[Note: We have a tradition of asking each person to bring to church on Mother’s Day a single flower—colored if she is still living, white if she has died. The flowers are arranged on the spot into a bouquet and brought into the service just before the Call to Worship. With a bow to Max Coots for the inspiration, here are the words that I wrote for the Call. – Judy Welles]
Honoring the Bouquet of Our Mothers
Today we pay homage to our mothers, the women who birthed us and watched us grow, wiped our noses and stuck bandaids on our knees and kept their fingers crossed that we would turn out all right.
The flowers arranged here for your visual delight are a testimony to your mother and mine, our collective mothers, all of them. See how unique they are, how different from one another. What an impressive array! Each flower is here to remind one of us about a particular woman and the indelible impression she made on our lives.
Some mothers are like forsythia spilling over the neighbor's fence— almost unbearably cheerful, energetic and determinedly curious, insinuating themselves into our lives.
Some mothers are like daisies by the side of the road—humble, perhaps a little frayed around the edges, fretting as they pick at their clothing "Does he love me? Does he love me not?"
Some mothers are like irises in formal gardens—austere and complicated, holding themselves back as we try in vain to discover what's really inside.
Some mothers are like roses displayed on a trellis—lovely, sweet-smelling, sure of their favored place in our hearts.
Some mothers are like thistles in a field—their sharpness wounding us as we try to get close.
Some mothers are like violets coming up in the lawn—unassuming but tenderly loyal, always there regardless of how we take them for granted.
Some mothers are like ivy on a brick wall—holding us too tightly, unwilling or unable to let go.
Some mothers are like beds of peonies—bosomy, overdressed, embarrassing us with their lavishness and the lipstick marks they leave on our cheeks.
Some mothers are like lilac bushes beside the kitchen door— welcoming, familiar, reminding us that we can always come home again.
Living or dead, perfect or flawed, gorgeous or plain, they are our mothers and they did the best they could. Our feelings about our mothers are probably as complex as this arrangement that we see before us. Let us love them for what we can love in them, and honor them the best we can, flawed as we are too. From them we were given the gift of life. Let us say thank you, each in our own way, as we worship together this day. Come, let us worship together.
Copyright: The author has given Unitarian Universalist Association
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Last updated on Tuesday, February 19, 2013.
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