One day a year is set aside to honor mothers. While an admirable thought, it can be fraught with emotion if our experiences don’t match the Hallmark® greeting card sentiments. Holidays in general can be difficult for people. For example, when we invited a friend to join us for dinner on Christmas, he explained his plan: to sleep through the day. Holidays can evoke the sense of, “Everyone has someone and is happy but me.”
The idea of celebrating Mother’s day in the US was suggested during the Civil War by Julia Ward Howe, author of the “Battle Hymn of the Republic”. She recommended a Mothers’ Day holiday dedicated to peace. A peace building advocacy group founded during the Vietnam War, Another Mother for Peace (AMP), embraced this and is “dedicated to eliminating the use of war as a means of solving disputes among nations, people and ideologies”, by educating citizens to take an active role. Their iconic logo is a sunflower on yellow background with “War is not healthy for children and other living things”
This Mother’s Day, let’s expand our celebration of mothering to peace-building and nurturance. Reach out to someone who has encouraged you and fostered your development. When you consider all the forms of mothering, surely there is someone to whom you can say thanks. How might you foster love and build peace?
- Honor Mother Earth, our common mother, who shares abundance of air, water, sun and soil. May we reciprocate by being good stewards of these gifts freely given.
- Honor the woman who gave birth to you.
- Honor the woman who raised you.
- Honor a woman who has been your mentor or role model.
- Honor the woman whose fertility resulted in an idea or a program, rather than an actual baby.
- Honor the woman who opened her heart and home as an adoptive parent.
- Honor the woman who as a step-mother may have had to navigate treacherous relationship waters.
- Honor the woman with green thumbs who brings gardens to life and keeps plants alive.
- Honor the woman who brings beauty to her corner of the planet.
- Honor the woman who wants to be a mother, but struggles with getting pregnant.
- Honor the girls who are growing into women so they may feel nurtured and safe.
Just as a mother is co-creator in the process of giving birth, open yourself to the world waiting to be born.