Mother's day can be loosely tied to ancient spring celebrations in Greece honoring Rhea, the Mother of Gods. Or to celebrations in England honoring the Christian Mother Mary (Mothering Sunday). But our present holiday is thanks to one ordinary woman--Anna Jarvis-- an unmarried, childless woman who cared so much about her mother that she went about creating a day to honor mothers. Three years after her mother's death, she held the first mother's day on May 10, 1908. The idea caught on, and eventually (1914) Woodrow Wilson made it a national holiday.
Yesterday, while my eldest son prepared a feast, I went to hear Anne Quindlen discuss her latest book Every Last One at the
. A mother's day treat for myself. She discussed her writing process, saying she often felt as if she was channeling the feelings of another person. That she was just the conduit. Often she'd sit down to write and get so involved that when she looked up at the clock, several hours had gone by.
One shouldn't be watching the clock, counting the pages, the words, the letters.
I thought, yes, when the stars are aligned and all goes right.
Just like one shouldn't be watching the date. When it goes right. Every day is Mother's day. At least it should be. Right?
But then the magic isn't always there.
This morning, I took my son to school. He turned on a rock station, the guitar notes making my eyes twitch. I turned the radio off. He turned it back on, switching stations to a no-less jarring tune. He gave me an impish grin.
"Whatever happened to Happy Mother's day?" I asked.
"That was yesterday."
Here's hoping that magic happens--in your writing and your life--more times than not.
Books of the Week
I am Nujood Age 10 and Divorced< by Nujood Ali with Delphine Minoui
Escape by Carolyn Jessop with Laura Palmer
By coincidence both of these books are about women who, due to religious and cultural constraints, were forced into arranged marriages with men many times their age. One of them was from Yemen, and one of them was from the good ole U.S. of A. Both stories-although not literary gems- are fascinating.