By Julia Indigo/@juliaindigo
It says something about my relationship with my Mother that it never occurred to me to write a Mother’s Day post. If you’re interested, I wrote a detailed comment to Caitlin Kelly’s Mother’s Day post. I won’t rehash that here, except to say that today my relationship with my Mother is the best it’s been since I was three.
The following quote was originally part of a 1991-92 Smithsonian article about some kind of seals. I’ll never forget my reaction when I read it, for I cried. At the time my relationship with my mother was bloody awful, and it got worse before it got better. I yearned for the kind of oneness with a nurturing, accepting mother, the kind that the mother seal demonstrated.
Of course, no one has that kind of mother. And the mother seal? The sceptic/realist in me knows anthropomorphism when she sees it. But that need, that desire, is the root of much religious thought: the Loving Father, the Divine Mother.
In the end, psychologists say that the only way to truly get that love is to give it to yourself. That’s a difficult thing to accomplish, when you don’t have good role models. But perhaps, just perhaps, the mother seal can step in to that role. After all, there’s a reason why I thought of this quote today (I’m writing on Mother’s Day), isn’t there?
“The pup stayed under its mothers chin, rolled onto its back again and gave her face a flippered embrace. Then its little mouth and white lips came ajar, curling into a self-satisfied smile, and enigmatic smirk that revealed its pink mouth and throat. The mother’s lidded eyes drooped; she looked blissfully mindless. What I saw in the dreamy pleasure of the pup and the fierce, tender affections of the mother was a glimpse of absolute contentment.”