be willing to die everyday to the person you think you, to hand the wave back to the ocean…(Arjuna Arday)
motherhood changed me at a molecular level. it restructured my dna. there was a moment in time when i was wanda – woman fully grown and in charge of my destiny. i was capable and established. i could dream it and i could build it. i believed that one person, one single solitary individual could in fact change the world by simply changing the space around her. i was certain that in my way in my time i was functioning at such a level that the world would change. and then i was handed my son.
my dna shifted. nucleotides previously joined dismantled. reinvention equals a woman broke down equals a mother birthed. other mothers i have known that i was raised with say things to me like – now you see. but sight is limiting and sight expanded is not what happens to the woman who is reincarnated mother. every. thing. is. different.
songs i had sung my entire life became antidotes for teaching or lullabies for sleeping. i who once ran into a crack house in the midst of bullets blazing to pull out a child 15 (not my own) fell crumbling to the floor at the thought of not having the right crib for a baby who fit in the palm of my hands to sleep in. i have wept publicly over the simplicity of his requests – a stick to carry, a lap to sit, a hand to hold, a drink of water – and my capacity by God’s grace to provide.
i who once traveled companionless from detroit to the four corners of utah, colorado, new mexico and arizona in a 4 cyclinder stick shift merely to be able to say that i stood in four places at one time find myself torn to not be able to be in two. although many have tried for all the millennia this earth has revolved around this sun, there truly are no words to effectively efficiently describes what transpires when a women accepts her place as mother.
you are a lioness swift to protect. you are a herder ranking them in. you are wings to help them fly. and a landing strip to guide the way. you minister to the very heart of them. you caress their wounds both imagined and real. you dummy down your eloquence only to realize that the dummying made it easier for you to discern as well. you come to their level but looking up you recognize it is they who elevate you.
your wants, your dreams, your desires enfold them. even as the world pulls at you admonishing – if you don’t take care of yourself you can’t take care of anyone else – as you mentally review the contents of your frig so that they will eat tonight. selfish women are driven mad in wake of motherhood. lonely women move into a psychosis that forces a split right through their center. and those women who are incomplete who attempt to fill themselves with the dream of having someone love only them eventually fall into the very pit of hell they have dug wanting the person given to them to nurture, feed, clothe, clean, teach, house, transport, guide, protect, entertain, discipline… be something other than what God intended them to be.
it is a dangerous business coming to motherhood without humility. believing that somehow you alone can grow a human from seedling to sprout to sapling. it is a dangerous business to harbor a need to have the calling fill you rather than rising to the call. if you do not set your intention in full consciousness with wisdom that you will need a village to shelter, guide, nurture, clothe, house, feed, teach, protect, guide, transport…the spirit that spurs your personal molecular transformation, motherhood will eat you alive.
we need go no further than the daily news to see examples of such occurrences. women drown, burn, stab, shoot, abandon, sell their offspring in an effort to escape…to no avail. motherhood is a calling. it is a ministry. an. act. of. service. a beseeching to rise and be…more. motherhood will drive an atheist to pray and an agnostic to confirmation. it can move christians to call on Allah and convert a buddhist to seek Krishna. there are no ends to where you will go who you will seek when you accept that you are mother.
looking in my frig tonight i found myself caught up in a moment of sheer delight and praise. it was full and i knew my son would eat well for a week. and i asked for guidance to help a mother who’s child may not eat tonight or in the immediate nights to come. i asked for guidance standing in my middle class american kitchen because i cannot imagine the horror of my child holding his hand out for a bite to eat and my not being able to offer any solace. we who are called to mother know that our calling neither begins nor ends with our own.
we dream bigger because our children will one day inherit this planet. what shall we leave them? we who are called to mother and who answer the call work for change so that our sons and our daughters will have an earth to stand on, a sky to soar toward and an ocean in which to sail. we believe in the improbable and make the impossible happen every morning before the son (daughter) rises.