We’re lucky in my little spot on the map. You don’t have to go too far in any direction to find a body of water.
About 3 hours south of me is the Gulf of Mexico. About another 3 hours southeast is Mobile Bay. A couple of hours west is the Mississippi River. And everywhere in between are smaller rivers, lakes, and creeks.
Nothing soothes me quite like the sound and sight of water. Maybe it all goes back to that protective feeling we have as babies in our mother’s womb. Maybe it’s because, from a Creationist perspective, there was water before there was any other element.
But it’s timeless. Eternal.
When I was a kid, I’d ride a 4-wheeler down to a nearby creek. I’d sit on the limb of a tree that stretched out of a bank and just watch the water for a long time.
Right now I’m sitting in silence, listening to rushing waters at a nearby park. Just me and my thoughts. And the water.
My goal is to have a condo on the Gulf Coast one day. Someplace I can retreat to and hear the waves. Sometimes I think I’d be a much calmer, more relaxed, less anxious person if I just had moving water near my windows.
I just left the hospital, visiting a friend whose mother will not be going home. Not her earthly home. My friend has taken care of this woman, her mother, for the last several years.
It is not lost on me that while I’m celebrating my mother tomorrow, and my own motherhood, this friend will be watching her own mother take the last steps of her earthly journey.
The arrangements are made. Now the waiting. Hospice says it may be days, may be weeks. There’s no way to know. But my friend is there. Just waiting.
I have no words for her. I have no statements, no clichés. Nothing I can say will make this experience easier. I can only stand with her. Sit with her. Pray for her. Love her.
And that’s what mothers do. We stand and sit and pray and love and hold more in our hearts than our mouths can express with words.
We feel our children’s deepest pains. We feel our sister’s most raw and heartbreaking experiences. We stand there, often alone, and internalize all that would break a mortal man to pieces.
I know some strong men. Respect many. Love many. But I’m going to tell you something true: the strongest people I know are women.
The kind of love that women have, the compassion, it’s this writer’s opinion that those are the characteristics of the God who created women in Their image.
We talk about God in the masculine. But “male and female created he them.”
The God I believe in is neither male nor female. The Spirit is both. How could the Divine have created both man and woman in a preformed image without female characteristics to draw from?
It was a woman that birthed God into human likeness. It was women that prepared his broken and lifeless body. And it was women who first knew of his resurrection. Women are special. We are the only one of the sexes that can grow and produce a life from our own bodies. Not that a man plays no part in that, but it’s a different role altogether.
And mothers…….well, they aren’t just the ones who birth children.
I know so many women who don’t have children from their own bodies, yet love others maternally. And many of us, one day, will have to love our own mothers back in the way they first loved us. Or maybe in the way we wished they had loved us.
We’ll have to sit in silence, or with calm reassurance.”Everything is okay,” we will say. “Shhhh. Everything is fine.” We’ll pray for God to be merciful and kind. We’ll try to provide the same soothing atmosphere that surrounded us in our earliest days.
The rushing water.