I begin this post in the darkness and sweet anonymity of a hotel room in the wee hours of awakening on the west coast of America with a body that is 3 hours ahead on an east coast clock. For the past weeks I have been out the door in NYC around 5:30am to fly southward over oceans and today marks the first morning to awaken after the headwind fraught 6hr+ journey west over land. It was a full flight to California yesterday, delayed an additional hour on the ground due to severe storms. It was surprising how well it all went though. I must admit the mood on the plane remained rather in a cheerful vein and I think it was because so many people flying were happy to be traveling to see family…traveling to connect for Mothers’ Day.
In the middle of a bit of down time during the cruise stretch of confinement in the flying cathedral, a magazine about yoga happened to cross my path (and in a note to my company, which word on the street says monitors public communication places like this of their employees, I say hello and reiterate per employment regulations, magazines are never read on the jump seat…all good flight attendants wait until we are off the plane 😉 ). That said, in the magazine was an excellent article about motherhood and it’s challenges. 🙂
The article spoke of mothering and regrets. It spoke of loving children that had been born, but with an acknowledgement that on a do over the choice to have them would not be made again. It talked about the pain of one woman not able to bear children of her own, her overwhelming desire to experience this and the deep sorrow at the core at it not happening. It spoke about another woman’s journey to meet Amma, the hugging saint whose name itself means mother and the fact that there are so many more ways to mother on this planet other than giving birth. I think this is why I find myself sitting in the dark this morning thinking about mothers.
Now awake enough to type, I find I want to publicly honor one of the best mothers I know. It is my sister Kir. She is a durga amma, a fierce warrior momma, if ever there was one. She has lived the full spectrum of the mother’s heart knowing deep sacrifice and loss as well as profound joy and celebration in her role of mothering.
This past year has been a special one for Kir. as it is the last one her precious daughter is at home for before launching out into the world. Her stunningly beautiful and brilliant daughter Ri. heads off to college at the end of this summer. This is an incredibly important time in the life of a family. It is a sacred opportunity to be together at home as a family one last time as a child starts the transition into more independence and adulthood. And into this past year’s mix, my beautiful sister having heard the call out of a family member in pain, last fall invited this sibling to come and stay with her and her daughter during this past year as well.
Of all my sisters, (other than myself in a small town on a jobless coast), Kir is located in an area of the country that is least helpful to this family member in terms of supporting their ability to be employed and to progress in their move towards independence in the world. And I must admit as I wrote that last sentence, I found a bubble of disappointment* with a touch of sorrow surfacing*. (** see comment in replies below)
Other members of my family live in much better locations offering concrete help with opportunities for employment past just a place to live this past year. However, an invite to come and live with them and to help did not come from any of them. There is no deep judgement of wrongness for them on this account by me (as I truly do love to their core all my siblings), but it is always interesting to see who in my deeply committed to going to church family actually has the cojones to live in their very actions the teachings of unconditional love, service and sacrifice taught in the teachings of Jesus Christ and who does not…who actually steps up to the plate to truly help mother each other when one is in need and our own mother can/does not.
We all are at where we are at with this ability to love and mother ourselves and others. We are all still growing and finger pointing over lack never gets much of anything accomplished. However, I still felt the feeling of sadness enough this morning that I could not stop myself from writing a bit about it here.
So, there has been no easily accessible job to be had for this family member staying with my sister this past year, but I cannot think of a better person offering a spot to pause and heal and be unconditionally loved and mothered for awhile than with Kir. She has taken these teachings of Jesus Christ and she doesn’t just talk about them on Sundays. She actually lives them.
People (had originally written women, but that is too narrow!) who truly have the capacity to mother do so beyond the bounds of living arrangements, financial resources and blood. To truly mother is really to see human beings in our joy and in our pain and to respond to it all with love, service and compassion. In this way, Jesus was one of the best teachers of truly mothering going.
You are one of my heroes. You are one of the bravest women and best mothers I know. You truly know how to love and you set such a powerful example for us to follow in our family. You have opened your heart and home for desperately needed hugs. Thank you for coming to the rescue for a bit. Doing this, you awaken true motherhood in our family and in the world. I am so honored to have you as my sister.
HAPPY MOTHERS DAY TO YOU!
Min søster, min ven og en voldsom mor, at jeg elsker. Velsignelser på dit hoved.
In the years to come, I am going to actively look for ways to make things excellent for you. I promise, rewards for your sacrifices and service will be sweet. (JUST as I typed that last sentence, the sun broke over the horizon and into the window of my hotel room!!!) Now that Ri is launching and it will be easier to travel, I am going to take you to many of those islands I have recently been flying over and we are going to dance on the beach wearing our party hats and watch the sunrise together.
Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come. She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. -Proverbs 31: 25-27
-xoxo and a huge XO, YOur M
“Sun Is Shining”
Make you wanna move your dancing feet now
To the rescue, here I am
Want you to know, y’all, can you understand?When the mornin’ gather the rainbow, yeah, yeah
Want you to know, I’m a rainbow too now
To the rescue, here I am
Want you to know, y’all, can you, can you, can you understand?Sun is shining, the weather is sweet now
Make you wanna move your dancing feet, yeah
But to the rescue, here I am
Want you to know just if you can, here I stand, no, no, no, no, no, no, no,
Do you believe me?
– – – – –
Some additional details for added depth:
“I want to awaken motherhood in men and women in the world.”
Header picture is of a Durga Devi Mother being painted for a celebration of the Durga Puja. It is a celebration of the feminine goddess in good over evil.
For those who follow the work of my husband (at min 42 in), Kir. is also the source point for the world class æbleskiver 🙂 in the family. I don’t really cook (well, at least not in the kitchen so much -lol). There also is a little story about a mother and her daughter at about 54:30. Not only what you do, but how you do it. Enjoy.