It happens every year; always the same feeling, the same quandary, the same questions.
Don’t misunderstand, yes, Mothering Sunday, or as it is increasingly and might I say incorrectly being called Mothers’ Day, happens each year; it is after all a religious celebration, not a day to kowtow to the card, chocolate and flower industry. No, what I’m talking about is the indecision as to what we should do on this special day.
Whether or not you are a mother yourself or indeed still have a mother to venerate, that’s not exactly the point of the whole thing.
I have no particular memory of marking the day any differently from the way it is done now, although there was nothing like the choice there is today, either way I recall giving my mother a card and picking flowers from the garden (probably from her prize daff display) and telling her she was especially loved. But I do not recall the religious side of things, even though we did go to church every Sunday for the few years we lived in Nottingham when I was in my adolescence.
Perhaps that’s what has caused my uncertainty, after all the true story behind Mothering Sunday is about everyone returning to their ‘mother’ church; the church in the village they were born and raised, the church where they were christened and where their deceased family may be buried. You see if I was to return to my ‘mother’ church, it would take a month of Sundays to reach them all having lived in five different towns during my childhood from one end of the country to the other.
But aside from my nomadic inability to decide where my roots truly reside, I popped into St Michael the Archangel church in Lyme Regis this morning and glossing over the enquiring looks I was given by the people who were gathering to set up the special church service, I sat for a few minutes in quiet contemplation for all of five seconds before I started asking myself, and anyone else who was listening, what should I be thinking, who should I be thinking of and what was it all about.
In the end I confessed, not in a ‘forgive me father for I have sinned’ way but more of a I’ve made a bit of a balls-up and I’d really like to improve things kind of way, to all the crap decisions I’ve made; thought about all the sad stuff that has happened, shed a tear or two and left. Again glossing over the even more querying looks I was given, probably due to my face that was doubtless by then blotchy from the few tears I’d shed.
So I have concluded that Mothering Sunday or Mothers’ Day, call it what you will, is about remembering and being thankful for the ‘mothering’ spirit no matter where it comes from or from who and even without my roots and with my rubbish decisions, I will celebrate the caring and loving nature that shows itself in many forms, whether it’s within the confines of the church walls or someone helping me out of a sticky situation.
A pleasant Mothering Sunday to us all.