Updated: May 14, 2019
The very word mother is based on one of the first sounds naturally made by an infant, the rolling of M and A, MA…
Each historical culture has added its own spin and deeper meanings; some beautiful and some relating to less palatable meanings.
The Old English word for Mother signified “that which gave birth to anything”, and was generally only used for older women of lower class. An ancient Slavic term, MATI, was a bit more accurate and translated to a female parent in relation to her child.
It was also the word for “scum secreted” as experimentation with various substances occurred around the 1500’s.
I’ve recently learned the term “Baby Mama” is now considered derogatory, and apologize that I once had a tea blend named “Baby Mama Tea” intended for pregnant and lactating women. I still find it a beautiful term, but since I am not a Baby Mama (or a mother), I don’t really have much right to an opinion. (Thus the apology).
I have always been surrounded by powerful women. Mothers, Tias, Primas, Friends, Colleagues, Adversaries. I don’t consider having a child a defining factor of being a woman and some of the women I know who have never had children are as motherly as any of the mothers I know. I play a motherly role daily, in my own ways.
Ultimately, I consider myself a child of the Earth, and our planet the greatest Mother of them all.
Sadly, I know this sentence makes a lot of people roll their eyes. I see the lack of connection every day, how this concept is still considered esoteric, and it it heart-wrenching.
My business, my vision, this tiny beauty company, struggles daily because of my insistence on caring for all the things before ensuring profit. People, Place, Planet, Partnerships and THEN profit.
But it is so hard.
Sadly, it is hard because of the simplest economic rules: Supply + Demand.
Most businesses will continue to supply consumers with what is purchased; and most consumers don’t see the full circle of things they purchase. Shiny things are distracting. Cute, single-use items fly off the shelves. In the US alone, 1,500 plastic bottles are discarded EVERY SECOND OF EVERY DAY. Cheap filler lotion ingredients are produced by the billions of gallons so that 32oz bottles of crappy product can be sold for less that five bucks. 2,500 acres of land in Indonesia is burned every few weeks causing ridiculous suffering to so many critters to make way for Palm Oil so that companies can say “all-natural” while filling their formulas with cheap alternatives. IT IS DIRE.
Don’t even get me started on the subscription boxes filled with bottles meant to look big but only filled half-way, or all the “green beauty companies” using non-recyclable tubes or non-refillable bottles.
Recycling isn’t even a real solution anymore.
A poignant article by Kathleen Parker in the Washington Post discusses the recent report by the United Nations that 1 MILLION SPECIES, one-eight of all species, is at the brink of extinction, and how little attention this report received. 1 million. One-eight. If that doesn’t break your heart just a little, I am not certain what will.
Next time you take a walk, notice each living thing you see- each plant, bug, squirrel, butterfly, bird, cute dog, person…imagine it may be one of the last times you see one of those species. You may not care if the worms aren’t around, but you would if your flowers are no longer healthy, or if the bird populations that make the prettiest sounds start waning because their food source disappears, or if organic produce as we know it becomes a thing of the past.
I am sorry this is depressing. But it is important, and I want you to think about about it.
The world needs you to think about it. The Great Mother NEEDS you to think about it.Because, if you do, and I do, and we commit to doing the best we can, we can change this. We can keep living cool lives knowing we are not causing really sh*tty lives for generations to come.
I think of it like anti-aging for the planet. Vanity.
If the air and water get worse, and the food gets worse, the planet itself starts to look/feel more haggard, and we will look/feel more haggard. I hate feeling haggard. Imagine what the Earth feels with clogged up waterways, toxic airways and crappy food.
Sometimes I see detox systems that consist of lots of single-use plastic items and it seems so small-minded. The very thing we are “detoxing” from we are now adding to.
Walking through a Target or Sephora beauty section with me is not fun. So much crap. So much single-use, so much that isn’t doing a single thing for your beauty, the well-being of people or the future of sustainable global environmental systems. While a few of us soul-rooted entrepreneurs feel like we are in the trenches every day, trying to get attention without resorting to dumbed-down flash, paying ten times more for something done right while getting a fraction of the profit margin afforded to sell-out brands, but we are committed to something bigger. Something meaningful. to real beauty. Intelligent beauty.
I desire a future in which children will be able to swim in clean water, breathe healthy air, eat a carrot straight from the ground and that we will still be able to slather ourselves with products done right.
To making our Mother proud.
I wish I had a fluffy post for you today. I celebrate the perseverance of motherhood.