|My husband planted this meadow for me a few years ago for Mother's Day.|
"Mother's Day is like a birthday all moms share."
That's true. I love sharing my special day with all mothers -- both biological mothers and those who have a "motherhood of a different kind" like the woman whom C.S. Lewis described in The Great Divorce:
Only partly do I remember the unbearable beauty of her face. "Is it?" I whispered to my guide.
"Not at all," said he, "It's someone ye'll never have heard of. Her name on earth was Sarah Smith and she lived at Golders Green."
"She seems to be . . . well, a person of particular importance?"
"Aye. She is one of the great ones. Ye have heard that fame in this country and fame on Earth are two quite different things." . . .
"And who are all these young men and women on each side?"
"They are her sons and daughters."
"She must have had a very large family, Sir."
"Every young man or boy that met her became her son -- even if it was only the boy that brought the meat to her back door. Every girl that met her was her daughter."
"Isn't that a bit hard on their own parents?"
"No. There are those that steal other people's children. But her motherhood was of a different kind. Those on whom it fell went back to their natural parents loving them more. Few men looked on her without becoming, in a certain fashion, her lovers. But it was the kind of love that made them not less true, but truer, to their own wives . . . It is like when you throw a stone into a pool and the concentric waves spread out further and further. Who knows where it will end? . . . But already there is joy enough in the little finger of a great saint such as yonder lady to waken all the dead things of the universe into life.
It's that lovely and inspiring? We need spiritual mothers in this aching fear-filled world -- mothers to nurture, to calm, to visualize achievement for us, and to love us unconditionally! Such mothers truly are "the great ones."
I mentioned the other day that I finished Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift. What I didn't tell you is that I did a lot of traveling on foot while listened to an audio version. It seems like for each strange place Gulliver traveled to, I now have a real place to associate with it -- a river bank, a wooded path, a road, a meadow, a farm.
I'm starting Oliver Twist today. I'm really looking forward to this one, so I hope it's not a disappointment. I've never read a single piece of Charles Dickens' work. I feel like Mr. Dickens is an acquaintance but not yet a friend. I've seen a few Masterpiece Theatre movies based on his books -- Bleak House, Little Dorrit, Great Expectations, and A Christmas Carol. And I saw a version of Oliver Twist years ago.
Some of what I know about Mr. Dickens I learned while studying Harriet Beecher Stowe. She sent him a copy of Uncle Tom's Cabin. He read her novel and responded with praise for her "generous feeling", yet he went on to gently criticized her for seeking to "prove too much."
I once stayed in an American hotel that Charles Dickens stayed in. The proprietors tell an amusing story about the historic visit. Maybe I'll tell you about it in my next post.
Until next time then. :)