Sunday, May 14, 2017
May 11, 2017
We celebrate Mother’s Day today and as I reflect back on how my four brothers and I tried to make it a special day for mom several memories come to mind. Most often it was a special meal, prepared by dad and “the boys” usually at our cottage that was still in the in the process of being opened up after a long winter. Opening the cottage meant cleaning from top to bottom which took a couple days and very often part of Mother’s Day was used to do the spring cleaning; which included cleaning up the yard. In later years my brother Richard and I would take her out to dinner. I remember one particular year, sometime in the early 1990’s we took her to Country Club next to the summer cottage and sat on the enclosed front porch in the middle of a spring snow storm. There are lots of memories, but the most beautiful memory is how our mom influenced us in so many ways.
With this in mind I share this beautiful essay by Hope Edelman on the influence that, even in death, mothers have on their daughters. Experience tells me that this influence also applies to sons. On this Mother’s Day, I offer it for your reflection.
“Nature often offers metaphors more elegant than any we can manufacture. In the redwood ecosystem, all seeds are contained in pods called burls, tough brown clumps that grow where the mother tree’s trunk and root system meet.
When the mother tree is logged, blown over, or destroyed by fire, the trauma stimulates the burl’s growth hormones. The seeds release, the trees sprout around her, creating circles of daughters.
The daughter trees grow by absorbing the sunlight their mother cedes to them when she dies. And they get the moisture and nutrients they need from their mother’s root system, which remains intact even after her leaves die. Although the daughters exist independently of their mother above ground, they continue to draw sustenance from her underneath.
I am fooling only myself when I say my mother exists now only in the photograph on my bulletin board or in the outline of my hand or in the armful of memories I still hold tight. She lives on beneath everything I do. Her presence influenced who I was, and her absence influences who I am. Our lives are shaped as much by those who leave us as they are by those who stay. Loss is our legacy. Insight is our gift. Memory is our guide.” (From Motherless Daughters: The Legacy of Loss ©1994 by Hope Edelman.)
We find ourselves in the Easter Season for several more weeks and it seems to me that what Edelman says about mothers can also be said about Christ the Lord. We draw powerful strength from those whom we love even when we are separated from them. How much more so do we draw from the well of grace given us by the resurrected Lord Jesus!
Let us continue to pray for peace and for the end of terrorism in our world!
In peace and courage,