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Today is Mother’s Day in America or, the equivalent to me of the always more expressive ‘Mothering Sunday’,  in Britain and The Commonwealth.

Legend has it that Mother’s Day celebrations can be dated back to ancient Greece and Springtime celebrations to honor Rhea, the Mother of the Gods, who herself was the daughter of Uranus and Gaia.

Not only was Rhea was the Mother of the Gods, she was also a goddess of female fertility, motherhood, and generation.

Rhea means “flow” and “ease.” As the wife of Kronos (‘Time’), and as Queen of Heaven, she represented the eternal flow of time and generations.  As the great Mother (‘Meter Megale’), the “flow” was menstrual blood, birth waters, and milk.

She was also a goddess of comfort and ease, a blessing reflected in the common Homeric phrase “the gods who live at their ease (rhea).”

When Rhea’s husband, Titan,  heard a prophecy that he would be deposed by one of his children, he took to swallowing each of them…just as soon as they were born!

Clever as a proverbial fox, Rhea bore her youngest, Zeus, in secret, and hid him away in a cave in Crete.

In Zeus’ stead, she presented Kronos with a stone.. wrapped in swaddling clothes… and which he promptly devoured!  Linger on that thought for a moment!

From that must come the fallacy that the steaks which Dads attempt to try to fix as a fancy lunch for the mothers in their lives turn out rock hard?

Nah, I just made that up.

In the Far More Sane department, would you find it odd that Edgar Allen Poe,  in his short, tragic life, who wrote some truly dirge-like, indeed dark, frightening poems (especially ‘The Raven’) also had a very soft spot?

Edgar_Allen_Poe_1898

[Edgar Allen Poe, 1809-1849]

His Poem, “Sonnet – To My Mother” sums it all up:

Because I feel that, in the heavens above,

The angels, whispering to one another,

Can find, among their burning terms of love,

None so devotional as that of ‘mother’ —

Therefore by that sweet name I long have called you —

You, who are more than mother unto me,

And fill my heart of hearts, where Death installed you,

In setting my Virginia’s spirit free.

My mother — my own mother — who died early —

Was but the mother of myself; but you

Are mother to the one I loved so dearly,

And thus are dearer than the mother I knew;

By that infinity with which my wife

Was dearer to my soul than its soul-life.

As one can immediately see, since his own mother was by this time deceased, Poe was actually honoring and addressing his Mother-in-Law and aunt, Maria Clemm.

All this adds to enhancing the curiosities of Life, and how a wee baby must struggle to take in a new, almost wholly incomprehensible world.

BabyJapanese

A far more modern, perhaps even more touching poem, “Mom”, is written and set to music, here:

Little baby told God, hey I’m kind of scared.
Don’t really know if I want to go down there.
From here it looks like a little blue ball
That’s a great big place and I’m so small.

Why can’t I just, stay here with you?
Did I make you mad, don’t you want me too?
God said oh child, of course I do
But there’s somebody special waiting for you

So hush now baby, don’t you cry
‘Cause there’s someone down there waiting whose only goal in life
Is making sure you’re always gonna be alright
A loving angel tender, tough and strong
It’s almost time to go and meet your mom.

You’ll never have a better friend
Or a warmer touch to tuck you in
She’ll kiss your bruises, your bumps and scrapes
And anytime you hurt
Her heart’s gonna break

So hush now baby, don’t you cry
‘Cause there’s someone down there waiting whose only goal in life
Is making sure you’re always gonna be alright
A loving angel tender, tough and strong
It’s almost time to go and meet your mom.

And when she’s talking to you make sure you listen close
‘Cause she’s gonna teach you everything you’ll ever need to know
Like how to mind your manners, to love and laugh and dream
She’ll put you on the path that bring you back to me

So, hush now little baby, don’t you cry
‘Cause there’s someone down there waiting whose only goal in life
Is making sure you’re always gonna be alright
A loving angel tender, tough and strong
Come on child it’s time, to meet your mom

How about that line, “Loving angel, tender, tough and strong…

Mother-and-LaughingBlueEyedBaby

To all you ladies who are The Givers of Life, have been or will be a mother by natural means or who have adopted a child, speaking for us male ‘bystanders’, you are or were the Centers of Our Universe.

And, so says every one!

Happy Mothers’ Day!

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Hat-Tips:

MomSongwriters
Wynn Varble and Don Sampson

The Gentlemen of the a capella group “Home Free”                                                         Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/homefreevocalb0and
Twitter & Instagram: @homefreeguys

Edgar Allen Poe Society of Baltimore                                                                                       Website: http://www.eapoe.org/

Twitter: @EdgarAllanPoe