Mother’s Day: Three Staff Picks

For nearly forty years, Orion has curated some of the best writing and photography about the relationship between people and nature. This Mother’s Day, Orion staff selected three of our most memorable pieces about motherhood, about the strength and compassion, the joy and fatigue and courage sustained by all mothers of the world.


  “Fear Itself” by Melanie Challenger
Autumn 2018

“I don’t believe I was truly fearful until I became a mother, which was seven years ago now. There is experiencing fear for yourself, which is really an acute category of loneliness, when you become suddenly aware of your vulnerability and of your entrapment in your single, unique body. Then there is fear for your children, which, loosed from the confines of one body to worry about, magnifies and outstretches both time and specifics. I suspect that many parents are towed by an invisible thread of fear for their children pretty much their whole lives.” Read the full article. 
    “The Art of Waiting” by Belle Boggs
January/February 2012

“Near the river, where the song is louder, their discarded larval shells — translucent amber bodies, weightless and eerie — crunch underfoot on my daily walks. Across the river, in a nest constructed near the top of a tall, spindly pine, bald eagles take turns caring for two new eaglets. Baby turtles, baby snakes, and ducklings appear on the water. Under my parents’ porch, three feral cats give birth in quick succession. And on the news, a miracle pregnancy: Jamani, an eleven-year-old female gorilla at the North Carolina Zoo, is expecting, the first gorilla pregnancy there in twenty-two years.” Read the full article.
    “Seeking Resemblance” by Jill Sisson Quinn

May/June 2017 – (Available as a Daily Download.) “When I take the dog out to do her business, my one-year-old son points to our barn, which houses an antique tractor, and repeats in a soprano voice, rolling the r as if this is the only way he can squeak it out, ‘Carrr! Carrr! Carrr!’ It is his first word, a general term he uses for anything with wheels (a hose reel, the high chair) and anything that sounds like a car (an airplane, a strong wind). I’d hoped for something more natural — ‘tree’ or ‘sun’ or ‘flower’ — or, of course, ‘momma,’ having waited years for the role, my husband and I finally choosing to adopt in our late thirties. But ‘car’ it is. I carry him toward the barn.” 

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