The approach of May always puts us in the mind of mothering. Of course, there’s Mother’s Day with its accompanying gifts, acknowledgements and honors. And since May puts us in the middle of spring, we further acknowledge and honor our Mother Earth, Gaia, the mother of us all, as we plant seeds for a future harvest in our surroundings. So in recognition, here is a brief reflection on the seasons of seeds, seedlings, flowering and fruition. And parenting!
Most, if not all, of the plant queendom is brought to life within the underground womb of Mother Gaia. It seems that darkness is a required part of the nurturing; we mammals, like seedlings, gestate in the darkness of the human womb. And just as mammalian embryos show little outwardly of early growth, so we who till, plant and wait patiently for those first tiny sprouts of vegetation that prove Gaia’s maternity. As any gardener, horticulturalist, obstetrician or midwife will attest, optimum conditions engender optimum results. We honor these invisible and newly visible gestations with our utmost attention, care, and yes, prayer sometimes, as life itself pushes forth into full expression.
Emergence into visibility after extended waiting times is the beginning of something new once again. A new stage of nurturing, of mothering – if you will – is required. Now we pay attention to the surrounding environment in order to maintain optimum conditions for growth, flourishing and fruit-bearing.
For the gardener, the effects of light and shade, water and drainage, protection from weather extremes and pest damage are projected and factored in with other environmental factors that will either promote or impede the stages of growth in the life of our “babies.”
Likewise, we pay attention to our home environment as our offspring begin to show awareness, interest, curiosity, and to develop mobility in pursuit of satisfying these needs. We balance curiosity, interest and exploration with safety and security, that our young ones may discover the world and bear creative fruits of their own with the confidence that safety engenders.
For now, this feels like a good ending place, so I conclude this comparative essay, hoping I have provided some amusing and interesting perspective on gardening and parenting — they’re more similar than one might think! Also, Join us at Trinity Church on Mother’s Day Sunday for a unique time of reflection, meditation and music honoring motherhood in all its manifests. So, for the month of May, and always, happy mothering! Indoors and out!
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