Water is a part of who I am. It winds its way like a river through my soul and cascades like a hidden waterfall in my spirit. And so in thinking about this month's topic I couldn't get my mind off of a blog post I'd actually written about being a Mother a few years ago. I thought of interchanging the words mother for writer and then, with Mother's Day just past and with me about to be a Grand-Mother again in just a few weeks, I decided to take some poetic licence with this months topic and let you read it as it is. As it is, I find that most of my writing is relational and springs from my relationships with those God has placed in my life.
I hope that you will be able to also relate it though to writing and how we draw from a source greater than ourselves as writers.
A river also describes my spiritual journey. Creator God has taken me from a young child and poured his healing waters into my many cracks and broken, dry places bringing me to life again. Some days it feels more like only a tiny rivulet breaking through but I have learnt that God can do mighty things with even that.
Like a River
Motherhood has been compared to many things such as a budding flower or a sheltering tree but for myself, thinking back over my thirty years of being a mom, I see my experience of motherhood as being more like a river.
My middle name of Lynn, means cascade or waterfall so perhaps that is why I have always felt an affinity to water, rivers and water falls. But I’m sure it’s also due to the fact that I spent my formative years in Fergus, Ontario where the beautiful Grand River runs through the town first named Little Falls because of its scenic water falls downtown.  From there it travels through the quaint town of Elora where I spent my Junior High School years and spills into the Elora Gorge with its 22 metre high cliffs and where many a school truant spent their afternoons diving from the high rocks and swimming in the gorge’s deep blue waters.
My high school years were then spent in Athabasca, Alberta where the fast-moving Athabasca River originating from the Columbia Glacier rushes through the town. Flowing along ice fields and through gorges, its banks home to many wildlife habitat , one can almost envision the fur traders that once traveled by canoe up and down its dangerous current.
Standing beside the Falls of the Grand River flowing through Fergus, Ont. where I grew up.
To me, rivers are life-giving, steadfast, fascinating in their ebb and flow and determination to move forward no matter the obstacles in its path. Ever changing, the river flows from a source often larger than itself ; sometimes rushing, diverging and then converging again; other times cascading gently over small rocks and through gully’s to eventually turn off into a babbling brook running through the woods or even become the tiniest of rivulets breaking through a crevice. But always, whether it’s a mighty force or a small stream it flows onwards towards a definite course; winding gently around obstacles or grinding them down with its powerful current; the river simply never stops until it reaches its destination; a channel, lake or sea.
Four generations 1990; last picture with mom
As a mother, I too have garnered my determination and adaptability from a source larger than myself, with God being my greatest source and the underlying current that has kept me moving steadily forward. However there have been other sources given to me by God to help me along the way; diverging streams that have joined eventually with my own, adding their energy and life-giving strength to my own, teaching me, guiding me with a wisdom that can only come from their own experience of motherhood.
I think of my grandmother who was in my life until she was 97 yrs. of age. I could never know as I was growing up, that her steadfast love of mothering her own six children through the depression years, and then becoming a doting, loving and joyful grandmother to myself and her other 23 grandchildren and eventual 55 great-grandchildren, would leave such an indelible mark on my life. But as I move further into my life I find that it has; her rich legacy winding its way into my mother heart and soul so that I often find myself thinking of her and how she would have viewed a particular trial or challenge. She has become a part of the river for me; a source of inspiration.
Her daughter, my mother, is the woman who formed, nurtured and loved me the most during my childhood years. Mom had many of her mother’s qualities of perseverance and courage. She too has been a source larger than myself for me even though she passed away while my children were still babies. Her diagnosis of cancer when she was only thirty-six years old and I sixteen became a twelve-year fight to overcome; through her example to live her life to the fullest despite her circumstances, I draw some of my strength and hope when I face circumstances that I feel are too much to bear. And in spite of her not being there to turn to while my children were growing up, I’ve often found myself repeating something that she did with me as a child or saying something she used to say to me to my own children. Our mothers are always a part of us; guiding us and moving us forward whether they are with us or not.
There can be many other sources larger than ourselves that we come to rely on for a season; perhaps a mentor, friend, sister or counsellor. Anyone who comes along and flows and bends with us through the curves of the river of life can be part of that underlying force that carries us on through those rough spots, teaching us how to persevere and either adapt and flow around a particular obstacle or grit our teeth and find a way through it. Eventually we will come out the other side, wiser, stronger, perhaps not as we had envisioned, but always moving forward, through the rocks and boulevards, steady, streaming, onwards towards our destination where we join with generations of mothers, just like ourselves. From there, with God as our constant source, we can flow into other streams and rivers; joining and supporting them along their path as a mother; like a river.
|Introducing my grand-daughters to their new baby sister|
Gloria Lynn writes and blogs from her home in Caron, Sk; where her husband, children and grand-children light up her world anytime that they come through the door.