In Gratitude to Our Mothers and Our Mother Earth

While I was kayaking through Everglades National Park this past March, I had some time to reflect on the beautiful love and deep importance of both our own mothers and our shared Mother Earth. I had the chance to write some of these reflections for Misadventures Magazine just in time to wish my mom and all of the wonderful mothers out there a very happy Mother’s Day! Below is an excerpt from my published piece, and a link to the full article.

“For after something this powerful, this deep,” I whispered, “There is nothing after here.”

I was five days into a weeklong solo-kayaking trip through the backcountry of Everglades National Park when I spoke these words out to a cove of salty water.

I had just set up camp on a small, white sand key. The water looked inviting, so I stripped off my ripe paddling clothes and walked into the sea. The warm water greeted me with a healing cleanse. I breathed deeply, euphorically. I stood in the water,SCAN0034 and began to inspect myself. My arms were covered in bug bites. My hands were lightly bruised under the nails, and calloused on the palms. I saw hair growing from all of the wild places. As I splashed water up to rinse my beaten skin, I was grateful for this trip, and for my body that allowed me to complete it.

But in that moment I also felt something larger than the significance of my own corporeal force. In that moment, the salt of the sea misted my own eyes, and I noticed that we were made of the same particles. Through this backcountry trip, this cove of salty water had very much become a part of my own cellular structure. I felt an immense appreciation for this earth, for this mother.

And so I whispered aloud, to myself and to the sea, “I am no longer afraid of what time will bring, for I have lived an eternity in the sweet glow of your smile.”

The words I whispered were not my own. They were those gifted to me by the mother with whom I not only shared the salty tears of my eyes, but the very flesh and blood I now washed in the sea. They were words from a poem she had written for me when I began my freshman year of college. Since then, I have read its lines enough times to carry them with me wherever I go.

To read the full article, please visit Misadventures Magazine.

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