TENDER SCENES OF does and fawns are common in Pocahontas County. DNR photo

Laura Dean Bennett
Contributing Writer

The magic of spring brings many gifts, but none more pleasing than the joy of witnessing motherhood in all its many forms.

As we watch the tall, new grass sway in the breeze and our woods dress themselves in pastel shades of green, scenes of motherhood abound. 

The hills are alive with living and breathing examples of mothers and babies – in the wild, on the farm and in our own homes.

Even without advertisements about flowers and gifts for Mom’s special day and Mother’s Day cards in the stores to remind us, we just have to keep our eyes on nature to be reminded of the nobility of motherhood.

Chicks and ducklings are hatching out and imprinting on their moms, cows are nursing calves and mares are standing guard over their foals. 

Birds are fiercely protecting nests of tiny hatchlings. 

Black bears keep vigilant watch as they teach their cubs to forage in the woods. 

Soon we’ll see cautious does hiding their velvety, speckled fawns. 

And human mothers are doing what they have done for thousands of years – lovingly and patiently protecting and preparing the next generation for the future.

If West Virginia’s Anna Jarvis had never suggested setting aside a special day to honor our mothers, we would still have known to honor them, wouldn’t we?

With or without a national day of celebration with cards, flowers and breakfasts in bed, it is in our nature to love and respect our mothers – and not just on Mother’s Day, but every day.

There’s something absolutely sacred about the love of a mother for her baby – even the most hardened heart must stand in awe of it. 

To witness it, no matter in which species, is to be witness to the essence of love and beauty.

The hard work and bravery of every species of mothers who struggle to raise their young in an often harsh world, may be done according to instinct, but I refuse to believe that it is not also done out of love.

Young birds and animals may not be drawing colorful pictures and making presents for their mamas, but they celebrate in their own way. 

They celebrate motherhood with their survival. 

After all, without their mothers, they probably wouldn’t have lived long enough to be out on their own. 

The instincts and knowledge that nature’s mothers pass along to their offspring often mean the difference between a difficult and short life and a long, prosperous one.

And for those of you reading this – your mothers did the same for you. 

The cards, the flowers and the gifts are nice, but there is a better gift we can give our mothers, even those who have passed on. 

Thanking our mothers for their gift of life means offering them, or their memory, the gift, in turn, of a life well-lived.

Happy Mother’s Day – and may your life be a manifestation of all the happiness that your mother wished for you.