Honor Mothers, Biological Or Otherwise
How important is a mother? What sort of answer one gets to that question depends on who is asked. Some people honor and venerate their mothers, some revile and curse them and others never knew their mothers and so cannot respond at all.
On the incontrovertible evidence of simple biology, a mother is the source and spring of life itself. Whatever happened after birth, for whoever long or short a gestation period may be, all living mammalian creatures began life in a womb. Other species begin life as a fertilized egg that first grows in a female, even though said egg may be incubated in a nest outside the mother’s body. Mothers are a biological fact of life. Without them, life would exist in a primitive state that to us humans would be unrecognizable.
Mothers are central to most belief systems. We call this planet we live on Mother Earth because it has nurtured all forms of life for billions of years. Mother Nature comes across as benign, nurturing and sustaining— unless, of course, she exhibits some violent behavior, such as earthquakes, tornadoes and tsunamis. Then, as do small children who have incurred a parent’s displeasure, we review our conduct anxiously and vow to try not to re-offend. Sometimes this works, and sometimes it does not. Mother Nature can be unpredictable.
Each of us regards the concept and the reality of motherhood differently. Not even identical twins have exactly the same childhood, and any mother will freely admit that she raised each of however many children she had differently in some way or another. Part of this arises from learning from experience on the part of both mother and child, and part from the realization that no two human beings experience the same life event in exactly the same way.
The differences in life experiences notwithstanding, ever since a schoolteacher named Anna Jarvis in 1908 devised the idea of Mother’s Day to honor the memory of her own mother, who had died three years before, Mother’s Day has been a significant part of American life. Herself childless, Jarvis nevertheless appreciated the significance of the mother-child bond and made it a part of our national consciousness. It is, we think, fitting that for at least one day out of our busy lives, we pause, reflect and give thanks to the women we know as our mothers, Happy Mother’s Day.