In Hong Kong we celebrated Mother’s day last Sunday. For those of us whose Mothers are no longer with us, it is often a poignant day, even as we celebrate with those that we ‘mother’.
I was 33 weeks pregnant when I lost my mum to cancer 16 years ago, she was 55. I have five siblings. As each of us grew up and Mum was left with fewer of her own children at home, she began taking in foster kids; providing both short and long term safety and love to many children in need. She maintained that in general, all a child needed was love, and everything else flowed from that. When she was sick and I was pregnant with my second son I anxiously asked her, “Will I have enough love for them both?” she said, “your love grows as your family does, there is always enough love”.
This year Mother’s day got me thinking about how strong the ‘maternal’ is. It is protective and powerful, nurturing and caring. You don’t have to be female and have given birth to have this feeling, this power. Since our world has as been changed by covid 19, I’m experiencing the maternal in a more expansive way. I feel protective of my family; my friends and colleagues; but also my neighbours and community, my fellow humans. I hope there’s enough love to get us through this pandemic. Enough love for people to come together, to collaborate on finding vaccines and effective medications. Enough love for us to be bold enough to keep some of the positives that lockdowns have brought about. Enough love to keep checking on the elderly and vulnerable in our communities, enough love to value and reward those in caring and service professions, enough love for our leaders and governments to act in the best interests of their people rather than along party political lines, or in response to powerful lobbyists. At the risk of sounding like the old hippie that I am, I hope there is enough love to look after our planet and each other.
In Hong Kong, social distancing measures are being loosened, which is great, but this brings new anxieties. On Saturday I went to a birthday dinner for 8 people, I attended a group Pilates class yesterday, and I will be teaching in-person yoga classes this week. Whilst I am grateful to be doing these things (all with suitable precautions of course): it is impossible to know if we will be hit hard with another wave of infections as we embrace a new normal of temperature checks and questionnaires at building entrances, of ubiquitous mask wearing and hand sanitising. Once again to manage worries I turn my attention to what I can do: the small things. Whilst I can’t control national policies or government decisions, I can’t control whether someone observes good personal hygiene or is honest about their health history. I can be kind. I can do as the great philosophies and faiths advise; I can treat others as I would hope to be treated. And I remember what my Mum told me, “there is always enough love”. I find there is comfort and power in that. I hope you do too.