The Wild Honey Buzz: Dancing Through '22 - May Day & Moms
Happy May and Happy Mother's Day! This month's dance is my version of a May Day Pole Dance in celebration of our half way point between the Spring Equinox and the Summer Solstice. My dance is raw, unfiltered and unedited...aka...WILD! May 1 is also known as Beltane in the Celtic tradition, and maypole dancing is part of this celebration. The dance is "believed to have started in Roman Britain about 2,000 years ago when soldiers celebrated the arrival of spring by dancing around decorated trees thanking their goddess Flora." (wikipedia). In my video I'm dancing in front of the camellia tree wearing my thrift store dress that cost me $6 and has a wonderful twirling effect!
I think that celebration and dancing are important even in trying times like the ones we now find ourselves facing. My very good friend (age 89) whom I refer to as my "church mom" is the granddaughter of two immigrants from Ukraine. The Russian invasion in her ancestral homeland has been especially difficult for her emotionally. For Easter, my husband and I video-taped her sharing the special Ukrainian Easter eggs she painted. They are called pysanky and are decorated with traditional folk designs using a wax-resist method. She had never seen herself on video before and when she watched it, she was stunned at how much her mannerisms and hand gestures reminded her of her mother! With tears in her eyes, she said, "So much of my mother in my hands!"
It was wonderful to observe her reaction to the video and to realize that even years after her mother's death, she still remembers the special ways in which her mother moved. In that moment, her mother was alive again and present with us! I am sharing this blog on the 10th Anniversary of my own mother's death, and though I haven't yet seen my mother in my gestures on video, I hear her every day when I'm talking! We are truly embodying and mirroring those people with whom we interact on a daily basis, and particularly those people like our parents who were our first models. When my daughter was in college, we decided to bring our son along on a trip to visit her without telling her. We set the whole thing up and had him sit at a distance with his back to her. When it was time to spill the beans that he was with us, my husband asked her, "Doesn't that guy over there remind you of your brother?" She said, "Yes he does, and that's something he'd do, like scratch his ear that way." We then yelled his name and he turned around so she could see that it was actually her brother!
Of course, our hearts are breaking for the mothers in Ukraine and in other war-torn areas of the world, and the mothers of soldiers on all sides of conflicts. I heard an interview with the writer Meg McTaggart recently and she shared an intention exercise that is like a prayer we can offer for world peace. She suggested that in sessions of 10 minutes each, we use all of our senses to visualize a peaceful outcome to conflict. Hear people rejoicing, see and feel them hugging, taste a celebratory drink as they toast a new day and smell freshly baked bread and other foods as people gather for meals.
It is also important during this Mental Health Awareness Month that we keep in mind how potentially triggering holidays such as Mother's Day and Father's Day are to many people who have less than happy memories connected to them. These days can bring up issues of loss and feelings of depression and loneliness. We have to engage in the important work of re-parenting ourselves in areas in which we feel we weren't adequately "mothered or fathered." We can also reach out to the mother figures in our lives, those who nurture us, or cultivate friendships with people we feel might benefit from a mother/child relationship. I have done this my whole life. The custodian at the school where I taught became known to my children as "Grandma Bev" when I "adopted" her as a second mom, and my church mom doesn't have children of her own, so it pleases me to call her mom. I feel in a way that my own mother set this arrangement up when she passed away! In this world, it does take a village, and we need all the mothering we can give and receive. Let's nurture ourselves and others; let's hold a beautiful intention and dream of peace for all of the mothers and children of the world this month and always.
Here is the video of my very talented adopted Ukrainian church mom and her lovely eggs:
What about you? Do you have any elders whom you've "adopted" or special people in your life who are like a mother to you, or do you fulfill the role of mother for children other than your own who regard you as a mom? Can you see your mother reflected in yourself? In what ways do you nurture and mother yourself?