Reflections for Mothering Sunday
This week, we are delighted to share a Mother's Day reflection from Andrea Corrie, author, blogger and member of St George & St Paul, Tiverton.
Image - garden statue at Mill House, Westleigh (Andrea Corrie)
The late Maya Angelou said, “To describe my mother would be to write about a hurricane in its perfect power. Or the climbing, falling colours of a rainbow.” What better tribute to motherhood can there be?
Sunday 27 March is Mothering Sunday, more commonly known as Mother’s Day. I thought of dedicating this column to my lovely mum, but that wouldn’t be inclusive enough to recognise the special place that all mums occupy. So, it is for everyone – let us salute mothers and mother figures everywhere and wish them all a very happy Mother’s Day!
I have previously composed reflections for BBC Radio Devon and share here a broadcast which was aired on Mother’s Day 2021:
‘Today is the fourth Sunday in Lent and we call it Mothering Sunday.
Centuries ago, it was considered important for people to return to their home or 'mother' church once a year. So, each year in the middle of Lent, everyone would visit the main church or cathedral of their area. It is likely that this led to the custom of children, particularly those working as domestic servants, being given the day off to visit their mother and family. As they walked along the country lanes, children picked wildflowers to take to church or give to their mother as a small gift; perhaps the beginning of today’s more commercial traditions.
It is easy to imagine youngsters in Devon foraging in the hedgerows for posies of flowers to give to their mothers: they would have found dog-violets, primroses and perhaps some late daffodils or early bluebells.
Mothers take many forms. Whether or not we become biological parents, we teach and nurture, offering wisdom, example, and practical experience. We pick up our children when they fall and love them unconditionally. I was very lucky to have my mum and 20 years since she died, she is still greatly loved and missed.
But not everyone has a good relationship with their mother and Mother’s Day can be difficult for a variety of reasons. There are those who desperately long to be given the beautiful privilege of motherhood, for whom the day is also especially hard. Some people become mother figures without being literal mothers: fostering, nurturing, caring and loving as much as any other mothers.
I was blessed with a son and a daughter, and although my son James died in his teens in 2005, I will always be the mother of two wonderful children. The bereavement organisation, the Compassionate Friends, offers peer support for bereaved parents, which is particularly valuable on days like Mothering Sunday. (www.tcf.org.uk)
For everyone, it is your mum who knew you in the womb, grew you and bore you out into the world. That gives every single one of us, of whatever gender, the commonality, and a God-given uniqueness that make us the wonderful human creatures that we are.
In the Bible, the Book of Proverbs says of a mother:
‘She is clothed with strength and dignity; She can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, And faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household And does not eat the bread of idleness.’ How well these words transport down the years to today, as so many mums breathe a huge sigh of relief that this year, after two years of separation due to lockdown, we can again enjoy spending time with our children. Mums are all heroines in my eyes, including my daughter Stella. How lucky we are to have the freedom to celebrate and to be able to move freely within our mother country, something that is denied to so many families at the moment. I hope that all mothers everywhere can enjoy something of the special time they deserve, on this Mothering Sunday. A Prayer for Mothers:
God blessed me with you, child He held me in his loving arms Through the miracle of bringing you into the world. He clothed me in wisdom and authority And I learned to be both firm and fair, Through all the nurturing, loving and giving Until you were ready to fly. Though you never really left me, did you, child? For you will always reside in my heart This God-given gift of motherhood, Means across eternity, we never truly part. Andrea Corrie
Author of Living in the Mourning Light and Into the Mourning Light
Read more from Andrea via her blog: https://andreacorriesblog.wordpress.com
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