Lynn L. Caruso is an educator, poet, parent/child advocate, and mother of three children. She is the editor of Blessing the Animals: Prayers and Ceremonies to Celebrate God's Creatures, Wild and Tame. Here is an inspiring collection of prayers, ceremonies, poems, and blessings for mothers of all types traditional, single, adoptive, foster, step, and bereaved. These words of healing and hope are presented from many faith traditions including Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim, and Native American. Even more impressive are the interfaith ceremonies that are included in the book: a blessing ceremony for the expectant mother and child, a multigenerational family celebration, a welcome for adoption, and a meditation on weaning.
The book is organized around the seasons: spring as a season of planting and new life, summer as a season of growth and transformation, autumn as a season of thanks-giving, and winter as a season of loss. Other chapters cover our maternal ancestors, the Divine Mother, and the power of a mother's love. Caruso shares resources that capture and convey the different shades of motherhood and their attendant joys and challenges. This collection includes material by Maya Angelou, Hafiz, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Anne Lamott, Gunilla Norris, Mirabai Starr, and many others. Here is a sampler:
"It is true
I was created in you.
It is also true
That you were created for me.
I owned your voice.
It was shaped and turned to soothe me.
Your arms were molded
Into a cradle to hold me, to rock me.
The scent of your body was the air
Perfumed for me to breathe."
"Dear God, Bless All Mothers . . . Especially Expectant Mothers
"In this intense nine months, when mothers-to-be are realizing that their life is about to change forever, bless them God, because they feel alternately elated and alarmed. Help each mother-in-waiting to understand that she has been carefully chosen, by both you and by her baby, to guide it through its early years on planet Earth. Let her know that she will never be alone in the process. Help her to remember that her baby is your own perfect creation, just as she, herself, is your own perfect creation. Thank you God, for making each of your creations uniquely perfect in its own way. Amen."
"May the God who dances in creation,
and embraces us with human love,
who shakes our lives like thunder,
bless us and drive us out with power
to fill the world with her justice. Amen."