an island in life's ocean,
vast and wide
A peaceful, quiet shelter
From the wind, the rain, the tide.
'Tis bound on the north by Hope,
By Patience on the West,
By tender Counsel on the South
And on the East by Rest.
Above it like a beacon light
Shine Faith, and Truth, and Prayer;
And thro' the changing scenes of life
I find a haven there.
Excerpts from Mothers Day History
The majority of countries that celebrate Mother's Day do so on the second Sunday of May. On this day, it is common for Mothers to be lavished with presents and special attention from their families, friends and loved ones. But it hasn’t always been this way.
Only recently dubbed “Mother's Day,” the highly traditional practice of honoring of Motherhood is rooted in antiquity, and past rites typically had strong symbolic and spiritual overtones; societies tended to celebrate Goddesses and symbols rather than actual Mothers. In fact, the personal, human touch to Mother’s Day is a relatively new phenomenon. The maternal objects of adoration ranged from mythological female deities to the Christian Church itself. Only in the past few centuries did celebrations of Motherhood develop a decidedly human focus.
While reading about the history of Mothers Day I found Mothering Day interesting.
In the 1600's a clerical decree in England broadened the celebration to include real Mothers, earning the name Mothering Day. Mothering Day became an especially compassionate holiday toward the working classes of England. During this Lenten Sunday, servants and trade workers were allowed to travel back to their towns of origin to visit their families. Mothering Day also provided a one-day reprieve from the fasting and penance of Lent so that families across England could enjoy a sumptuous family feast—Mother was the guest of honor. Mothers were presented with cakes and flowers, as well as a visit from their beloved and distant children.
M - O - T - H - E - R
"M" is for the million things she gave me,
"O" means only that she's growing old,
"T" is for the tears she shed to save me,
"H" is for her heart of purest gold;
"E" is for her eyes, with love-light shining,
"R" means right, and right she'll always be,
Put them all together, they spell
A word that means the world to me.
Howard Johnson (c. 1915)
Learn about Ann Jarvis the founder of Mothers Day as we know it in the United States today.
All photos in this post are some of my instant relatives. They all look like mothers to me!