An Ode to My Mother and Motherhood
As my 60th birthday looms, my mother passing at 72 seems like a young age. I have friends whose parents are in their 90’s- what a treat. I was in my mid-thirties when my mother passed, and it took me that long to truly appreciate her. She was the most supportive mother one can have, always excited about what I was doing at the time, whether being a cook or a waitress, studying Chiropractic or Acupuncture, which were both quite obscure and fringe at the time. She struggled with my herbal concoctions, which would sit in alcohol or oil, brewing for months as I stirred them daily. She called me a witch (in loving ways), and refused to try my concoctions until she heard I had one for boosting memory—her biggest fear was losing the faculties of her sharp mind. She was willing to drink the “witchy” brew but kept forgetting to take it. The Ginseng energy tonic I gave her, had her climbing ladders at odd hours to do some deep cleaning in the attic. She loved my face/body cream from the first time she tried it. I was forewarned that whenever I came to visit, I was required to bring several quart-size jars for her and her friends. Her family from South Africa was instructed to bring Snook- a smoked fish much beloved in South Africa, apparently unavailable anywhere else. A visitor from SA meant gifting them with my cream—the same cream I still make today (with a few upgrades in the base ingredients), and which often reminds me of my mother, knowing she’d be proud of how this cream became the base for an entire skincare line.
I initially called my line Mirabella (both of our names- My mother’s name was Isabella), unfortunately I didn’t trade-mark the name and, years later, was sued by Mirabella Beauty. They kept the name and we became Rosemira Organics.
So, here’s to motherhood. To our mothers, sisters, friends and to ourselves.
Related to loving and appreciating our mothers, there’s one mother we all should love and appreciate beyond all—Mother Earth—whose divine will and duty is to encourage us to respect the planet—the gift that keeps on giving. We can’t willy-nilly go about our lives while forests are wiped out, while the oceans choke with plastic, while the ice cores melt away, while rare species go extinct. We need a collaborative effort like never before to restore and manage our resources, if not for ourselves, then for generations to follow. We must love Mother Earth as much as we love our own mothers, our children, our families and friends. Let us all meditate on doing so, while we still can.!
First celebrated in 1970, Earth Day is now honored in 192 countries. This year’s theme is Environmental and Climate Literacy. Earth Day is a great source of information about environmental issues and the impact each one of us has on our planet. Check out CarbonFund and measure your individual carbon footprint. Let’s all vow to promote positive climate change.
I took these photographs at Shollenberger Park, in Petaluma. It is a 165 acre wetlands and wildlife sanctuary, and where my son spent many a Saturday while growing up. Aidan’s favorite pastime was finding lizards and snakes, which were plentiful, so we named it Gecko park. It’s my hope that when my son has a child of his own, they too can spend time in parks and wildlife sanctuaries like this one.