I was out early this Mother’s Day to pick up some hay from my favorite farmer. As I drove past his cows towards the barn, I noticed five or six very pregnant ones resting in a small circle in the pasture. Coming back, most had moved on to graze nearby, except for one of the cows, who had given birth in those few minutes and was gently licking her tiny wet calf as the baby wobbled over to begin nursing. It was the perfect reminder for me of the miracle of life.
We spent most of the day with my mom, who loved every minute of it. She has recovered from her bout with diverticulitis and enjoyed the hugs from her granddaughter and the licks and snuggling with the dog and the two pieces of her favorite ice cream cake. She is my role model for being a strong woman, and even at 97, she encourages me to speak out against injustice and work for change.
Mother’s Day has been so corrupted by commercialism that I think it’s important to remember that it was originally started in 1870 as a cry against the Civil War and an attempt to remind people of what happens when you put mothers at the center of all things.
It was activist Julia Ward Howe who wrote: Arise, then, women of this day! Arise, all women who have hearts, whether your baptism be that of water or tears! Say firmly: "We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies. Our husbands shall not come to us, reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause. Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn all that we have taught them of charity, mercy and patience. We women of one country will be too tender of those of another to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs."
So, as I appreciate how I am blessed by the life that I am living, my thoughts are more and more drawn towards what I can do to help the women in the world who need our voices and support in order to be safe and respected. I recommend that you check out the Half the Sky Movement and this powerful article written by Nicholas Kristof today in the New York Times, “Saving the Lives of Moms”.
"If one woman is hurt, all women are hurt, there is no here & there about it."
2011 Nobel Laureate Leymah Gbowee