Expand the word, “Mother”.

Let it encomapss the hills,

the morning,

that which feeds you.

Mother is much too big a word

for one person to hold.

Take it off her shoulders.

Hand it to community,

warm baths,

anything that soothes and restores.

Healing is learning to know

where to find the Mother

in her myriad forms

whenever you need her.

By Chelan Harkin from Susceptible to Light


“Mother”… that word, that word. What a lot it contains, depths of complexity, shame, immense pain, beauty, glory, wonder and comfort. 

I have looked towards that name within myself and seen a vast black space of nothing, a void of empty darkness that seemed as if it could swallow me and never let me out. That vast void of bleak-nothing had been there a long time. It had, at times, chased me down and tried to pull me into itself. 

Mother has been for me absence rather than presence, distance rather than closeness, pain rather than comfort, I have wrestled that word, thrown it around, pummelled it and run from it. I have also been curious about it and walked right up to it wondering about what it really means. What it means as it lives within me, within my friends, within those that have shown me the beauty of Mother, what it means as Divine Love in the fullness of the kindest of embraces and safest of places. 

I jumped into that black void recently, I finally felt safe enough to go from walking around its edges to leaping. The Divine Mother had enabled me to do so, she was my guide and companion as I flung myself into the dark. I tumbled awhile through black and then light came, more and more and more of it until I was moving through a tunnel of white and gold and glory. It seemed to me to be an umbilical cord of sorts. It was good to be here and I moved fast as if being re-born, this time as the daughter of Divinity, the daughter of a Mother unwounded, whole, complete and knowing how to love me.

I am letting Mother encompass hills, the morning, that which feeds me. She is becoming real, true and huge in her love. I am learning what it is to let her Mother me, she comes to me as my own body, my own embrace and love of myself and as the body, voice and embrace of others. 

I am finding her in…

Wrapping my cold hands around hot, milky coffee and smelling its goodness.

In the hot water bottle that never leaves me from October to April.

In blankets, woollen jumpers, soft cushions, fairy lights, hot soup, and snoozing dog.

In a welcoming duvet at days end

In sleep when it finally arrives

I will find her in the hug of my husband and the conversation of a friend.

I will find her in a freezing cold sea and the drying off afterwards

I will find her in the sip of whisky that warms and the taste of chocolate that delights. 

I find her in the leaves of the tree – brown now, then green

I meet her in the bark under my fingers, the soil under my feet, the earth that connects with my feet every day.

I meet her in the sky, the clouds, the stars and the moon. 

I meet her in the sunrise and the sunset.

I taste her in nourishing food and sharing it with others. 

You are here, now, in my breath, my heartbeat, my skin, hair and eyes. 

You are here as I look at myself in the mirror.

I see your penetrating gaze of deep love absorbing me and delighting in me.

She is far too big for just me and yet she is also just mine as she is just yours and yours and yours. She comes in the stillness of solitude and aloneness to sit alongside and be the presence needed. She arrives in the love of others, in friendship, in smiles, in the messy ways of community. 

I love how we can grow into this word together, we can mother each other in our nurture, love, protection and nourishment to one another. We can carry that word together in solidarity, shoulder to shoulder. We carry it in and for each other knowing that for most of us, that word has been or still is shrouded in pain, perplexity and suffering. We can carry it together knowing that even when the complexities of how it lives in us are sometimes too layered even for us to make sense of, we will still be there as and in community – loving, listening, offering hope. 

Here is the soothing, restorative healing. Here in the place of simplicity, of saying “I am here with you, I am here with tea and love and a warm bath.” Our voices echo with the voice of Divine Mother as she is always found at the heart of community. She is right there in the voices and arms of others, in sky, field, tree and sea, in all that nourishes and brings comfort. In all that cheers us on, in all that makes us feel ok about who we are, in that feeling of belonging and coming home to ourselves. 

She is there too in the path that helps us find our way home when if we’re not yet fully familiar with it. She is the ever-present guide, friend and light that helps us make our way though this world into places of deep spaciousness, rest, knowing and joy. 

Whenever we need Mother she is there. We may have to look around for her, lift up our gaze, we may have to pick up the phone or send a vulnerable tear-streaked message asking for help, we may have to turn inward, placing gentle, reassuring hands on our hearts. We may need to walk through rage and pain, tears and grief to be able to see her but she is there to be found. She is there to be found and she is there to find. She has already made her home in us. We meet her in the deepest truth of who we are and we meet her in the vastness of the outside of ourselves. Ever and always present. Knowing us, loving us, alongside us, as us. 

Mother, let me meet you as you really are. 

Free me from false projections and dark images

Free me from the shame that connects with that word

And the death that is found there

Free me from all that isn’t who you truly are

May grace work her deep and wonderful magic where she’s needed

I surrender to you, Divine, loving Mother.

I want to get to know you forever.

As your Spiritual Director, I will be a companion on your spiritual journey, creating a safe place to help you discover the truth about yourself, about God and about your relationships with others.