in praise of mothering

tapestry by Judy Chicago. 

tapestry by Judy Chicago. 

What a joy spring is, when the bulbs begin to push through the thawing earth to reveal their radiance of colour to a still chilly world. The weather remains in flux, the blossom of the magnolia being blown hither and thither and the seeping warmth of the sun peeping from the clouds. As I wander through the park I can almost hear the puffing and blowing of pride as nature displays the fruits of survival through the winter months. Trees not yet in leaf standing taller in their nakedness over the early risers; the daffodils, the crocuses, and grape hyacinths. It is no wonder the earth has been known for all time as Gaia, the great mother, harbinger of birth and death, holder of all that is sacred to life.

As humans we are deeply connected to the cycles of nature and ignore them at our peril. From deforestation, forced farming and pollution to the ravages of medicalised labour & delivery for women, our generation is disconnecting to the natural creative process. To become disconnected from the spirit of creation and the cycles of life is to live a life enslaved…………

From the beginning till now the entire creation, as we know, has been groaning in one great act of giving birth; and not only creation, but all of us who possess the first-fruits of the Spirit, we too groan inwardly as we wait for our lives to be free. . . .   “ (Romans 8)

….to be free is a privilege we prize in our world; we talk of freedom of speech and freedom to practice our faith; may freedom may also be found in hearing and believing in the call of the Spirit within each of us, unencumbered by the toxicity of violence, the draining demands of capitalism and the constant striving for physical perfection.

What a joy to hear, just in the last few weeks, of two governments that have registered rivers with rights equal to those of humans. Anyone caught polluting the Ganges or Yamuna rivers in India or the Whanganui river on the north island of New Zealand or destroying their capacity to function naturally will find themselves foul of the law. A young Maori woman spoke after the declaration was signed a few weeks ago, saying that when you fight over money or land people become opposed to each other, with the river you can never be split, the river runs from the mountain to the sea, this can never be divided up.

What a joy to witness a woman birthing a child, her innate knowing of its needs of food, warmth and safety as if they were her own. The unconditional love she bestows is perfect. In mental and physical health she would never harm her child, a baby that she has carried for 9 months is as if herself. Disconnection from a knowledge of the beauty and tenacity of nature, from the virulence and strength of creation leads to a fearful and pallid understanding of all that mothering is.

And so today the churches are full of yellow daffodils, mantelpieces adorned with big pink cards and the florists are rubbing their hands in glee. Those women who have given birth up and down the land are being feted, as they rightly should be, all year round, for loving and supporting their offspring. Let us celebrate all mothering, from the creation’s great act of birthing to the stewardship and care of all the earth. Let us trust each other and nature in the ability of the natural world to provide for all its inhabitants. Let us tune in to our own innate ability to mother ourselves, each other and the world around us.