Letters to the grandkids

Mother’s Day, Mother Earth and the Peace connection

Bougainvillea on wrought iron fence


My Darling Grandchildren,

This weekend,  you and your parents and a couple of  your other grandparents and I got together, not altogether at once, since distance and time got in the way, but together nonetheless, to honor all the moms in the room.

Sheer delight! Some of you are old enough now to understand this Mother’s Day celebration. In year’s past, I participated reluctantly, not appreciating the ritualized gifting required. You know, some of you, how much I prefer time with you and your parents over gifts likely made by slaves or near slaves in a country far away, then shipped thousands of miles to get to us.

Even flowers and chocolates, which you know I adore, come with a high price in harm to our Mother Earth and the workers all along the way who bring them to us. That is, most do. Luckily, today, we can choose to buy Fair Trade and organic flowers and chocolates. That means the workers who grew and harvested the flowers and cocoa beans were paid fairly and were not exposed to chemicals that could make them so sick they die young and in extreme poverty.

Did you know that Mother’s Day started out many years ago? Almost a hundred and fifty years ago, in 1870. Even my grandmothers, your great-great grandmothers were not yet born when a long-ago Wonder Woman named Julia Ward Howe wrote The Mother’s Day Proclamation. It was a time of terrible strife in our country, so terrible that our country had split in two. For four years, we waged a terrible war. Mother’s sent their sons off to kill or to be killed in horrific battles.

Five years after that war ended, Julia Ward Howe called on all mothers to join her in declaring an end to war. Code Pink, in its article The Radical History of Mother’s Day, quotes Howe’s famous proclamation, in which she declares that we women will no longer raise sons for war.

Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn All that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience. We, the women of one country, will be too tender of those of another country To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.

Here, in this sweet video, you can hear Howe’s proclamation in the voices of some of today’s mothers.

Of course, as we know so well, our sons, and now our daughters, are taken from us generation after generation. Our country, the United States of America, has seldom been at peace, finding always another conflict to join, and quite often, to instigate. But that is a subject for another day. What I want you to take from this today, my darlings, is that women have called for peace for as long as women have been mothers, which is to say since the beginning of human life.

We mothers will not stop calling for peace, calling for fairness toward our sister and brother human beings, calling for an end to greed and the destruction of our nurturing Mother Earth. We mothers will not stop making peace and fomenting peace so long as we have breath. Not the mothers,  not the grandmothers, and not the ones who come after us–which is you. For already I see in you the spark of justice, the urge to know, to comprehend and to live rightly on the Earth.

One day, we will mature enough, this human race, that we no longer need kill one another, or take from one another in fits of greed and lust for power. One day, we will no longer need bars around our schools, as you see in the photographs on this page. Sadly, those bars enclose a school here in San Francisco, keeping children safely inside, I suppose, and also keeping out those who would do harm.

Bougainvillea and trumpet vine on school fence

Bougainvillea and trumpet vine on school fence

I am grateful for the minds and hands of Mother Nature’s two-legged children, working with her to grow this lovely bougainvillea to soften the bars, and perhaps to mitigate the violence that wreaks havoc on the bodies and minds and hearts of so many mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers.

For you, my darlings, I pray, as every mother does, that the wisdom of Mother Earth and Mother Nature feed your hearts, that you need never know the touch of violence, but also that you spend some of your lively energy working to grow more love in this world and with it to crowd out the evil, building peaceful gardens in place of bars, however beautifully they may flow with the fuchsia covered bracts of the brilliant bougainvillea.

♥  ♥  ♥

Shared on: Earth


  1. The video is powerful, touching, and important. I encourage everyone to watch it.

    Thank you for posting this important message.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re welcome Steve. It’s several years old now, but I watch it every year because it gives me courage and hope.


  2. Pingback: Earth (Rain and growth) | What's (in) the picture?

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