At 7:48 a.m. three days after Mother’s Day, a new moon will rise in the sky, but we won’t be able to see it. The new moon is often forgotten in favor of the full moon’s bright glow, mirroring how often the power of women’s invisible work goes overlooked.
Today is a day and night to celebrate the mothers in our lives. It is amazing to witness their strength, power, commitment, and deep love; their voices on the phone, their honesty, their daily lunch box notes, their dancing in the living room, their ability to admit mistakes, or what-have-you.
You can be mothered or nurtured by a person or place who didn’t physically birth you. There are so many who have guided us, supported us, called us out when we needed calling out, and voiced their faith in our work at times when we doubted ourselves.
And let’s not forget about the mountains, oceans, or the rivers. Let’s not forget the moments where we’ve stood at the edge of nature, overcome with the feeling of being held by something so much bigger than ourselves— today, too, can be a day to honor and respect the biggest mother of them all.
Hopefully we try to cultivate this appreciation all days, not just today.
As Julia Kasdore says in her poem, “What I Learned From My Mother,”
I learned from my mother how to love / the living…
To every house you enter, you must offer / healing.
Or in Margaret Walker’s poem, “Lineage,”
They touched earth and grain grew / they were full of sturdiness and singing…. smelling of soap and onions and wet clay.
We can turn to these poems, to other forms of art, when gratitude feels too big to put into words.
On a new moon, it appears to be a moonless night, although of course that’s far from true. But the darkness makes the stars and planets glow brighter, and all that is usually forgotten in the night sky seems more important.
It is fitting that today, we are saying thank you. For the visible moments, and the invisible moments, too. For all those times we were guided or held or comforted or cooked for that we can’t remember. We carry those moments with us, we feel that guidance, we pass it forward.
To those who have carried and given and nurtured so much life, we bow to you. Thank you.