I was inspired tonight to think about the incredible magic of what my single mother meant to me and how that helped me to find the Goddess. My mother had the responsibility of raising a young child, working and often times neglecting her personal needs in order to do so. There were so many times I would see the magnificent vision of mothering from a woman who couldn’t afford health insurance, dental care or clothes for her body. She sacrificed that in order to be out of a relationship that was abusive, saving me from seeing more of the violence that happens in homes and can stain the world view of a child.
I think I was about 6 years old when my mother embarked on that path. Everyday she woke up and did the job of the Goddess from morning until night. She was the first version of the power of woman and the strength of the Goddess that I ever saw, even if I was too young to realize what that meant at the time.
Knowing my mother and how she loved me opened me up to the love of the Goddess in my young adulthood. In my search to identify spiritual meaning in my life, I found a comfort in the Goddess that I could not explain; she was my mother and my mother was her.
I already knew the Goddess. The round belly of my mother signified the world of magic in which she created me. The swell of her breasts nourished me. The softness of her skin comforted me and the sharpness of her mind empowered me. She was my teacher, creator, mentor and mirror throughout my entire life; so when I found the Goddess of many names, I knew that Cora was one of them.
Often times I feel we miss the obvious in front of us when we think upon spirituality and worship of the divine. How often we think that our version of God is beyond the flesh and outside of our ability to reach. The God becomes the all knowing male figure or the Goddess because one with a flowing dress beyond the clouds. We forget that God and Goddess stand right in front of our faces, behind the wheel of the car or in the bed beside us. We forget to acknowledge that the Gods sleep in tiny beds and with a bottle or binkie in the other room. We forget that the Goddess is looking into the mirror and reflecting back the image we identify as the self.
My first Matron would fry the best chicken in the world, cook a mean pot of spaghetti and cook a coconut cake from scratch during the holidays. She would rest on the couch with her purple moo-moo on and watch Buffy while slipping in and out of sleep. She would impart magic on those who came before her with a smile, hug, plate of food or solution to your problem. She was a compassionate Goddess that understood struggle and never dismissed the opportunity for comfort. She spoke to children and understood them in a way that defied the common understanding of others. She had a silent and yet knowing smile that would grace her face when she was passing on wisdom, moving beyond the need for words and communicating with the soul.
Today I know my mother was the Goddess. Today I know that I am a Goddess to my children. Without the experiences I have had, learning to understand womanhood by my connection to her divinity, I would not have been able to find the Goddess in others.
Tonight I salute mothers all over for being a version of the Goddess in the lives of their children. No one can discredit your work; no one can stand in your shoes. Your worth is not decided by the politicians or the other guys. Your worth is not dependent on how much money you make or who lies in your bed. Whether you are someone’s biological mother, step mother, foster mother or kinship mother; you are the face of the Goddess to those with whom you claim or who claim you.
And if someone defines the role of a mother in society by the need for another to make her whole, pray that they find their way to the arms of the Goddess too.