Mother’s Day is coming. I’ve heard it called Mothering Day and I like that better. We each experience mothering differently. Some of us don’t have children, yet we mother. Some raise children born to other mothers. Some of us are motherless children either literally or figuratively.
Whatever Mothering Day brings for us individually, there is no doubt that collectively mothering takes heart. Lots of it. This got me thinking about women and our hearts. My mind returned to a gathering I recently attended where a dozen or so women sat around a table reading stories from their lives, written in their own hand, real and true about:
being Mormon, mom and recovering alcoholic
first-time thirty-year-old mothering
little boys with hands in their pants
spilled popcorn written in rhyme
being daughter of a battered woman
a baby never born
“mean” mothers and mean mothers
a Mormon mother’s tattoo in memory of her dead child
I met these women only once. In two hours – maybe five or ten minutes per person – we shared our experiences with each other. Before the first words were read I felt my heart opening, expanding to welcome the souls in that room. As I listened and watched, I thought, “These are only a few of hundreds or thousands in this valley. . . any woman could sit at this table, any group of women could meet together and tell the truth about their lives and the result would be the same.”
No matter our religion, our life experience or our worldview, we are sisters in our hearts. Collectively we mother everyone.
There is a word generally used in a religious context: Brethren. It refers to a single body of multiple men. There is no such word for a feminine counter-part. There is no Sistren. Perhaps we are Cistern.
A Woman’s Heart
miles and days of
pulsing waves in
swells to harbor
Melody Newey © 2013