Throughout history, mothers have been celebrated in various ways. Notwithstanding the notoriety of the Mother of Dragons, we all feel that motherhood is beyond reproach, as well it should be. The modern American version was formalized by Anna Jarvis of West Virginia. She so popularized the celebration of motherhood that it became an official U.S. holiday in 1914. Of course, it didn’t go as she envisioned, as it evolved into a very successful commercial enterprise for florists, greeting card companies, candy companies and the phone company. Anna, who had no children, eventually used all of her personal wealth in legal fees to try and stop “Mother’s Day” as both a commercial and legal holiday. Let no good deed go unpunished!
We sit at anchor in Grenada in one of the many protected bays on the southern coast: Prickley Bay. We don’t anchor deep within the bay as swells tend to concentrate at the head of the bay and it is actually less rolly at the mouth, behind a reef. Swells build and break on the grassy reef and allow surfers to ride the modest surf.
The name Grenada is assumed to come from the Spanish town of Granada. Granada in Spain was ruled by a Muslim Emir although early-on in the 11th century it was a major Jewish center. The Muslim rule ended in the last Granada War in 1492. That completed the Christian Reconquista in Spain and of course, we all know the historical significance of 1492. It is interesting that the three major faiths co-mingled in an area that later lent its name to a tiny island in the Caribbean that itself was “discovered” by Spain and fought over by the English and French after expelling the native population. Not to be left out of this very brief history was the American intervention in 1983.
So what does all this all have to do with Mother’s Day? It is here we celebrate Mother’s Day and realize that our mothers are our history and that we all have individual histories that provided joys, sorrows, conflicts and enlightenments that will never be immortalized in history books. Motherhood is more than just a biological fact. Mothers provide our personal histories and that is true of every living person on the planet. No bouquet of flowers, or clever greeting cards will ever convey our debt to the hours, days and years our mothers tended to us. Their history is written forever in our memory. Their history is our history. Like surfers riding the waves that originated in distant lands and times past we ride today on waves our mothers set in motion long ago. Happy Mother’s Day mom.