We all have one.
She goes by different names:
mom, mama, mummy,
my mother, my birth mother,
the woman who bore me.
We may know her intimately,
or she may be just a name.
But it was she who carried us,
nurtured us with her body,
gave birth to us
and launched us into this wide world.
Some of us have experienced her love and care.
The deep gaze of tenderness and
the long slow work of constant love
evident in thousands of meals
and clean clothes and a ready ear
and picking up and dropping off
and watching and helping
and being tucked in
and a hand on the forehead when we are sick.
A mother’s love.
Others have felt other things;
putdowns, ridicule, judgement,
cruelty and abuse,
neglect and abandonment,
made all the more bitter since it comes
from one whose love we so crave.
And then there are the bereft,
torn from their mother’s embrace too soon,
when war or sickness or death
blighted a life-giving relationship.
Together we come to you for a blessing,
Mother of us all.
Bless the loved and the unloved,
the cherished and the orphaned.
Surround us with your tender care,
that forms us, kindness by kindness
into your family of peace.