Memories Of Mother: Earth, Birth, Life

memoriesToday in the UK it’s Mother’s Day and people are out in force celebrating with their families. However I started to think about the way in which, in the end, I have had to learn to mother myself. I don’t know if my own mother expected to have to do that. Because I have no memories of her discussing it with me.

I first recognised that I had to find the mother in me when I gave birth to my own child. And how to mother myself when my own mother passed away. But I believe there was an even earlier search for the mother in me. When I moved away from home and took up my adult life I had to take responsibility for myself. When I think about my memories as a young adult I can see that I was busy reminding myself that I was capable of looking after myself. Even to the point of deciding not to have children. I wanted to put my energy into more creative things.

Yet the mother in me finally brought me to the day when I became the mother of my own child. My memories of my pregnancy are tied in with a wonderful tree I used to sit under. Whenever I got stressed or anxious I would head for that tree to clear my head. I sat there in all weathers trying to make sense of this new phase. Becoming a mother to someone else. A someone I didn’t know at all. What would this person I had created and grown be like? How would I respond to the relationship we were going to have? Would I be able to mother this person as well as myself? So many questions going around in my mind.

The mother in me, looking after me, was taking on a new charge. It felt daunting. Overwhelming. Memories of my own mother wrapped around my debates. Because what other example of motherhood was closer to me? Did I want to be the same or different? Through it all the tree stayed strong.

I sit at your feet
At the place where root meets trunk
A safe hollow
Sheltering me from the rain

You reach your branches
Over my weary head
Letting the sound of your leaves
In the warm breeze
Sooth my heart

I have carried my burden
For nearly nine months
As the life force grew inside me
You have been my comfort

Now you ease my aching back
I feel your bark
A living massage
For the weight I carry

You stand tall and rooted
Strong, supportive, steady
in this timeless afternoon
While I wait for my time

For the first pangs of birth
To bring me a new life
One that I hope to grow
On the outside now

In your shadow
I carried my seed
In your hollows
I saw my destiny
Rising before me like my belly

Now the fullness of time
Pulls me forward to
The moment of birth
We share in giving life

You and me
Tree and woman
Bringing life
To this Mother Earth

I realised today that I’ve been like that tree. I have grown in ways I never expected. Influenced by the seasons flowing past. By the light and shade. Sap rising and falling. I have become a different mother to myself. And to my daughter. Because that is what all mothers i.e all women¬†learn. Growth is inevitable. Embracing the change is hard. But the reward is immense.

Day 836 of my blogging challenge