Mothers come in many shapes and sizes.

There are warm mothers, soft and round, likely to be found
with flour on their nose, and always ready to pour
you a glass of milk to go with the cookies on your plate.
These mothers are increasingly rare.

Some mothers are like bubbles of champagne; they
surprise your senses, leave you giggly, but when you least expect it
they erupt with an unexpected 'pop.'

There are sharp mothers, all edges and not easy to hold on to.
They don't mean to, but it often seems like, when you need them,
their hands come up to ward you away.

Then there are grouchy mothers, stressed mothers, exhausted mothers,
their faces lined with worry and their spirits tired and grey.

Other mothers are wise and reliable;
they are not prone to many words or to a lot of noise,
but in your heart you know, that
when you need them, they'll be there.

There are fierce mothers, the ones you count on to be on your side
and to love you even when you've gone wrong.

There are absent mothers, whose memory shimmers in the air, so that
it seems you'll catch them if you could just be quick enough to turn around.

There are distant mothers ... cruel mothers ... loving mothers ... giving mothers ...
there are walk-away mothers ... save-the-world mothers ...
too-busy-to-bother mothers ... mothers you cry for because you lost them,
and mothers who make you cry because you can't ...

May we hold in our hearts the mothers we have known ...
those who loved us ... and those who tried ...

May we forgive the mothers who didn't get it right ... and release
the knots of disappointment ... anger ... grief ... pain.

And may we remember always
that mothering — nurturing — is a task
not just for some, but for us all.

Whether you are young or old ... female or male ...
may you make extra room for nurturing in your heart ...
may you hug a baby ... smile at a stranger ...
May you hold back just a little in traffic and, just this once,
let an extra pushy driver squeeze right in.

May you say something real to a harried store clerk ...
pat a kitty ... give a co-worker a genuine compliment ...
take time to listen deeply to a friend.

Mothers come in many shapes and sizes.

So does 'mothering.'

May there be room in our hearts, to receive nurturing, and to give.

rev. maureen killoran - 2009