In the US, Mother’s Day started out as a holiday about peace. Initially mothers of soldiers who died in both sides of the Civil War would meet to try to reconcile. The most famous example of the peaceful intent of Mother’s Day is the Proclamation by Julia Ward Howe. She is best remembered as the abolitionist, pacifist, and suffragist poet who penned the Battle Hymn of the Republic. The proclamation is at the bottom of this post. In between are some peaceful gift suggestions for your mother,
Let’s start with a peaceful way to wrap your present:
This is cutting edge in the recycling industry. Our plantable seeded paper is made of 100% recycled paper. The following are just some of the wildflower seeds embedded in the paper: Corn Poppy, Clover, Calendula, Plain Coreopsis, Baby’s Beath, and Baby Snapdragon, Cornflower, Bishop’s Flower, Flax Scarlet and Blue, Daisy Shasta, Gaillardia, Larkspur.
You get 4 large 24″ x 36″ sheets – enough for 8 shirt boxes. Comes with 6 gift cards plus a nest of raffia and instructions. This can also be used as tissue paper in a gift bag or box.
The Duchess couldn’t wait until Mother’s Day to give this gift. She gave it to all the Mother’s in her family on Valentine’s Day.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art book Art & Love: An Illustrated Anthology of Love Poetry celebrates the spectrum of love with each book section title taken from the initial poem:
- My-ness (Milosz)
- Oath of Friendship (Anonymous)
- Go, Lovely Rose (Waller)
- Let Me Count the Ways (Barrett Browning)
- The Mess of Love (Lawrence)
- Yesterday He Still looked in My Eyes (Tsvetayeva)
- The Marriage of True Minds (Shakespeare)
- Give All to Love (Emerson)
The Duchess and I enjoy reading each other poems from this collection, and viewing the photos of the accompanying art from the Met’s collection. An anonymous poem from ancient India that the Duchess enjoys from this collection is titled Although I Conquer All the Earth.
Although I conquer all the earth,
Yet for me there is only one city.
In that city there is for me only one house;
And in that house, one room only;
And one woman sleeps there,
The shining joy and jewel of all my kingdom.
She also loves the concept of loving one’s soul that is recounted in When You are Old by William Butler Yeats.
Mother’s Day Proclamation
Arise, then, women of this day!
Arise, all women who have hearts, Whether our baptism be of water or of tears!
Say firmly: “We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies, Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause. 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.”
From the bosom of the devastated Earth a voice goes up with our own. It says: “Disarm! Disarm! The sword of murder is not the balance of justice.” Blood does not wipe out dishonor, nor violence indicate possession. As men have often forsaken the plough and the anvil at the summons of war, Let women now leave all that may be left of home for a great and earnest day of counsel.
Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead. Let them solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means Whereby the great human family can live in peace, Each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar, But of God.
In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask That a general congress of women without limit of nationality May be appointed and held at someplace deemed most convenient And at the earliest period consistent with its objects, To promote the alliance of the different nationalities, The amicable settlement of international questions,
The great and general interests of peace.