Autumn is in the air and ghouls and goblins are gearing up for their end of month debut. Spirit Halloween stores pop up everywhere in San Bernardino county, and families prepare for a change of weather and holiday expenses to come. That is everywhere except in our household where no one has yet exactly understood the consequences of my upcoming trip abroad.
Yes. It is my autumn. It is now “T” minus 1 day. Tomorrow I will leave the comfort and security of my home and start a new chapter in my life. This chapter which I dedicate to mothers and grandmothers everywhere is my own and very personal sabbatical or spiritual quest. This has been attempted before, and recommended for women by women in many societies and cultures. Mothers, known during this season to change light linens for quilts and comforters, send draperies to the cleaners and hang the velvety holiday curtains, spice up the scent in the home, and roll out winter rugs, don’t stop. Mothers keep going trying to decorate, inspire, and cheer, friends and family alike. It can be exhausting, and somewhere along they way, we can lose ourselves.
African cultures have a rite of passage for “older” people. Upon being endowed with this honor, the “older” person is now considered an “elder”, a completely new, respected, and revered “elder”. Our society seems to somewhat lack these all important “rites of passage”. Somehow mom goes from aerobics, to power walking, to yoga and golf, and no one seems to recognize that in the 30 years since 1980 a lifetime of knowledge and wisdom are tattooed on her soul’s canvas.
As a culture, if we continue worshiping youth with “Proms”, “Quinceañeras”, “Drivers Licenses”, and “Legal Drinking Age” rites of passage, we must also ask youth to stop and worship or “honor” their elders. Maybe if I had a special title bestowed upon me at 40, let’s call it “Family Leadership Expert”, with a party, and younger moms and girls bringing garlands, fruit, and wrinkle cream, I would have felt honored at 40 and not self conscious. Maybe had I received one at 50, let’s say “Motherhood Wisdom Elder”, with young couples, our grown children, and grandchildren honoring me with a year’s worth of “dates” to visit them, to enjoy their company and impart “pearls of wisdom”, maybe our children would see us as an invaluable ally in their attempt to raise a family and overcome difficulties. Instead society views us as old fashioned at best, and commonly as naive and clueless about their lives.
The time is here, and now I’m leaving my family on this spiritual quest, which I hope evolves into a vision quest. Therefore I pray the Divine blesses me with direction during this time. My next article will be all about adjusting and learning. Stay tuned for pics and “pearls of wisdom”. I invite you to follow along and see what can happen to a mom who runs away after 32 years of motherhood!