Mother’s Love

25 05 2011

One day last week, in one of the brief respites from fairly steady rain, I set out to mow my lawn – as fast as I could go.  I was racing the rain and grass that was growing as fast as my mower cut it.  My mind was on the task, my eyes trained on the tracks made by each pass, my ears tuned to the speed of the blade so I would not stall it in the thick grass. I would not be deterred.  Nothing was going to prevent me from getting that damn lawn mowed.

Nothing except her – a rabbit, long-eared garden menace, sitting right in the path of my Lawnboy.    Rabbits do not generally let me get any closer than ten yards before they flee. This one was trembling, but she was holding ground, so I detoured around her, none too happy with the green “soul patch” remaining in my side yard.  What the heck was wrong with her?

After I finished the rest of my yard and put away the mower, I wandered back to the other side of my house to check the unsightly swath of uncut grass and its rodent guardian. Oh, sure, now the rabbit was gone.  No, wait.  She was only about ten feet away, having herself a little rabbit bath and a good stretch.  I glared at her, then at that six-foot swath of tall and unkempt turf and then, I saw them.  Five tiny baby bunnies snug in their nest in the middle of my yard.  That rabbit, surely terrified of the mower and me, wanting to run with every fiber in her, had stayed over her babies to protect them.

As moving as it is to see maternal instinct in the animal world, it is just instinct – no thought process, no analysis, no choice.  We humans, on the other hand, have found ways to rise above instinct, which is, for the most part, a very good thing.  Not so good, though, when we “reason” ourselves out of that instinctive, blinding, unwavering, eternal, fearless love for our children. 

I am incredibly lucky to have a mother who still, after more than fifty years, loves my brother and sister and me with the same ferocity and tenderness she did when we were babies.  She loves us, not for who we are or what we are – Mom loves us simply because we are.  It is funny how little things, like a nest full of fuzzy baby bunnies, can make you stop and think about big things.  Thank you, Mama Rabbit, for reminding me of my great good fortune, my mother’s love.



3 responses

25 05 2011
Katie Margolis

Thanks for writing this. It accurately expresses how I feel about my kids, so I sent it on to them. My Mom is gone, but the fiercely protective love she gave me protects me still.

25 05 2011

Katie, thank you for sharing this with your children.

26 05 2011
Jean Van Brederode

Beautifully said, Miss Paula! Now that mine boys are all grown up, I feel the same way about my grandchildren. A mother’s love never fades!

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