Today in Britain is “Mothering Sunday.” It’s mother’s day now in that it’s a day children pick whatever is growing to give as a gift to their mothers, and grown-ups buy cards for them. But as the 4th Sunday in Lent, it’s traditionally the day when church-goers return to the “mother church” of their original families. It sometimes involves travelling some distance, and although it is less common now that only 10% of the British population attend church regularly, it is still a recognized custom.
In this sense, “Mothering Sunday” is another example of the adaptation by Christianity of what were originally pagan practices honouring that Mother Nature who gives life to us all, and on whom we depend during every living moment. The festival to the Egyptian goddess Nut, married to the sun-god Re, is one of the earliest mother’s day celebrations on record.
If you are interested, there is an excellent introduction to these mothering gods on a blog post entitled Mothering Sunday.
If you scroll down on that same post, the author has a wicked list of the things his own mother taught him. If I hadn’t also learned from my own mother not to steal, I would copy it verbatim here and claim it as my own. Not only did my second-generation Polish American mother teach me the same things as the Laird’s mother taught him growing up in Scotland. She seems to have used the same words! Below are a few of the teachings of the Laird’s mother:
My mother taught me –
- religion: “You better pray that this will come out of the carpet.”
- logic: “Because I said so, that’s why.”
- contortionism: “Will you look at that dirt on the back of your neck!”
- weather: “This room of yours looks as if a tornado went through it.”
- hypocrisy: “If I told you once, I’ve told you a million times. Don’t exaggerate!”
Be interesting to know if other readers recognize their own mothers as often as I do. Do let me and/or the Laird know if you do.