A mother is a maiden whose womb has carried and born fruit. We as women hold within us the ultimate creative space and forces. Honouring our ‘womb’anhood enables us to gather and shape our futures and release the culmination of our creative process. When we allow ourselves to surrender to and release our power, we give birth to ourselves, our partners and our children throughout our lives.
Long ago, a noble Abyssinian woman made a statement to Leo Frobenius, a historian and ethnologist. Her statement summarizes the transition a maiden makes into womanhood and then motherhood, and yet expresses succinctly the joys and the losses a woman may experience.
” How can a man know what a woman’s life is? A woman’s life is quite different from a man’s. God has ordered it so. A man is the same from the time of his birth to the time of his withering. But the day a woman enjoys her first love, she is rendered in two. She becomes another woman on that day. The man is the same after his first love as he was before. The woman is, from the day of her first love, another.
That continues so all through life. The man spends a night with a woman and goes away. His life and his body are always the same. The woman conceives. As a mother, she is a different person from the woman without a child. She carries the fruit of the night for nine months in her body. Something grows. Something grows into her life that never again departs from it. She is a mother. She is and remains a mother, even though her child dies, though all her children die. For at one time she carried the child in her heart. And it does not go out of her heart ever again. Not even when the child is dead.
All this a man does not know. He does not know the difference before love and after love, before motherhood and after motherhood. He can know nothing. Only a woman can know and speak of that.”
Clarissa Pinkola Estes writes: “To be a mother is thus to live constantly with a certain kind of loss, of learning again and again to sacrifice the moment as the flow of life moves on.” I remember the joy of being pregnant and birthing my babies. I anticipated their growing and becoming with each stage of development, and yet when they left home so many years later, I wept from all the spaces in my heart and womb as I transitioned into my next life cycle. As mothers we are constantly re-inventing ourselves and awakening to the wisdom of discovering new life in each loss. As maidens, the loss is of menstruation as the first flow of blood leaves our warm flowering bodies. The second major loss is when our first child leaves the womb and we begin to understand the impact of our fruition on our lives and the world around us.
Each of these great transcendental moments in maidenhood and motherhood give us the opportunity to turn inwards and discover new selves and different ways of being, to accept that reaching our peak may be followed by descent into the next valley of loss and complexities. No matter how we arrive at motherhood, we as mothers, need to be able to recreate who we are today and release the trauma of our experience yesterday, increasing our capacity to love and heal ourselves, our earth and our children.
My blessing for all mothers today is this:
“May you stand
Barefeet on Mother Earth
Feel the energy rise
Fill wombs with creative force
Surge upwards and flow
To your loving heart,
Radiate outwards to the sun and the sky
Bring wisdom to the world”
Blessings and Love to all Mothers on this Mother’s Day!