On a recent trip to Portland, Oregon, I decided to walk from my hotel to the Japanese gardens. Taking a “short cut” through a park, I saw this statue of Sacagewea with her baby.
“Oh, yeah,” I thought, “She had a baby….”
Wait….She had a baby……
She. Had. A Baby…..
It seems this fact is only briefly talked about or remembered in the history of Lewis and Clark’s great exploration and discovery of the Northwest. Sacagewea, the only woman on the expedition, was also taking care of her baby in addition to the vital role she played in success of the expedition.
A Mother’s Vital Role in our Progress
As I thought about it, I thought about the vital role our mothers play, especially working mothers. And to me the statue provided a greater symbolism.
I felt a new appreciation, not just for the heroine Sacagewea who without her I may not even be able to visit a state called Oregon, but for that maternal instinct that not only protects their young but also reaches out to progress and new discoveries. For me and so many others, our mothers are that inspiration for that risk taking that leads to advancement.
Giving birth to her own wings
Recently a patient told me about how she went back to school for her masters degree at age 50.
Her inspiration was her mother who dutifully filled her role as a wife and mother. She felt her mother was too afraid to go to school which is understandable given the day and age in which she lived.
She shared this quote:
My Mother wanted me to be her wings, to fly as she never quite had the courage to do.
I love her for that.
I love the fact that she wanted to give birth to her own wings.Erica Jong
But the story doesn’t stop there. What’s even more interesting is my patient was then the inspiration to her son. Because he witnessed his mother going to school, he then went on to get his MBA and became a wildly successful business man (her words)…
So on this Mothers day we celebrate not just our biological mothers but all those that have “mothered”, nurtured and encouraged us to achieve our highest potentials.
And as the statue of that pioneer Sacagewea so aptly represents, we honor all those who have held and supported us, looking forward towards the future, our future, helping us navigate new terrain, reaching out to new discoveries.