“Motherhood has a very humanizing effect. Everything gets reduced to essentials.” ~Meryl Streep
I was having my usual cuppa at the coffeeshop this morning. It was raining, the ground was wet and people were more careful than usual, not unexpectedly, of course, with every step they take.
I was on my way home, having had my fill of carrot cake and a hot cup of coffee, when I saw this woman in front of me:
As you can see, she’s got both hands full. She is, I gather, about 60-years old. On one arm, she had 5 plastic bags of stuff; on the other, another 4 packages. She was apparently returning home after having done her shopping at the wet market nearby and the coffeeshop.
Her arms were thin, you could see that the packages were not light. She was walking quite hurriedly as well, perhaps trying to get home during the lull in the morning downpour.
As I watched her quicken her steps, it reminded me of the times when my own mother would be lugging foodstuff back from the markets. Having 12 kids to feed meant that shopping always resulted in many bags of stuff. When the nieces and nephews came along later, mom would do the same – getting up early in the morning so she could get to the market and buy the freshest meat, fish, vegetables and fruits.
Most of us do not see this – this work which our mothers do for us. We would either be too busy preparing to go to work or too busy recuperating in bed after a week spent at the office. But mothers do not have days off, especially our more senior mothers and grandmothers.
Love does not require rest.
It does make you think about the depth of affection a mother has in caring for those she loves. Going to the markets each morning and bringing home fresh food for her children and grandchildren is perhaps the one most meaningful thing which mothers do, besides later hunkering down over the stove for hours, creating and cooking the dishes which will feed the tummies of the younger ones.
A mother does not, for the most part, do big things for us. She does not need to. It’s the small, everyday, routine things she does which – really – speaks what is in her heart.
As I watched the lady walk away this morning, I imagined that her hurried steps were also because of the cold weather. She must be thinking that she needs to get home soon to cook a hot meal for her kids or grandkids.
And the saying is true – it’s the thoughts that count. How many of us take time to ponder and reflect on what goes on in our mothers’ minds and hearts when we see these little things she does? Perhaps we should.
“When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child.” – Sophia Loren.