The ruminations of an artist on art & quilts, beading, knitting, drawing, painting, printmaking, bookmaking are all my passions, I love to explore creating....

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Mother's Day and Peace : the History

Rediscover Mother's Day

"In the United States, Mother's Day is copied from England by social activist Julia Ward Howe after the American Civil War with a call to unite women against war. She wrote the Mother's Day Proclamation. Written in 1870, Howe's Mother's Day Proclamation was a pacifist reaction to the carnage of the American Civil War and the Franco-Prussian War. The Proclamation was tied to Howe's feminist belief that women had a responsibility to shape their societies at the political level." --from Wikipedia

Mother's Day Proclamation

Arise, then, women of this day!
Arise, all women who have hearts,
Whether our baptism be of water or of tears!

Say firmly:
"We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies,
Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause.
Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn
All that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.
We, the women of one country, will be too tender of those of another country
To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs."

From the bosom of the devastated Earth a voice goes up with our own.
It says: "Disarm! Disarm! The sword of murder is not the balance of justice."
Blood does not wipe out dishonor, nor violence indicate possession.
As men have often forsaken the plough and the anvil at the summons of war,
Let women now leave all that may be left of home for a great and earnest day of counsel.

Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.
Let them solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means
Whereby the great human family can live in peace,
Each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar,
But of God.

In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask
That a general congress of women without limit of nationality
May be appointed and held at someplace deemed most convenient
And at the earliest period consistent with its objects,
To promote the alliance of the different nationalities,
The amicable settlement of international questions,
The great and general interests of peace.

"In 1914, as a result of the efforts of Anna Jarvis, Congress officially made "Mother's Day" a national holiday. Jarvis too had a broader vision -- hoping the holiday would inspire a transcendence of traditional roles and encourage women and men to work together towards a better, more just world. Back then, women were looked down upon for expressing political opinons. We are fortunate to live in a time when women can, and do, speak out against injustice, and May 13 is a great day to do just that!"

--- from the ENews for BiziWomen --the online newsletter of the Bay Area Business Woman

Video Premier: Felicity Huffman, Vanessa Williams, Alfre Woodard teach us the true story of Mother's Day. To see a great short video on Mother's Day, Peace, and Julia's Howe's words aloud--go here: Mother's Day for Peace.

What could be more peaceful than this scene ?---I learned to knit from my Grandmother, much like this woman teaching the young one to crochet.

I suspect that many knitters and crocheters learned their art from a mother or grandmother --or another older influential woman in their life.
On this Mother's Day I plan to honor all the older women who taught me all manners of needlecraft, by consciously reflecting on them as I knit the pair of baby bootees I am currently making; I will also contemplate the original meaning of Mother's Day, and pray for peace and an end to war---as Julia Ward Howe did over 100 years ago.

"A teacher gave her class of second graders a lesson on the magnet and what it does. The next day in a written test, she included this question: "My full name has six letters. The first one is M. I pick up things. What am I?" When the test papers were turned in, the teacher was astonished to find that almost 50 percent of the students answered the question with the word Mother" --- Unknown


beadbabe49 said...

Wonderful poetry...thanks!

Felicia said...

How interesting! Thanks for sharing :)

Romi said...

Happy Mother's Day!

Mary Timme said...

Pretty amazing quote. But then the hint was broad. I'd not know that the day was borrowed from England or GB or from Juliet Howe. Good stuff to know.