One of the most memorable Mother’s Day cards I’ve ever seen was one that my brother Steve gave to my mother, when he was in his early teens. The card had a beautiful rose on the outside, and on the inside was printed these words, “You’ve been like a mother to me”. We all laughed, especially my mother, saying, “well that’s good to know Steven, because I AM your mother”.. It’s easy to retell this story as an example of the confused thinking of a young teenager, but I think that Steve was on to something profound..
You’ve been like a mother to me. In other words, you’ve made space and time for me, you carry me in your heart, and you have never abandoned me. I believe in you. I trust in your love.
Mother’s Day is complicated for so many reasons. We’ve all had, and have, such uniquely different experiences of our own mothers. And, women have all had such uniquely different experiences of being a mother, or not being a mother. Times have changed so much with respect to the roles of women, and also with respect to the understanding of what it means to “be fruitful and multiply”. Mother’s Day has become so commercialized. And we lose sight of the amazing, life changing processes in nature that bring forth new life. Processes that so many of the world’s religions draw upon as a metaphor when trying to describe the experience of God creating new life within all of us.
So this Sunday we will honor “You’ve Been Like a Mother to Me” Day. We will seek to honor the life giving love that we’ve all experienced, and God’s creative loving energies working within all of us.
Ee cummings writes a poem about this love, which I interpret as God’s love poem to each one of us:
Ee cummings.. [i carry your heart with me(i carry it in]
i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)