My soul is all mother. I am a nurturing spirit. I had the privilege of meeting William Kent Krueger (link below) a couple times now. As a writer for my local paper I have been able to attend each of his local book launches. Normally murder mysteries are not my thing but I love the sense of place (my home state) I get from his books. I also find his references to Ojibwa culture enlightening and refreshing.
In several of his books he talks about different spirits that people have. One is Nokomis, the grandmother or nurturing spirit. This is totally me. I have always wanted to be a mother, but one thing that is clear, you do not have to have blood offspring to be nurturing.
In my career as a writer I have sometimes had to write about difficult and gut wrenching things. But I am finding my ability to deal with heartbreak is lessening as I get older (or have more children?). It seems like I am feeling things more. Even the daily news is sometimes too much for me.
Recently one of those tear jerker commercials came on for the organization “Forced to Flee.” My husband, my soul mate, was forced to flee with his family. He was a refugee. Many of my closest friends are refugees. Many were refugees as the result of failed U.S. foreign policies.
As I watched the images of babies crying in the pain of hunger and disease I wished I could nurse them. It was an odd thought, one I had never really considered–being willing to nurse another woman’s child, but I knew that I would do it in a heart beat if it meant that child would survive. Those individuals, those faces, those stories, touched me.
I firmly believe that stories lead to relationships, an opening of the heart. Stories and relationships is exactly what we need right now. When I was in college I learned about systemic problems and was taught they need systemic solutions. But we are failing on a big level. What we need is baby steps. The kind where a nurturing adult allows the baby to hold their fingers while taking tottering steps. So those first baby steps need mothers/nurturers. I am thinking about the organizations like “Moms Against Drunk Driving.” We can accomplish alot we Nokomis. We just need to allow our hearts to be open, even if it means pain, and we need to be willing feel for others.