Photo by Louis Francia on Unsplash
Elephants are matriarchal. When a calf is born the aunts of the herd lift the youngster to her feet and show her how to nurse. They even will slow the pace of the herd’s movement to allow the smaller members to keep up.
The mother of an Emperor Penguin appoints the father to sit atop the incubating egg while she commutes up to a 100 mile round-trip to the ocean to dive for food.
For 2 years a baby Orangutan will hitch a ride with its mother and rely on her entirely for food. They will remain together for up to 7 years to enable the passing on of survival behaviours and adult females are known to return to visit their mothers until as old as 16 years of age.
Kandisnky Grey Square Posh Shopper
So what about Mothering in the human species?
In the United Kingdom, Mother’s Day is almost upon us. But for the rest of the world beyond the British Isles and uniquely, Nigeria, they do not share the 4th Sunday of the period on the liturgical calendar known as lent, for their celebrations. How so?
The indication is given for this unique aspect of British celebrations, together with that of our Nigerian cousins and some Canadian and Australian parishes, in the more correct title for the occasion of ‘Mothering Sunday’, distinguishing its origins as those intended to honour the mother church.
This practice would see communities gathering either at the church of their baptism, local parish church or nearest cathedral.
Stained Glass WIndow Crêpe de Chine Scarf
The word church itself is from the old English Circe. Circe in turn being the Greek Goddess renowned from the description given in Homer’s Odyssey for turning men into docile animals with her magical knowledge of herbs and potions.
The conflation of this festival offering Christian worship in accordance with liturgical practice with one to offer thanks to mothers on an individual basis appears to have begun with the inception of a secular holiday created by West Virginian Anna Marie Jarvis.
After the death of her own mother in 1908 Jarvis held a memorial service and then began a vociferous campaign to create a public holiday to honour all mothers, which by 1911 had proved successful with all states in the Union observing the holiday. Three years later President Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation to designate a national holiday.
Klimt Ria Munk Poshmina Stole
Despite this, the alteration of Mothering Sunday to be described also as Mother’s Day in the British Isles is perhaps owed more to a combination of significantly diminishing Christian observance in the United Kingdom and grammatical laziness than to confusion. The former falling on the 4th Sunday in Lent, this year 31st March, while the latter is always the 2nd Sunday in May.
Being that we, Fox & Chave, are in the UK, and despite the lapse from its original religious significance this blog is focused upon the version arriving this weekend. A festival that is also referred to as Rose Sunday, Simnel Sunday and even Pudding Pie Sunday in parts of Surrey.
Regardless of the convolutions and confusions as to the origin of the day, the intention now seems to be to offer thanks to our mothers, and rightly so.
Nattier Rose Silk Square
It cannot be underestimated that each and every one of us owes our very lives to a person who endured not only the great physical pain of our birth but the enduring emotional, psychological, and increasingly financial burden of our growth to independence, even if Dad is in constant attendance.
Whether a person has become estranged from or never knew that person, whether they have the best or have suffered the most desperate of relationships with her, we came to life only because of her, and for that if nothing else we must offer gratitude and where we our able extend thanks and love.
Have a Happy Mother’s Day.