Not to dis fathers, but I feel that it is true that moms have a special affinity with Earth because both are so emblematic of fecundity.
I have always felt my mom is a personification of what Gaia can be like in terms of being nurturing and working with people, animals and plants naturally. My mom is a good role model–I aspire to be more like her in so many ways. Her green thumb capabilities with the yard… she is the one who first told me about organic gardening. She is the one who filled up her closets with washed material to be recycled, bottles, plastic bags, cans. Driving us on errands, car full of recyclables, dumping the recyclables into bins. It is her who showed me the importance of this first.
And our uber-mom, Grandma, was the one who first introduced me to the concept of composting. The bowl of daily trimmings on her counter, the trip out to the super huge mound out behind her house and into the treeline, how it was so large, orange peels, egg shells, coffee grounds. A kind of metallic smell. Stuff being returned to Earth. Grandma and Grandpa surprising me by developing a huge garden in their retirement years. Tomatos. How deer got through their fence.
Here I am in an apartment, but I am doing what I can to recycle, use less material, compost. I am doing a small amount of container gardening, more symbolic than anything.
I am not a literal mom… I would like to be a literal mom in some reality, but it is not to be in this lifetime, here, for me, unless at some later point I adopt. There’s a bit of sadness, a yearning, sometimes some tears, because it would be nice to know what it is like to have contributed to the continuation of our species as part of myself joined with part of my husband in the form of a child. I have so much love to give. But I am also happy to be an auntie at some point in the future, part of the extended nurturing community for my family.
My husband and I are working on being nurturers in additional ways… parental figures of a sort by practicing kind behaviors. We’re volunteering to help animals and plants and humans. We’re dogwalking once a week, so we are friends and nurturers to these animals who are so in need of special attention. The animals will ultimately go to families, many with children. I imagine contributing to the happiness of children by helping their doggie companion have some happiness at the APL while waiting to be adopted.
We’re learning how to help the watershed in association with the Cleveland Metroparks, another nurturing behavior. I like the idea of the park system leading the efforts to rehab our local environment. The park system has bought back some land and is nursing it to better health. This is good–reclaiming more land back from humans for nature and wildlife and the health of our environment for humans is good. This might be one of the most immediate and practical and symbolic activities we can do–helping with the reclamation project, the rehabilitation of land, watershed, to good health.
I’ve often heard in sermons that Jesus and Buddha are inside us. If so, than Mother Earth is, too, and our moms and dads. May you find ways to contribute more to Mother Earth’s health–may you find your own mothering and fathering behaviors, your inner mother and father.