To Truly Mother

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.

Amma Kir,

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.


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

mothers day sunrise over the citysunrise over the city just now


“Sun Is Shining”

Sun is shining, the weather is sweet, yeah
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,
Can you understand me now, baby?
Do you believe me?

– – – – –

Some additional details for added depth:

Amma  🙂

“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.



This entry was published on May 11, 2014 at 8:18 am and is filed under Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

18 thoughts on “To Truly Mother

  1. ::
    **And a public word left for any other family members who one day might read here…

    I in no way want any family member to feel bad. That is not my intent with my writing. I do understand that extenuating circumstances can be found for reasons that S.could not come stay with you this past year. I get it. I really do.

    You are such outstanding and loving people doing so many good things in the world. You are some of the best of the best people that I know and I have the pleasure to call you family as well. However, I would say one must look at any extenuating circumstances and still ask what would Jesus do? Where much is given, much is required.

    Disappointment and sadness are my own issues. Feeling this shows where I STILL NEED TO GROW!!!, not you 🙂 .

    You are all loved beyond belief and when your kids launch, Kir and I will love having you join us on the beach, too. -x.M

  2. Even
    All this time
    The sun never says to the earth
    “You owe
    What happens
    With a love like that,
    It lights the

    Your family grows em well Ms. M and Ms. K. I am honored to warm myself under a little of your shared sunshine.

    • Oops! Poem by Hafiz. He wrote it, he lived it, and so do you ladies!

      • Such a beautiful share…poet of the heart which has eyes to see as do you. Takes one who knows sunshine to appreciate what it is…the warmth is felt coming right back from you as well. -x.M

  3. Hey M,
    What a wonderful way to honor your sister. In reading, I felt a parallel wave of love and respect for my only sister, who, after ditching her husband who just could never really get it together, work steadily and, or, contribute to the household, raised my niece with much love and respect for her gifts for learning science.

    My niece is now a grad student at Duke, earned a full scholarship, all admirable things, but she is a loving and caring soul as well and has, since, junior high, done all kinds of interesting volunteer work here and abroad. I know my sisters influence and provision of a stable home and support contribute not only to my niece’s well-being but to mine too.

    much love,

    • Being an aunt is a joy. I get to enjoy the fun part which gets to sugar them up and then can send them home for the broccoli. How fun to have your niece so far along in life! I attend mine’s high school graduation one day and her associate degree graduation the next! A junior in college at 16! (She turns 17 this summer before heading to the dorms at the university in September). While she was growing up, I too was always proud of how smart she was (I knew we were in for it when she correctly used angst in a sentence at age 3!), but even prouder of how kind and nice 🙂 .

      Sisters are just the best. -x.M

      • Why am I not surprised that both have such blessings?

        Strong, smart women usually come from families with other strong, smart women, yes?

        Using the word angst at 3? Wow, that’s angst in and of itself!

        My niece, an only child, had two imaginary friends as a young girl. She named them, Doo Doo and Deo. That was when I knew she had a very special way about her.

  4. Pingback: To Truly Mother

  5. caimbeul on said:

    We’ll M, once again you have transcended words and opened hearts. It’s a gift my friend. Bright Blessings to you and yours. Mike

  6. I don’t want to give the wrong impression with the word rare (thus offending many who circle closely in my face to face world, however I am pretty sure none of them take the time to read here 🙂 ), but it fits so I will say it…it is rare for me to find words so brilliantly combined into sentences that hit the heart, make me think and rethink and nest in to germinate deeply. You sweet man are such a source of rare words. Those Bright Blessings reflect right back to you and yOurs x. Maren

  7. Much love sent to K and R with their graceful leaps into the next places along the path. Thank you for the glimpses given into the flow of those whose journeys overlap with my own, in many ways. To everybody and their mother —-> onward! xo!! m

    • To a precious M of my heart,

      You are another mother who holds such an important space inside herself…a space that once held their bodies and now holds their souls. I am continually amazed at the wisdom and patience and courage arising in the face of all that your mothering asks of you.

      I do know there are so many details of the day in and day out that I do not know, but I can feel them percolating there, supporting the blossoming of such incredible women.

      In so many ways it is graceful leaps, but they are made in response to the taking of breath gut punches that all mothers who truly mother receive from time to time. Your breathing patterns in response to yours are no less exquisite to witness.

      If I had had children, I do not think I would have had the courage to choose to be where I am today. You do have those kids and still we find ourselves at very close proximity on the map. I could barely get me with just myself here -lol!

      I bow a deep bow to you AND the two you have in tow. -xxoou.M

      • On second thought, tow is NOT the right picture…much better said as nested in. -x.M

      • Oh M – I am getting used to the percolating more and more as a necessary and valuable thing – (I am picturing myself as one of those old fashioned plug in percolating coffee makers that no one knows of today:) I needed an intensive route this life, I’ve come to see, that forces me into situations I might otherwise shy away from. One day soon we will have a breather to catch up – or maybe we will just sigh, and laugh, pick up some exotic rocks and leaves and make them into art to be washed away in the tide. Heart full of love for the sister friend I find in you! xo m – off to bus stop 🙂

      • Oh yes, off to those bus stops….

        If this old coach could go back in time
        I’d drive to 1979…

        “Yeah, sorry about that. I always get a little bit emotional on the corner of Rutherford and Brown Streets. But, um, that is truly the end of the tour, so mind your step, yeah, good on you.”


        Good on you M, you tour bus stop wrangler of life, you!

        Friends are the sisters we get to choose for ourselves. I choose you. X

        (Me, I am just woken up from the day nap after working the all night party flight back from CA. Out again in the morn to do it all over again to the west coast, only this time I get 24 bliss filled hours on my anniversary no less in beautiful downtown…drum roll…PDX, this after stops in Las Vegas and LA! )

      • Happy A to you and N! Yay! Keep a hold of your purse/clutch when you celebrate! 🙂 xo! Love this tour – totally fresh and new to my ears. As I turn in the night, I’ll think of you in the air.

  8. how wonderful the way you honour your sister M… what magnificent women you all are and in our individual family’s we grow because we certainly don’t mess about with words as we love ourself first and foremost… and here’s to the sun coming up each morning so that we continue our unique dance… take care M love barbara x

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