as possible...and Clara...sweet Clara just quietly stays at my side hand in hand...occasionally reaching up to brush a stray hair from my cheek and looking deeply into any weariness and banishing it with her "knowing".

My sisters have been the photographs that I carry in my pocket throughout the climb.  They are each so different, so amazing, so courageous and strong.  I push myself because of Nancy's belief in my "mind", I care for myself...get the rest I need and eat berries along the way because of Lila's compassion for my heart's ache to be whole, I treat myself to creative sidetrips because of Fawn's example of beauty found in small moments and scraps of colored paper and strands of tinsel along the way...I am kinder to flora and fauna along the way because of Linda's example of being a gentle steward to the small and voiceless.  These women have been my companions on this journey since childhood and I couldn't have asked for a more delightful group to sing hiking songs with.  When our mother (and she's a whole 'nother story) was widowed while we were all still children...these (then) girls (and our brothers) were the reason I got out of my sleeping roll every morning and got back on the trail to find berries and water for our meals.

The boys (my brothers...the only men I will cover in this blog...although there are so many men who have and are mothering me)...ahhh....they have mothered me in so many ways...Rich has taught me to have confidence in my eye for beauty...he would bring little pictures and projects home from school as a child and I discovered a VanGogh hiding behind a wall of self-doubt who only needed to be coaxed to go back and do more.....Wayde reminded me that love begets love....that little guy loved, loved, loved and we were all the beneficiaries of his sweet gentle heart...and Shawn, I would not be here today if that "good Samaritan" of a gentle giant hadn't picked me up and cleansed my wounds, and poured in oil and bound them before setting me on his own donkey and taking me to an inn.  He is a hero...enough said. - our mom...can you
read tears...hmmm....well that's the word that comes to mind when I think of her...tears...tears of laughter when all eight of her children (hungry and afraid because we have no money or food and the world has disappeared after dad's memorial service) are sitting in her bed late at night giggling because she can't tell a joke or a story to save her life....but she tries so hard that we love her more than life itself.   Tears of gratitude because she DIDN'T run away when she was left with eight children under the age of 19 and a pile of debt and no insurance or pension and she still made every day fun and full of lessons of love and trust in God.  Tears of pain for all the years of loneliness and self-doubt she has faced because she was never able to "demonstrate abundance" in the way others may have thought would give her credibility as a spiritual thinker if she were sitting on a trust or a retirement account today.  But she is in her 70s and she works as a nanny every day, she hikes in the mountains, she laughs with abandon and she never forgets a birthday, anniversary, or to let you know you are not alone and she never judges you...period...she is rich with wisdom, silliness, joy, compassion, childlike curiosity, energy, hope, strength....she is one of the wealthiest women I know or ever have known.  Tears of joy that she is my mother and that I have her journey to spur me on when I feel like curling up underneath a rock and giving up because someone (including me) has misinterpreted my motives or questioned my choices and decisions.  Tears of repentance for all the times I thought I knew how she could have handled something better and then I faced the same choice in my own life and realized that she, as a mom, could ONLY have made the choice she did.  She is my hero....she drives me crazy at times....but she is the grandma I hope I can be someday...

And then there are the
friends who have mothered me along the way....Maree with her words..her tender trust in my heart...her hand upon my shoulder...her silent compassion in my pain, her companioning in laughter, in agony, in seeing the face of God....I love her beyond words and yet words are what we share a body in.

Susan, Jill, Shirley, Maria, Laura, Alice, Bonnie, June, Jane, Alison, Beth, Heidi, Betty, Carol....oh my goodness....the berries you have fed me...the times you've given me shelter, your voices in the distance when my footsteps lag and whispering encouragement in my ear with I think I can't go on....

And these are just the women.....thank you God for showing me your Motherhood in the lives and hearts of these amazing traveling companions...

I think I have more cards to make...


1 comment:

  1. Anonymous2:23 PM

    I wish your mom would write her story