One of my all-time favourite sightings was watching a tiny, newborn elephant take its first steps amongst the jostling, tender excitedness of its herd.
As is typical of elephants, there was great ceremony to the occasion and the herd was there to support the mother after her 22 month long pregnancy. As they danced around the baby I stressed that they would trample it, but despite their size their movements were gentle and controlled, and the baby bounced amongst them on new-found feet. They helped the mother to bury the afterbirth and she spent a large amount of time dust bathing herself and the baby, probably to rid it of scent, preventing predators from smelling this vulnerable new creature. They also touched their trunks to it tenderly, taking turns to greet the new member of the family, all the while rumbling in the deeply comforting way that speaks to elephants and humans alike.
This is just a little tribute to all the mothers out there who, like these elephants, know how to nudge us onto our own unsteady feet, who protect us with their presence and who inspire us with the size of who they’ve become in life. Thank you to the countless mothers who provide for and nurture their young, guiding their children into the vast wilderness of life. May you have a strong community to call on and a sisterhood to add their own flavour of motherhood to the raising of your children. May you never have to do it alone.
Much love to you all on this Mother’s Day!