A special day to pay respect to mothers is so widespread across continents and cultures it clearly indicates it is an important need of the human soul.
The idea goes back to the Romans in the ancient world and to the Greek mothering goddess Cybele. Later the early Christians celebrated the annunciation of the birth of Jesus to the Virgin Mary by the angel Gabriel by encouraging children to give a flower or a little gift to their mother. Even masters supported their servants in this regard by giving them time off to visit their mother on a particular day, four weeks after Lent.
The position of Mother's Day in our modern calendar dates back to 1870 and originated in the USA.
During the American Civil War, renowned poet Julia Ward Howe (author of The Battle Hymn of the Republic) was a notable voice for establishing this celebration. She stood up for all mothers in Boston in 1870 by demanding a mother's day holiday: 'Arise all women who have heart. Whether your baptism be of water or of tears!'
At the time, the idea of a mother's day celebration aligned with female emancipation and civil conflict. Nowadays it an opportunity to rejoice with our mothers and thank them for the gift of life.
A friend of mine reminded me our mothers gave us two precious gifts: roots and wings. A home and a safe anchor and a launching place to fly free.
Celebrating Mother's Day this year was indeed very special for our family: my daughter Celeste was born just a month ago. When she grows up I will be honoured by my little girl, simply for the mother I am to her.
My own mother came all the way from France to be part of Celeste's first weeks in this world.
I was blessed with not only the opportunity to reflect on the wonderful mother she is, as well as her influence in my life but also to share these reflections with her personally.
We talked about our family historyâ€"honouring other mothers along the way. I was able to appreciate the special role of mothers in our clan and the way our lives have unfolded, as mothers.
As we chatted, we also thought of all mothers around the globe, less fortunate than ourselves. We have knowledge and freedom, we have each other. We are so lucky.
The bond between a mother and her children should be the same everywhere, no matter what the context, no matter where the place or when the time.
This is what should be remembered on Mother's Day - all our children are born to receive love and nurture and bless us not just by returning the gift but by passing it on. So, shouldn't every mother to have the same right to motherhoodâ€"to teach love and mercy, justice and blessing and to watch it grow?
As, around the world, many mothers are being deprived of this basic joy of motherhood, in this our era Mother's Day should feature a plea for justice for all mothers and a return to this fundamental right.
Proverbs 1:8 NIV "Listen, my son to your father's instruction and do not forsake your mother's teaching."
Julia Baber is French who has migrated to Australia with her English husband. Julia created "The means to the way", a non-profit body that promotes French- Australian business and cultural relations around the world.
Julia Baber's archive of articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/julia-baber.html