We all walk ancientrails. Welcome to the journey.

That Mother

Beltane                                                                                  Mountain Moon

Mothers dayMothers. We all got’em. They’re the link in that long, long chain extending back to the first one-celled organism, aided only by one small spermatozoa from the male. And this has been going on every since mammals switched from eggs to live births. Think about this. Each of us, through our mothers, are the latest manifestation of a 180 million year old tradition of warm blooded animals that arose from a common ancestor sometime in the Jurassic period.

3.8 billion years ago, according to New Science, the first life form emerged from the literal primordial ooze. You represent one of the latest manifestations of a 3.8 billion year long experiment in chemicals, elements that move on their own, that grow and change in response to conditions around them. All thanks to Mom!

When you put it like that, it would be uncharitable not to celebrate her, wouldn’t it? Even if she wasn’t the finest example of an advanced version of the type. And I hope yours was.

My mom added me to that long chain of events, unbroken from that first whatever it was, probably an RNA based life form, probably originally hanging out around some undersea vent. Later it split into the two branches bacteria and archaea. From that point, the rest.

4-ED33F7D1-4709856-800The mom I’m closest to now is Kate. In the curious way of blended families she became the mother of Joseph, who played piano at our wedding in 1990. He and SeoAh sent her a beautiful gardenia plant Friday with a note, We love you. We attended their wedding in Korea in 2016 where SeoAh’s mother asked Kate to watch over her daughter. Moms. She gave birth to Jon in 1968, December 10th, adding him that long, long, long chain. Really quite amazing, to personally bring into the world a brand new instance of a 3.8 billion year old progression. It is, I would say, a real miracle. Holy. Sacred. Divine.

But mothers don’t stop with this singular achievement. At least we hope they don’t. No. Mammalian live births produce babies. Unlike chickens and lizards and bees the transition from larvae to fully functioning member of the species can take a long time. Yes, I know. You know someone who hasn’t gotten there even yet. Well, don’t blame mom. She did her best and then at some point, like all of the animal realm, that kiddo has to walk out on its own.

20160406_134240In fact they never stop. Children don’t stop being children, even at 49 and 36. Or, this year, 50 and 37. And when those children do something wonderful, like adding their own children to the long chain, moms become grandmas. Or, when something scary or bad happens, like a divorce, the kids turn to mom for help.

20161112_183554Kate’s been a wonderful mother, committed through years of difficulty, helping Jon and Joe get to today. It’s not been easy. But, she’s thoughtful, loving, kind. Patient. Generous with both time and money. She’s also a great grandma. Ruth and Gabe are richer, safer, stronger for her presence in their lives.

I was lucky to find her and have her as a role model for Joe as he grew up from age 8, his age when we met. She had him clomping up and down our condo stairs in Irvine Park in ski boots. Today he’s an expert skier, like his brother, Jon, thanks to Kate’s introduction of him to the sport. Joe went with her on many trips to Guatemala, serving in various roles in surgical and other medical procedures. His sense of service, now in the military, grew up in part from his experiences with her. Jon, too.

Today then I’m looking back 3.8 billion years to that first undersea vent that gave the world Kate. A mother and a wife. My love.

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