It might sound a bit odd, but I have mixed feelings about Mother’s Day.
The modern holiday of Mother’s Day was first celebrated in 1908, when Anna Jarvis held a memorial for her mother at St Andrew’s Methodist Church in Grafton, West Virginia. … Anna Jarvis was a peace activist. By the early 1920s, Hallmark Cards and other companies had started selling Mother’s Day cards. It has now become a billion-dollar industry in its own right. Anna Jarvis was outraged at the extravagance and spent the rest of her life campaigning against the commercialisation of Mother’s Day, dying penniless and in a state of dementia in a sanatorium in 1948.
There is so much hype and hoo hah about how we should spare a thought backed up with lavis gift giving to demonstrate that we love our mothers.
While all this is going on, the very substance of our being – the constituent parts that make up our whole – is being traded at the check-out as a celebration of this affection.
My mother has long gone. She died many years ago. She was and still is a treasured person in my life. She was the one who taught me what it means to be frugal and careful with nature’s gifts. To not take them for granted.
It was the simple things in life that she appreciated and so on Mother’s Day she would say: No gifts wrapped in pretty paper, better that you clean my shoes, or cook lunch for the family, or chop the wood for the fire, or help churn a fresh batch of butter or help make some home made ice-cream, wash and dry up the dishes (you get the drift).
It was due to my mother that I have such a love of books and learning; and a love of music. We would gather around the piano on a Sunday night and sing as she played, most often reading the music printed on the manuscript, other times by ear – we would only have to hum a tune and she would pick it up and turn it into song.
On this day, as we remember our human mothers let us spare a thought for our earth mother – of which we all share but one – without whom none of our lives would exist, none of the delicious meals served up today would be possible, no water bottles in the fridge or in the backyard pool or the oceans, no forests breathing fresh air to breath, no raw materials for our clothes or houses or cars or electronic gadgets – be they in the kitchen or laundry or lounge room. As Herman Daly says, the economy is a wholly owned subsidiary of the ecology.
As we give to our human mothers by taking from the earth the question is: what do give back? In many cases it will be throw back – the packaging – and throw out – the old model.
What a sad commentary on the Anna Jarvis dream.
For those of us who have not succumbed to the commercialise, happy mother’s day. We are indebted to each of you. We cherish the gift of life you have given us. Our challenge now is not to betray the trust you have placed in us, to tread gently and pass on the gifts you have given so generously – the gifts of story, music, hugs and smiles, encouragement and reassurance, self discipline and frugality, just being there – for those of us living and for those yet unborn.
Here is a post from ABC News with a little history: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-05-13/history-of-mothers-day-from-civil-war-to-family-reunions/8517898
For a young person take on this read: http://www.voicesofyouth.org/en/posts/happy-earth-day
And for a blog post read this: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jamie-lee-curtis/happy-mother-earth-day_b_5191612.html
And for a view of the earth, watch this: http://www.natureworldnews.com/articles/37539/20170423/happy-earth-day-2017-un-calls-for-environmental-and-climate-literacy-to-save-mother-earth.htm