So you may have a mother or you may be a mother. Or maybe not. Maybe you have a maternal relationship you wish to celebrate. And maybe not.
As a day in the life, this particular one has many layers of meaning – not only affected by status, history and a whole other myriad of variables, but also potentially your nationality and culture.
Here in the UK it originated as a Christian festival, where, since the 17th Century, people visited the ‘mother’ church of their childhood home – annually, on the 4th day of Lent. This is the Christian period of fasting which leads up to Easter – with its feasting to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, and before THAT, were the pagan celebrations of the Spring Equinox.
Its’ modern day form as a more secular happening comes from the early 1900s – where in America it became a ‘Hallmark’ occasion, which the UK imitated – taking up the trend for sending cards and publically celebrating the role of motherhood.
Time travel to recent history, where in the UK it became the busiest day of the hospitality industry and florists’ year, with restaurant tables fully booked weeks in advance to cope with the demand.
It’s with a sense of unreality that I am now writing about all this in the past tense. In the Time of Corona, we’ve had to rethink our celebrations. Whilst we take action together to halt the spread of the virus – restaurants can no longer cater to families coming together to share a table in a public place.
This means that we are all reducing the chances of passing on the virus to the elderly and those with underlying health conditions. Conditions which put them at a higher risk than those of us who, in reasonable health may simply suffer flu like symptoms, which we would recover from usually in a matter of days.
So we are celebrating differently… Social distancing, making phone calls instead of visiting, postponing ‘till this is all over’ and more besides. This year, we can’t keep our customs in the same way, so let’s keep thinking creatively and come up with new ways of keeping the old ways going. And let’s see what clever ideas others (going through the same strange decisions) are coming up with too.
Let’s do this because the world does not need to stop turning right now. It’s time now for it to turn on its axis, differently. And that is DIFFERENTLY – not with difficulty. It’s not about being victimised by our circumstances, but rather, rising to them. Together.
My own mother is gone. And I don’t have children to celebrate me. So I COULD tell you that this day is irrelevant, or that I miss my mother and grandmothers, more than ever, on this day of days.
Or I can choose something different.
Today I’m celebrating all my female ancestors – the ones who were royal and who toiled. The ones who gave me blue eyes, blonde hair and a stubborn, creative spirit. The ones who travelled continents to beat hardships I will never know. Who came together with all my (grand and great grand) fathers to make me. The ones who worked and cried and laughed. Who made babies and lost babies and saw them grow up to have babies of their own.
So that is different for ME.
What about you? How have you been spending this day differently?
What can you learn from this day and do differently from now on?
To all my mothers – I commit to using what I inherited and learnt from you – to support those I can; to influence people positively and love my way forward.
I celebrate you all and I celebrate your child – me.
And I thank you, today, with humility, awe and love.
~ Sandra – a Daughter, differently xx