… like a motherless child … This famous Spiritual is known the world over, maybe because it touches the orphan child in us. The lament of being a long, long way from home speaks of the universal desire to feel safe, to be accepted, have one’s talent nurtured and simply be held. Listen to this deep-felt ache in Odetta’s voice from a late recording on You Tube.
In most cases we leave the nest in order to become our own person, but winning the obstacle race of growing into an adult and finding self-worth is a remarkable achievement, made easier when a child is welcomed and loved by a parent, a mentor or a community.
The latter presents a grim challenge for people who are forced to leave their homes, for whatever reasons. Affluent societies are now faced with a surge of refugees. There is much goodwill, but equally resentment, often based on ignorance. Public debates seem to miss the acknowledgement of how the wealth that brought about commerce and stability in the west was and is part-indebted to slavery and the exploitation of defenseless countries. The lesson for humility and tolerance is implicit – and ongoing.
Before I get carried away, this post is in memory of my mother, who died three decades ago to this day.
I miss her, and yet …
Sometimes I feel like my mother is near At home, right here in my heart