The mare received major burns over most of its body, trying to protect its fold from the flames, falling wood and debris. It was a life or death situation before the two could be rescued.
But they made it. And the Mother is healing. Her baby did not receive even a cut or bruise. Watching this news account touched me deeply. God is so visible in nature. To nurture and protect is instinctual.
Every creature has that mothering instinct:
Think of the ants who corral their eggs into chambers underground and fiercely defend against intruders.
Consider the bees swarming if the honeycomb is in danger.
There are the female lion and leopard who raise their young.
Can’t miss the mothering instinct. It is all around us. All of God’s creations have it — even the smallest living things. If we are born with it, how can some Mothers mistreat their children?
Often it is the absence of having been Mothered themselves. To be a Mother is a calling, not just a matter of biology. It is unconditional love, forgiveness, selfless conduct and courage. One does not come by these qualities easily.
Formed over dozens of dirty diapers, cut fingers and loose teeth, Mothers are forged in some sort of mystical fire. They are cool around screaming children and diplomatic with disgruntled husbands.
Lately, I have been thinking about Mothers and motherhood. It is probably the toughest, but most rewarding job a woman will ever have. I have renewed respect because I was once a critic, could not see past being a career girl.
In a column that seemed smart at the time, I did not endorse motherhood. In fact, I wrote I would have to be drafted. It was the I-am- woman-hear-me-roar era and I was not going to march to the beat of a biological clock.
How short sighted. Now, well into my fifties, I have become obsessed with kids. My soul is hungry for an experience I didn’t take seriously. I want the crayon drawings on my refrigerator; the chocolate fingerprints on the walls and a little one tugging at my hemline.
Most of all, I want the gift God gave all of us. I do use my mothering muscle on friends, students, extended family members. I do love on them. But it is not the same as placing a baby in the arms of the father, marveling at this miracle of life.
Mother’s Day will be here soon. And while Moms should be celebrated every day, I will feel a slight twinge of jealousy. I could have had a career and also been in their company.