To the Mothers

Today I honour the mother who birthed me and called me son and stretched out her life to envelop my own. And today I honour the mother of my own children. The wife who became a mother and how blessed is your family to have you my love.

Today I honour every mother for their giving and their opening and how their blood flowed that their child would find a hollow space in this world to call their own. I honour them for the midnight hours and the vomit stains and the way families are held together. I honour the relentless nature of your love and the fire of your fight and the strength of your arms. May your find a closeness and a spacious place with your children.

Today I honour every woman who cannot be a mother. When bodies have refused and wombs rebelled and the loss has come and how I want to tell you that shame has no place here.  How I would delete the word inadequate from the dictionary. That there be no fault here. That there be no fault here.

Today I honour the mother who lost a child this year. A life cut short. Taken too soon. Torn from hands. I know your hands are still held out in front of you, now empty. I cannot imagine… Death is a shattering. Grief is a grindstone. I wish there was something we could say or something we could do. I know there is not. I mourn with you, pray that you find solace somewhere in the mourning. That the piercing may someday lessen. May the jagged tearing be slowly ground down by the ocean. But until that day we will hold you, mourn with you, fight for you.

Today I honour the motherless child. The orphan. The ones who hold themselves for there is nobody there to do the holding. I have never felt such coldness on such a lonely night. I honour the bravery. I honour the fight. I honour those who wished their mother was not there. The battered and the abused.

Today I honour the women who became mothers to children not of their own. To those who space in the place of such absence. I honour the foster parents and the carers and the mentors and the sisters. I honour youth workers and youth leaders and counsellors and spiritual mothers.

Today I honour the woman who shall not be a mother. Out of choice. Out of never having found the right partner. The single woman. I honour those who do not want to have children. I honour those who wish they could. I honour those whose life simply did not turn out the way they had always hoped.

Today I honour the mother who has become a grandmother and the grandmother who has become great. May the lines of your love cast way out far into the distance.

Today I honour the mother whose child was stolen.

Today I honour the mother whose child ran away.

Today I honour the mother beaten.

Today I honour the mother behind a barb-wire fence.

Today I honour the expecting mother.

Today I honour the grieving mother.

Today I honour the mother.

Today I honour women.

And I pray that today may not just be today.

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