When I first moved to town almost 10 years ago I held a job for about two years at a preschool. I was in the 3-year-old classroom and I particularly remember one day when a child came in and was very upset. She was standing in the corner with another teacher just crying over and over and over again: "I want my Mommy. I want my Mommy!" It wasn't an angry lashing out but a deeply deeply sad mournful cry. As if Mommy would never return. And I remember thinking as I watched my co-teacher assist her "I know exactly how you feel. I want my Mommy too."
Last year I was away at Teacher Training and everyone seemed to be having one crisis or another (YTT is a serious personal growth experience crammed into 5 days of HARD work). And I was there feeling that I was both in need of some mothering and not able to ask anyone around me for it. None had any to share (this is total fallacy I'm sure, but it was my feeling at the time). I could have called my own mother but somehow that didn't cross my mind.
Instead, as I was walking up the long hill towards the dorms where I was staying I stopped and ventured into the grass. Then just flopped myself down, almost face down, and literally poured my soul out to the Earth. Tears, some words, and the depth of my soul leaked out into the ground. And I felt totally and completely supported. Totally and completely safe. Totally and completely heard. And totally and completely nourished. Almost instantaneously.
A few moments later I rolled to lay with the back of my heart supported by the green grass and looked into the clear blue sky. As my breath deepened I was almost perfectly at peace.
That was the first time I really really felt and understood the name: Mother Earth.
From that experience of literally being mothered by the Earth I've gained a huge respect for Nature and our planet. And I worry about how much my life is disconnected from Nature. How hard it is to seek out wildness in the world. How difficult to get away from the noise of the city into open air.
I spoke to my mother lately about how we as adult children still really just want our Mommy, we want to be able to call or visit home and be kind of babies again. "Mommy Mommy please feel sorry for me and tell me everything is going to be alright." That we don't always want advice or problem solving or for her to worry, more just an ear to pour out our aches to. what a relief to have an ear like that to turn to. That's kind of a tall order for anyone, especially for a Mother. Mother's job description includes helping to solve all dilemmas, protecting your child from pain, never seeing your child in anguish, and worrying that your child will be alright at all times. To really be that ear that just hears and absorbs all the sorrows of life without necessarily trying to 'fix' is like the ultimate in difficult jobs. But on some level isn't that what we want? To be totally accepted as who we are as people, and to be able to be completely loved through our deepest of challenges. Maybe that's just what I want from the world.
And I think this is just what the Earth offers us. A chance to be completely ourselves. A chance to be the true animals that we are to show our true colors. And to be loved and supported and nourished at all times. As our society slips further and further away from our connections to the Earth, maybe we are losing this vital space of deep love and peace that is totally free for us to receive. Just thinking this way makes me very sad.
I hope to rekindle my connections to the Mother of us All, as she takes the form of Earth again and again and again through my life, and by my example lead my daughter to do the same. And in exchange to offer her the deepest respect, honor, and safeguarding I possibly can.
And so, as Mother's Day approaches this Sunday I honor my mother, and her mother and her mother, and all mothers who came before.... all the way back to the Mother of us All. I deeply deeply bow and honor you, Mother Earth. Namaste
Contemplation: What is your relationship to Earth as Mother?