In many indigenous cultures, the tortoise represents the terrestrial world. Tortoises represent long life, steadfastness, protection, fertility, and transformation. The tortoise is carrying the world, Mother Earth, on her back.
As a mother of four, I have the same feelings; the world is heavy at times and my back hurts! Like the tortoise, we have two choices, hide in our shells or move on. Both are survival responses, both are necessary to continue to carry the weight.
Like the old tortoise, as I reach my late 50’s, I have come to realize I have perspective on life that is deep and long. I have learned when to poke my head out of my shell, when to safely nap in the sun, and when to retreat into my shell to regroup.
As I write, I realize there is a whole other blog post that will focus on transformation. How are we transformed day by day, year by year? I am not the same mother that I was when I was raising young children. I am not the same mother that I was when I survived raising teenagers. Over the years, I have transformed my home, my marriage, my views on god, faith, politics, dark chocolate, and high heel pumps. What transformations will happen in the next decade?
Mother’s Day is heavy for some, children may have flown the nest, may have left this terrestrial life, or may be fraught with problems. And yet, we must carry the weight and move on. How ever you choose to honor your Mother, Mother Earth, or the spirit of your Mother, the journey is long and at times heavy. Taking a cue from our tortoise friends, rest and a good green salad helps to carry your world on your back.