My exam is tomorrow afternoon and so I had nothing planned for my day but to sit at the table again and read over the essays of professional literary critics to make sure I can recall their main points in the test. Obviously trying to revise with two children running around isn’t a formula for success, so once again my husband had a plan to take them out for the day, this time to an open farm the other side of the city.
Before the children’s toast had even popped up the weather forecast was showing images of the mottled blue cloud, that means heavy rain, over Wiltshire. I reassured myself and the children that it would be okay; We’re not the kind of family who is deterred by a quick shower. While they ate breakfast I went to wake my husband and the sound of the water hitting the window reminded me that I should get out of the habit of dismissing predictions of the forecast as mere speculation. I opened the blinds (ignoring the cry of protest from my husband) and miserably observed the dull sky and water soaked grass below, no farm for the kids today.
A moment of anxious panic swept over me as I imagined tripping on scattered blocks of razor sharp Lego, the words of Henry James having to compete with The Empire Strikes Back booming from the other room. My husband tried to comfort me by saying he would still take them out, but I couldn’t bear the image of them traipsing round the farm, their soaked hair running into their eyes, the youngest one crying. Outwitted and dismayed I turned to the person I have always found myself turning to in a moment of crisis, my mother.
Half an hour later I was snuggled under a cashmere blanket, a kitten purring contentedly on my lap, as I basked in the eloquence of Eliot on German fiction, to the gentle pitter-patter of the rain against my mother’s window. The children and their father could watch their film at home without an irate loony pulling her hair out at each hum of a lightsabre.
I’m lucky to have a mother who is there for me; I know it’s not something that all of us are born with, or are able to enjoy into later life. The great wheel of existence is trying and some mothers face enormous challenges, that can lead to gaps forming between them and the children they have brought into the world. I don’t want to judge, motherhood is the single greatest challenge I have ever faced and it’s all too easy for people to condemn a mother when it all goes wrong. We can’t always make everything perfect but the energy of the Great Mother is there for everyone, regardless of their own experience with their maternal mother.
Goddess energy in its Mother aspect is a straight line to the feeling of comfort and security that we all first felt in our mother’s womb. Although we’re not children anymore, the world is still often a big, wide, sometimes scary place, but we, as Pagans, have something which is denied to so many other faiths: a true mother. She is not just the mourning virgin of Christianity, but a strong primeval protectress who both guides and guards us if we seek her out. She reaches out to us with her unending love, and we only have to reach out to her with open hearts like children and we can share in her thousand-fold blessings.
I’ll continue to love and cherish my maternal mother for as long as I am blessed to have her in my life but I know that she, like I and all mothers are part of another, greater energy that connects us all.