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An old witch sat one evening next to an old oak and admired the moon. While sitting there she began reflecting on her many years of practice in the craft. In doing so she wondered why she had never found that which she had most sought through the years…her sacred name.
“Mother?” she whispered into the wind, “my time in this life is short, and I would make a request of you. What is the name which has eluded me all these years? Many names have come and gone as I saw fit, but none seemed absolutely Divine…one to know just between the gods and me.”
Feeling her emotions rise as she began to worry that she would never know, she began to plea in earnest, “Mother, what is my name?” Just then the wind rustled through the trees and a gentle laugh could be heard. The Mother’s gentle voice whispered into her ear, in a way that had become familiar over the years, “Remember. Oh, my child, remember.” With that the wind was gone, as gently as it came.
“Mother! Why do you not answer that which I seek?” she stubbornly asked, feeling that surely the mother would answer her this time in her aged years. “Mother, I have waited patiently for many years, yet you give me the same answer still.” In confusion she left her quiet spot near the old oak tree and accepted that maybe she should never know her true name.
A few seasons later the old witch felt a gentle wind caress her cheek and whisper in her ear, “Come, my child, your time in this world is almost done.” The old woman let the wind direct her to her quiet spot under the old oak. There the Mother appeared for the first time before her.
“Mother? ” said the woman in a hesitant voice, “what would you have me do? My body is failing and sometimes my mind is weak. Even my very soul grows tired.”
“Recline here under this tree, and close your eyes, ” instructed the Lady. The old witch did so , as she was told. Then she felt the Mother take her hand and say simply, “You must remember”. The witch began to see all that had been in her life. Her childhood ,motherhood, and craft life. She saw all times the Mother had come to her in her workings through the years and was grateful.
Opening her eyes she dared to ask yet again, “Mother, what is my sacred name?”
The Lady touched her eyes and again the witch remembered all the times she asked this question and all the times the only reply was, “My child. Remember, my child”. Sudden realization hit her and she cried, “Mother?”
“Yes,” said the Mother as a divine wind gathered about them. “You had the answer all along.”
The wind carried them toward a bright light. The old woman knew her body was left behind, but didn’t grieve for it.
At the outer edge of the light they paused. “Your name is very special to me and is the same for all your brothers and sisters, whether they be like you or four legged or winged. Even the trees and rocks are known to me as such. No name is higher to me . . . My Child. In realizing that you are a sacred part of the All, and no matter how different the species or race, you are all my children. Therefore, My Child is the most powerful and sacred of names, for it is the one I gave you . . . to all my children at their birth.”
The Lady then gestured to a vision below them of a young woman laboring in her first birth. “You see, as each woman becomes a mother she becomes a part of me and calls you that which I do . . . My Child. Even daughter and son in all the languages of the earth, mean the same . . . My Child. Each time you asked of me what your name was, I always told you. . .Remember, My Child.”
Realization came over the old witch’s face and tears of joy filled her eyes. Knowing her life was complete ,she followed the Mother into the light and closed her eyes feeling the warmth on her face. She couldn’t tell how long she lingered there in the light nor did she care.
She began to feel strange, her body became more solid and the warmth she had known became a blast of cold air.Her lungs stung with the pain of a long awaited breath and she cried out with a loud wail for she could speak no words. “Mother!” , she thought frantically, and she heard that gentle laugh and that familiar voice calling to her saying “my child” . . . or was it different this time?
She stopped crying and turned toward the voice. Although she couldn’t see very well she knew that this was the young mother she had seen in the vision. She had been reborn. As the memories of her earlier life were fading and her soul, now rested and renewed, settled into the tiny little body, she heard one last whisper from the Mother, “In each and every life you enter and leave with the same name . . . My Child. It has been the same and will remain the same for all eternity . . . My Child. The name that is All and brings you closest to my heart . . . My Child.
This name is what you forever shall be . . . My Child.”
Copied from Pagan Home
As ham sandwiches go, it was perfection. A thick slab of ham, a fresh bun, crisp lettuce and plenty of expensive, light brown, gourmet mustard.
The corners of my jaw aching in anticipation, I carried it to the picnic table in our backyard, picked it up with both hands but was stopped by my wife suddenly at my side. “Hold Johnny (our six-week-old son) while I get my sandwich,” she said.
I had him balanced between my left elbow and shoulder and was reaching again for the ham sandwich when I noticed a streak of mustard on my fingers.
I love mustard. I had no napkin. I licked it off. It was not mustard.
No man ever put a baby down faster. It was the first and only time I have sprinted with my tongue protruding. With a washcloth in each hand I did the sort of routine shoeshine boys do, only I did it on my tongue.
Later (after she stopped crying from laughing so hard) my wife said, “Now you know why they call that mustard ‘Poupon.’
A few months ago, when I was picking up the children at school, another mother I knew well rushed up to me. Emily was fuming with indignation.” Do you know what you and I are?” she demanded. Before I could answer and I didn’t really have one handy – she blurted out the reason for her question.
It seemed she had just returned from renewing her driver’s license at The County Clerk’s office. Asked by the woman recorder to state her occupation, Emily had hesitated, uncertain how to classify herself. What I mean is,” explained the recorder, “do you have a job, or are you just a …..?” “Of course I have a job,” snapped Emily. “I’m a mother.”
“We don’t list ‘mother’ as an occupation…’housewife’ covers it,” said the recorder emphatically.
I forgot all about her story until one day I found myself in the same situation, this time at our own Town Hall. The Clerk was obviously a career woman, poised, efficient, and possessed of a high-sounding title like “Official Interrogator” or “Town Registrar.”
“And what is your occupation?” she probed. What made me say it, I do not know. The words simply popped out. “I’m a Research Associate in the field of Child Development and Human Relations.”
The clerk paused, ball-point pen frozen in midair, and looked up as though she had not heard right. I repeated the title slowly, emphasizing the most significant words. Then I stared with wonder as my pompous pronouncement was written in bold, black ink on the official questionnaire.
“Might I ask,” said the clerk with new interest, “just what you do in your field?”
Coolly, without any trace of fluster in my voice, I heard myself reply, “I have a continuing program of research (what mother doesn’t) in the laboratory and in the field (normally I would have said indoors and out). I’m working for my Masters (the whole darned family) and already have four credits (all daughters).
“Of course, the job is one of the most demanding in the humanities (any mother care to disagree?) and I often work 14 hours a day (24 is more like it). But the job is more challenging than most run-of-the-mill careers and the rewards are in satisfaction rather than just money.”
There was an increasing note of respect in the clerk’s voice as she completed the form, stood up, and personally ushered me to the door.
As I drove into our driveway, buoyed up by my glamorous new career, I was greeted by my lab assistants – ages 13, 7, and 3. Upstairs I could hear our new experimental model (6 months) in the child-development program, testing out a new vocal pattern.
I felt triumphant! I had scored a beat on bureaucracy! And I had gone on the official records as someone more distinguished and indispensable to mankind than “just another mother.”
Motherhood…what a glorious career. Especially when there’s a title on the door.
If you are a whimp ~~ end here. If not, come with me Not for wimps.