I’m having a contemplative Mother’s Day morning, reflecting on how grateful I am to have the wonderful, sweet mother that I have. She was always conscientious about promoting what she knew to be the healthiest lifestyle available for me and my brothers as we grew up. This is what mothers do- we nurture and tend, we worry about the vibrancy, health, happiness and longevity of our children and we do everything we can to cultivate those qualities in our offspring as we raise them. One thing that our current society has figured out in recent years, though, is that mothers also need to take especially good care of themselves, because if they don’t, they cannot adequately fulfill all those aspects of nurturing that I was just describing. A good mother needs the following things in the right amounts to sustain her: nutritious food, down time to rejuvenate, recharge, and contemplate, space to flex and move her own muscles, and sweet love in return. Too often mothers sacrifice and sacrifice and then never get that recharge…. and in thinking about this, my primary sense of heartache is with respect to the mother that we all have and share in common, and that is the Earth. The Earth truly sustains us, raises us and takes care of us, and she needs care, love, rest and rejuvenation just as we do. I realize that as a woman of nature-based spiritual practices I may see this differently from many…. but no matter what your religious or philosophical background, I don’t think you can deny some universal connection to the Earth as a mother. The earth sacrifices herself to us constantly not only for our nourishment and survival but for our entertainment. Her resources are our very umbilical cord- without them, our development halts. The Earth’s atmosphere is a womb-like, protective space…. outside of which we still don’t really know how we could survive long term. We’ve experimented and considered life outside of this safe, warm, breathable place, but there is still nothing as of yet that shows us any sense of comfort compared to what we have and know now. I look around me and am brought to tears by the vibrant life- the neon green pulsating and the yellow and purple flowers, the amazing sounds of hundreds of different birds outside my window, the knowledge that already in the last week or so my very property has started to fill up with edible, nutritious greens, and flowers that are attracting some of the largest bees I’ve ever seen. There is a breeze that feels so good to take in, and a warm sun that melts the tension away….and if gravity, and our personal connection to this earth is our umbilical cord, our life line, then all of this beautiful growth is a rich placenta. In knowing this, somewhere deep inside myself I feel a little pit of gnawing in my stomach, for I understand deeply that if this is so, then there is no escaping the natural rhythms that are true for all motherly cycles on this planet. If we don’t properly fertilize our connection to this rich placental surrounding, then we will shorten the cycle and this lining will need to shed itself in order to start over completely. I’m actually okay with this happening, for I know that I can never separate from these rhythms. As far as I know, we, as a society, do not currently have any one perfect answer as to how we will cultivate a greater confidence in long-term resource availability on this planet, but at least, on this Mother’s Day, see if you can honor the mother we all have in common. Ultimately it is likely to be the cumulative effect of all of the tiny things we each do individually to preserve resources and honor the Earth that allows us to stay here in this rich, beautiful, life-giving womb the longest. On the other hand, maybe it is our time to have faith and muster up the courage to accept the unknowns of the future and what it will be like to allow ourselves to be born into a new form of existence…. one in which we don’t have this instant cord of nutritious connection, where we learn to exist differently, and to expand, and grow and maybe that next time around instead of cutting the cord and learning to walk, we will cut the cord and learn to fly. On this Mother’s Day I hope that all of the beautiful, amazing mothers I know will take care of the equally beautiful nature around themselves, and show your love to her just as you will to your physical birth mother, or the loving mother that raised you. I hope that you will do this and also sense your own wings spreading and strengthening. Happy Mother’s Day.