mothers, metaphors, life

Today for some reason I keep thinking about mothers as planets. Or actually, as earth, in terms of being a body that is a life source. I am thinking about having agency, and not having agency.

There’s something that is a whisper in me, about how my choice not to mother from my body is related to my wonder, my awe to be in the gravity of this planet/womb.

So many people. Maybe too many. I think we can’t quite know these things, but…our pattern of reproducing in clusters, generally taking much more from the planet than we give back, and not adjusting behaviors that are harmful to the planet…we seem to have negative impact.

Watching people experience this day, I come into awareness again of how complex the relationships between parents and children really are – how little can be assumed. Some people, lots of people, are accidents. Some people don’t survive birth, or their childrens’ childhoods. Some parents had a child and had to let it go. Some parents don’t want to be parents. Some people want to be parents but not for children born of other bodies, so there are children waiting for home, and parents with empty arms. Some parents do their best but the damage still echoes louder than the effort. Some parents can never let go. All those people, children, stories, desires, piling up, creating, continuing somehow, loving and suffering.

I wonder if earth ever feels like a spent mother. Sore, bruised, tired for centuries. Grieving her youth and beauty, only able to see the excavations. I wonder if she notices us as we return to her body.

It is probably an insulting reduction, to assign such humanity to her great vastness, even to gender this entity. I like the idea of ‘mother’ being a larger concept than physical capacity to birth – I mother sometimes, and when it shows up in me I love it. But who knows how rock and dirt and river process experiences, notice themselves.

It’s just – earth is surrounded by us, by our emotional processes. Earth is so much water, and we know our emotions impact water. I wonder sometimes if this planet feels all our different feelings towards her, if she can parse out how many of us still adore her.

I’ve watched a few humans become mothers now in a variety of ways, birth included, and each time it is a terror, a sweetness, and worth everything. It is also a devastation. To create creatures who will need you with no shame, love you absolutely, use you as life source and teacher and beloved, and then turn completely to their own life.

To imagine every living thing as a child of this earth is to consider the ongoing grief of our planet in the constant change change change. And something in that makes me feel such compassion for my mother, as she has given of herself so thoroughly, and then gracefully released myself and my sisters into the world. No matter what we do, she learns us, learns with and for and from us. She is a magnificent mother. I can’t comprehend the scale of that kind of love. But I am grateful.

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