Back to Nature (Published on - May 11, 2006)
A mother’s gifts
Photo by Rick Tremmel
Mother Tree ... nurturer of the forest.
The word, mother, is synonymous with nurturer. As mammals, we humans are all offspring from a mother. What happens to us after the moment of birth depends upon nurturing. It is those nurturers in our lives that we truly know as mothers.

In our modern world of blended families, adoption, and advances in fertilization, the mother that nurtures the child may be far removed from the mother that gave birth to that child. A mother may travel thousands of miles to become “mother” to a child. Then one of the greatest sacrifices in another mother’s life may be that moment that she realizes although she carries a baby within her, that baby is not hers to mother. Another mother awaits that birth.

I’m a mother who adopted a child. To me this child is no different than my birth children. She came to be my child through different channels. That’s all.

It is spring, a perfect time to celebrate mothers. The mourning doves are cuddling woo. The cardinals were seen together a couple of weeks ago. Now only the father visits the feeder. The ducklings have hatched down by the river. Their protective parents anxiously swim circles around the newborn brood.

Although winter took its toll on the vegetation and underbrush, the dry spring has turned this bounty into soft bedding and food. A fallen tree becomes a mother to forest beings. A seedling finds sustenance in the rich, rotting wood. A wren steals a piece of bark for a nest. Moss sets roots into the fertile, nutritious pulp. A chipmunk seeks shelter within a hollowed out limb.

This tree never dies. This tree is mother to many creatures. She lives on in the veins and memories of all those beings that sought nurture from her. The same is with Mother Earth. Upon her we build our homes, our roads, quench our thirst from her rains and her rivers, feed our children from her banks and her scarred landscape. Nature’s bounty is the sustenance we need for survival. Mother Earth nurtures all that lives upon her. She continues to live within our veins and becomes a part of our rich memories.

Mothers come in all shapes and forms, but a mother’s gifts live on through her children.

Mother, sing me a song
That will ease my pain,
Mend broken bones,
Bring wholeness again.

Catch my babies
When they are born,
Sing my death song,
Teach me how to mourn.
Show me the Medicine
Of the healing herbs,
The value of spirit,
The way I can serve.

Mother, heal my heart
So that I can see
The gifts of yours
That can live through me … back to nature.
– Native American Song

“Because I feel that in the heavens above
The angels, whispering one to another,
Can find among their burning terms of love,
None so devotional as that of ‘Mother’...”
– Edgar Allen Poe

“When a child my mother taught me the legends of our people, taught me of the sun and sky, the moon and the stars, the clouds and the storms ...”
– Geronimo, Chiricahua Apache chief

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