Mama, beautiful from the start...Somewhere along this trip, it occurs to me that I live amongst a sisterhood of mothers. I have enjoyed the company of so many wonderful women, maternal in their own way.
I am reminded well of this vast and complicated world by Tamara, the host I currently was with, in her relationship with her own teenage children. I can't know the true or small details about her life but, as I've mentioned before, there is clearly something about her being that suggests that her existence was not posies and long leisure walks. She attacks life, in her own style, a woman raising two children while running a hard-nosed type business. I see her children--good and decent young folk--puzzled by her forward manner of being. It is a perpetual misunderstanding, that of teenager and parent, and I can see both sides of the story clearly. I admire both parties, and am sure that one day there will be that understanding that bridges the gap we all have, between stereotypes of "bossy mother" and "lazy kids." The truth lies somewhere much deeper, a good family growing amidst its small struggles.
I am reminded of the fun and creative life by my friend and fellow farm writer, Donna OShaughnessy, who outwardly is the quintessential farmwife, but who radiates a fun twinkle and history of mischief and mayhem. She is the creative mama, wrangling cows, pigs, and fowl organically, whilst playing with soap---it's all good clean fun. Her life is clearly busy and full of work, but she has managed to raise a large brood of children and animals with a lighthearted spirit
I am reminded well of the sensitive side of life my friend and fellow artist and Virgo, Becky Brandow. Our astrological semblance already foretold that she--like me-- would be artistic, highly organized, and love animals.... and therein that made losing one of them almost unfathomable. She is a tender-hearted mother to a vast and wonderful small world of her farm and friends which, I suspect, she hugs tightly and regards loyally.
I am reminded of this by our mutual good friend, Maggie Howe, the originator and enabler of one fine mess she's gotten me into--this whole traveling business. It was she that first suggested I stay with her and teach beekeeping. The rest was history, and I am here to say she is a fine herbal Mama, a lover of small farm animals, and the mother to a small community of fellow vagabonds and dreamers.
I am reminded by even more friends--Cathy Lafrenz, who has hosted me many times, is a whirling dervish, a mother to millions of flowers, pretty-egg laying hens, and those who enter her olden house and farm. Her alter-ego Miss Effie lives as an olden world mother, a keeper of other times, while her modern day counter part hugs small felines, laughs too loud, and makes a cheesecake to die for.
I am reminded of this by my more-dervish-than-dervish, and my newest host, Dawn Suarez, a tornado of a rebel who attacks life--loud, colorful and unapologetic..she roams about her forested acreage with dresses, saves sad and homeless animals on a whim, glitters and henna paints hands and legs, laughs madly, trades for everything instead of buying, and lives by such a set of rules as to make one envious. She is a hard core Nature Mama, for sure.
There are so many others, names so numerous I cannot list them all here...these women are my comrades, walking the same footsteps as their whispery mothers and grandmothers before. What questions would I dare ask them all, this magnificent female community? I suppose I would ask them the many things I sometimes wish I could openly ask my mother, random crazy ideas about life in general, and this journey I've commenced upon--
How are you so strong?
Why have you no fear of Life and it's heartaches?
What is your view of money? Of friendship? Of love? What do you do about sadness?
What are your dreams, and what do you consider success?
How do you define failure?
What inspires you?
Oh, there are days I wonder what my mother thinks of this, my crazy traveling...and, oh, how far I have been able to come because of her staunch unflappability. How can one fear things, when one's own mother lost her own mother at a tender sixteen years? It seems unfathomable. But here I am, lately, both happy but bewildered by life, wondering and wandering, trying to make sense of so many things that have happened in the last two months. What am I to do after this big cross country trek, I don't know, while scratching my head that I can gain a whole lot of friends whilst losing the men in my life. Everything is so jarring, so hauntingly temporary it will cause wooziness.
I am here, stark and searching and happy but hungry for Life. My best inspiration are all of these women, whatever hardships and hugs amongst each other paved the way for all of us. Aproned and apple-pie bakers, cowgirls and city-mamas...they are all here, the Sisterhood of Mothers.
And a belated Happy Mother's Day to you all...