Mother Wisdom From the Wild

She’s back. Like an elegant Queen, she sits quietly on her throne, undisturbed by the world around her. She’s strong, determined, clear on her intent. Her robes are made of downy, white feathers that shield her from the elements as she waits.

Wind. Rain. Snow. Thunder. She remains still through it all. She’s a mother protecting new life.

For several days now, I’ve watched the return of a Mute Swan who lives in our neighborhood. She’s perched on a nest in the middle of an island and she’ll be there for weeks as she waits for her eggs to hatch. Every year, when I see her return to the same spot, I marvel at her commitment, her patience, and her fearless, instinctive love. I say a silent prayer that all goes well each time I pass by.

I’ve always been smitten with swans and this year I’ve adopted our Mute Swan as a teacher because, in some ways, she symbolizes an existence that’s appealing right now.

Her life is simple. She’s chosen a private place to settle, a place not easily disturbed by others. She sits quietly, present to her surroundings. She trusts herself. Regardless of the weather here in the Northeast, she stays put. She instinctively knows she can handle whatever unfolds before her. And when the time comes to move, she’ll do so gracefully as she rises up and returns to the water ready for her next adventure.

Swan wisdom is good medicine. Midlife invites a new kind of mothering and I’m grateful to Mother Nature for the intelligence needed to navigate new terrain.

To all of you Mothers who light the way with your presence, wisdom, and patience, I bow to you. May this day be a fitting celebration for the love you bring to the world.





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Cheryl Richardson

Cheryl Richardson is the author of The New York Times bestselling books, Take Time for Your Life, Life Makeovers, Stand Up for Your Life, The Unmistakable Touch of Grace and her new book The Art of Extreme Self Care. She was the first president of the International Coach Federation and holds one of their first Master Certified Coach credentials.

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