So Mother's Day 2012 comes to a sleepy, sun-kissed close in Washington.  I trust each of us has in some way remembered our mothers today -- living or passed on -- and in some way celebrated them.  Mothers deserve celebration.  Though they each are human and may be wrapped up in layers of complex emotion and dysfunction, they deserve celebration.
Honoring the mothers in my family...
My own Mother's Day musings got me thinking about our "original mother:" the female god-head, if you'll indulge me the archaic turn of phrase.  For much of human history, world religions ascribed equal deference and power to the divine female as to the divine male.  

The ancient Egyptians called her Isis.  The Hindu's call her Shakti to this day.  The ancient Greeks called her Gaia -- she was the goddess or personification of Mother Earth.  
Wikipedia tells us: "Mother Earth is a common personification of nature that focuses on the life-giving and nurturing aspects of nature by embodying it in the form of the mother. Images of women representing mother earth, and mother nature, are timeless. In prehistoric times, goddesses were worshipped for their association with fertility, fecundity, and agricultural bounty. Priestesses held dominion over aspects of Incan,  Algonquian, Assyrian, Babylonian, Slavonic, Germanic, Roman, Greek, Indian, and Iroquoian religions in the millennia prior to the inception of patriarchal religions."

Dangerous ground, I know, but onward.  

This Mother's Day left me a bit pensive.  Despite our modern cultural and political assumption of religious superiority -- religious certainty -- I for one mourn the loss of the mother-god.  Our fist-pounding, war-mongering, use and discard, testosterone-steeped world could use a healthy dose of the Mother, the feminine, no?

Several weeks ago, Pablo and I were fortunate enough to travel to Manhattan.  While there, we visited the Greenmarket at Union Square.  We were met by market volunteer, fan, and frequent shopper Louisa Shafia -- foodie, food blogger, locavore, and author or Lucid Food.  Louisa was kind enough to give Pablo and I a signed copy of this lovely book:  beautifully written and photographed; emanating the wonderfully generous energy of its author.  

The Union Square Greenmarket was wonderful.  We came away with goat's milk cheese (of course), duck prosciutto, honey produced by bees farmed on urban rooftops, fresh lavender, heirloom apples, and ostrich jerky.  I was struck by the magnitude of this wonderful producer-only market in the middle of Manhattan Island; struck by the odd familiarity that it evoked.  We were in Manhattan, but inside the market there was the very same sense of welcoming, nurturing, community that I feel at any farmer's market I have ever attended.
GrowNYC is a hands-on non-profit which improves New York City’s quality of life through environmental programs that transform communities block by block and empower all New Yorkers to secure a clean and healthy environment for future generations.
The busy cheesemonger from Vermont's Consider Bardwell Farm.  We loved the goat's milk "Equinox" and the cow's milk "Dorset."  Well done!

Louisa Shafia, author of Lucid Food, food blogger, locavore, and new friend -- with Anthony Reuter of GreenMarket.
Andrew's Honey from NYC -- inspired us!  Makes me rest better knowing that honey bees are being farmed on Manhattan rooftops.
So I spent this Mother's Day a bit pensive, but as the day wore on and the market's energy peaked, waned and ended -- I was comforted.  I took home my market basket of agricultural bounty, thinking about the wonderful meals we would cook to nurture our bodies and to share with our friends.  I remembered Mother.  I knew that though she is often forgotten and dismissed, like all good mothers she toiled onward.

Gaia was at Greenmarket; she is at every farmer's market, in every home garden and compost bin. 

What did you do for Mother today?


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