This wonderful country has enlightened me to the artistic beauties which exist outside my own country. I have seen so many forms of art, from the She Wolf, to Roman graffiti, to the delicate pastries seen in bakeries. However, I recently had the chance to see a very different kind of art, the art of being a mother. Some might question this form of art; however I am fully confident in my idea. My vision of art is something not every person has, it is unique to the artist; it cannot be copied, or even taught, and true motherly instincts are not taught, they are simply known. The definition of a mother is not a woman who has given birth to a child, but rather any women who has taken on the responsibility of raising an individual, child or adult, blood relative or not.
This past Wednesday we had an amazing opportunity to step away from the attractions of the city, and business of campus life. We went to visit Mater Dei, an orphanage which takes in single mothers and their children. It is run by a group of nuns who have devoted their entire lives to helping the mothers, and raising their children. The mothers have all come from abusive relationships; as a result the children are often times rejected because of the horrific events their mothers have endured. Because of the personal histories of the women and children, the nuns have become adoptive mothers to both the children, and their mothers. They not only offer physical healing, but the spiritual and mental healing only mothers have the gift of providing as well. Mothers come into Mater Dei with and are mentally plagued with the memories of past relationships. The nuns then assume the motherly role of simply listening. It requires great deal of patience and understanding, a virtue not everyone possesses, but all true mothers have readily available. One of the sisters mentioned that often times the mother’s stories become taxing to the nuns own state of mind. Yet, they recognize that a huge part of the healing process involves listening; and for that reason the nuns will always have an open ear. This is one of the major beauties of being a mother, they perpetually give of themselves, despite any burden it may have on their own lives.
The same concept holds true for my own mother. I can remember when I was five I fell off my bike. I thought it was the end of the world, and with bloody hands and knees I ran to my mom crying. She calmly dropped whatever it was she was doing, and held me close to her. When I was in grade school, I remember holding my pet gerbil in my hands and watching it as it took its last breath. I was sure my world would end, and with my dead gerbil in one hand, and his makeshift casket in the other I ran to my mom sobbing, she stopped what she was doing, held me close, and took time to help me give him a proper burial. I can remember a year ago, being lost in a completely foreign country. I thought my life was certainly about to end, with my computer in one hand and tissue in another, I called my mom on Skype. She stopped what she was doing to answer, and comforted me from miles away.
I am not exactly sure what it is about mothers, but I feel as if their spirit itself is calming, it is innate; something a woman is born with, and in time discovers the incredibly powerful gift she has within her. Mothers are artists; there is no doubt in my mind, having the ability to stop all tears, heartaches, and even the end of the world.