Mothers and 'Others' Who Nourish

Sunday, May 11 is Mother's Day, a day reserved for showing appreciation to the maternal figures in our lives.  I would suggest that each of us can find countless ways that we 'mother' and are 'mothered' within our own communities.  We provide many forms of care for those we birthed, adopted or raised, those we love, those we know and often those we don't know.  We 'mother' each other as well as our non-human companions, our communities and our gardens.  We nourish bodies, minds and souls, spaces and sprouts.  And in return, we can be 'mothered' in so many ways by so many others.

I find it difficult to separate mothering and nourishing.  They are both based in caring for physical and emotional well-being.  And food is such a significant part of caring:  birthday cakes, holiday feasts, sharing favourite meals, warm soups during flu season, packed lunches, ice cream to ease hot days or skinned knees, the cultivation of vegetables, visits to the pumpkin patch.

Some say that parenting is one of the hardest but most fulfilling jobs in the world.  I would tend to agree.  In fact any time we take responsibility for the next generation, we are taking a leap of faith, gathering up our reserves of hope and engaging with a monumental challenge of unknown potential and immeasurable rewards.  I suspect that many teachers, childcare workers, coaches, health care professionals, spiritual leaders, librarians and counsellors know this.  In addition to direct nurturance, mothering also involves shaping the world itself for the next generation, a task familiar to many farmers, gardeners, activists, environmentalists and policymakers.

planting seeds

Perhaps Mother's day is a good time to celebrate those around us who nurture others and sow good seeds for tomorrow.  It also seems like a good time to reflect on who nourishes us, who we nourish and what parts of our world need more nourishing.  And if you are looking for a concentration of those dedicated to nourishing this generation and those yet to come, try visiting the Peterborough Downtown Farmers' Market which opens tomorrow, Wednesday, May 7 and will be open every Wednesday this season from 8:30 am to 2:00 pm in the parking lot at the corner of Louis St. and Charlotte St. in Peterborough.

opening up of farmers