Mother’s Love Bonds

Kerry & TC hanging with the Masai

Kerry & TC hanging with the Masai

When I was in Tanzania with my good friend Kerry, we visited a Masai village and took part in the women’s dance. Of course there were children and of course Kerry, the architypical mom, gushed. She was a newly minted Grand-mom and it took very little encouragement for her to whip out photos of the newly minted granddaughter. The change in those Masai women was moving. We…ok, Kerry,  morphed from being just another tourist to a MOM!, not just a mom but a GRANDMOTHER!! When it was established that I was not in this sacred group, I was pushed to the edge of the mob rushing in to see Kerry’s photos. I was stunned. And awed. The image has never left me. There was my Kerry, little white woman of a certain age, dressed in her best safari kakis, surrounded by tall, black women of all ages, draped in their brilliant plaid blankets and adorned with layers of beaded jewellery. Since I wasn’t a mom, I never witnessed this phenomenon and since Kerry was well over her gushing stage with her own children, it never occurred to her to play the mother card when she travelled. But in the throes of grandmother fever, her love poured forth and enchanted these women. That was their language – love. Unconditional love for their defenceless fragile offspring. An evolutionary mechanism that ensures the survival the species, it has taken on mystic proportions.  It should be a bond that transcends culture, language and even species. You don’t need to be a mom to recognize that love. It tugs at your heart and takes you back to when you were loved or how you wish you had been loved, by your mom. I recognize it not only in humans but in animals as well. To stand and watch a mother gorilla faun over her baby or an elephant wrap her trunk protectively around her son, is to know you stand in the presence of that mystic bond. You know, without a doubt, that whether human or not, most moms would lay down their lives to protect their off-spring. And it makes us feel all warm and fuzzy to be near it.

photo credit

photo credit

To all the moms out there, I pray that today of all days you are surrounded by all the love that you have nurtured and know how much you are loved. While every day should honour moms, Happy Mother’s Day to you all, no matter the colour, culture or species, your love has made us what we are today. How do you honour your Mother on this her special day? Have you ever had a ‘mom’ experience travelling?

8 thoughts on “Mother’s Love Bonds

  1. I am so touched to be included in your post and honoured to be part of your heart felt tribute to Mom’s around the world. You are truly loved Dear Friend!


  2. i lpove this entry, Donnae…
    Mothers and their bottomless love. My ‘mom’ experience travelling has been at ENP. I feel like those ele are all my mothers.

    In a blog I wrote prior to my first ever visit to ENP:

    * * * * * ON A MORE PERSONAL NOTE * * * * *
    The path that has led me here has not been a straight nor narrow one. It has meandered through many side trails and in doing so allowed me to discover courage, allow confrontation, feel tears, realize acceptance, embrace choice and, finally, welcome my own voice. As a survivor and consequently a sufferer of PTSD, the need to find an encompassing connection to something meaningful and at the same time provide inner peace has been a sort of mission.

    A beginning…

    Several years ago, my sister introduced me to the magnificent and complex nature of the elephant. Despite their intimidating size and strength, they are often referred to as the gentle giants of the animal kingdom, loving, caring and peaceful at heart. In an ideal (natural) environment and left on their own, they will flourish in advanced social organizations while at the same time maintaining complex levels of communication between the groups of individuals. We began to understand and draw parallels of elephant psychology and sociology to our own lives and experiences. Elephants are very intelligent creatures that experience similar emotions to that of human beings, including PTSD. They also have not just a voice, but nuances within the voice that allows them to express that emotion. Sounds include growls, rumbles, trumpets, squeals, shrieks and low frequency vocalizations. With that, I believe these elephants can feel.

    But… of all the amazing characteristics of elephants, the one that has intrigued us the most is the altruistic behavior of the family unit. When a calf is in trouble or is in need, there isn’t one trunk reaching out to help, there are thirty. It is the complete absence of motherless love. This connection is profound.

    This connection has flourished within me, nurturing my connection to these amazing elephants and even more importantly a new connection with my sister. A healthy purposeful one that has overshadowed our past traumas of years ago.

    Further research and exploration of this elephant culture had prompted an interest, for both me and my sister, to see them and help them in person. Abuse and neglect, whether from captivity or abusive work conditions ranging from circus showcasing to illegal use in logging, has presented similar PTSD that we’ve experienced. And the need to help them the way they’ve helped us is finally being brought to fruition.


    • Thanks Cat. As you know my time with ENP was profound and I will never forget those amazing beings. To stand beside them, my shoulder touching theirs – well you know, still brings tears to my eyes and a longing to my heart. Thanks dear friend for sharing your post about elephants. And that was written BEFORE you went to ENP!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s