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Mothering, as an act…and a story about groundhogs

Tomorrow is Mother’s Day and I’m inspired to tell you a story. It’s a heart wrenching one… but has a happy ending. This has nothing directly to do with angels (or does it?!). Sometimes we just need a good story.

A year ago, Peter and I were delighted to be hosts to a mama groundhog (or woodchuck if you prefer 😉 ) and her two young babies. They were living in the bushes behind our garage and we would see mama come out to eat in the grass with her two little ones always close by.

One day, I was walking on the street on my way to the woods, when I was horrified to discover that mama woodchuck had been hit by a car and had died. 

She was still warm and her nipples were swollen. Her babies had nursed not an hour or two before I found her.

I let out a cry and sobbed as I walked back to the house, wondering, “What’s going to happen to her babies? Will they make it?”

We buried the mama with a sacred ceremony and asked the angels to help us help the little ones.

I learned that they like melon. So I bought melon.

Each morning, I would slice up some fruit and leave it near where I knew they lived. Later in the afternoon, I would see the fresh nibbles from the flesh and the rind. Sometimes the whole thing was gone – I think sometimes, they’d just drag it all into their burrow.

The babies also began to eat grass. Over time, they came out from hiding to forage and feast – getting bolder and bolder as they ventured a little further into the pasture (away from the road, thankfully!)

They also loved my flowers. I remember one day going into the house and an hour later, they’d leveled an entire section of my echinacea.

With our son’s impending wedding at our home – and because I could never go to war with them anyway – I researched and learned that sprinking cayenne powder is a deterrent. 

(Side note: so many times we have natural alternatives to chemicals. Did you know that putting out a small dish of borax mixed with powdered sugar is a very effective way to deal with ants?)

Last year, I became the little guys’ surrogate mother. 

This year, I am happy to say that they emerged from hibernation healthy and strong. They have been wrestling, playing and eating up a storm.

I can’t tell one from the other, but here’s one of them at a favorite look-out station. (Can you feel the proud mama vibe here?!)

Mothering energy can be powerfully strong.

In it’s purest form, it’s primal. It’s nurturing. It’s protective. It’s intuitively linked to Source.

I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to be a mother recently, now that my own children are out of the house and my “baby” is our Rosie cat.

Here’s what I’ve laid as my foundation…

Mothering is an act. It is a way of being in the world. It is the intention to take responsibility and care for Life itself.

It doesn’t matter if it’s one’s own children, a friends’ children, an adult in need…or orhpaned groundhogs.

We all have the mother instinct inside of us. For some it may be covered with scars and hard to see, but it’s there.

And the more we can heal and embrace the inner mama bear by standing up for what we want to protect and nurture, the more our world settles into a new earth built on love, community and respect for all of life.

Happy Mother’s Day to the inherent mother within YOU. 🙂

May you and your loved ones know peace and grace. And may you know how truly powerful YOU are!

Big hugs… 

xo Elvia

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