What The Mugwort Taught Me About Mothering

Posted by Arathi Ravichandran on Jun 16, 2017
4969 reads  
It was a sunny, quiet afternoon in late July of last year. My three month old son was snoring softly on my chest as I walked the final mile back home from our mid-morning hike. Just before reaching home, I spotted a beautiful herb garden flourishing in a neighbor’s back yard. The garden was chock full of medicinal herbs. My neighbor was kind enough to give me some advice on which herbs to grow where, and made a point to talk about the benefits of a particular herb – Mugwort.

“Mugwort” she said. “It’s such a healing herb, and it’s a delight to watch it grow”.

A delight to watch grow? Sounds like my kinda plant :-).  Could you help me plant some?

Little did I know that within 4 weeks of planting, the mugwort would teach me an essential lesson about my journey into motherhood:

“Sometimes, it’s okay to let go.  Allow for things to be easy.  Relax" 

Over the last year, I’ve found that it’s been easier for me to lean in to the myriad of challenges that new parenthood brings. No sleep? It’s okay, I’ll muscle through it and handle it. Exhausted? Stop complaining! Buck up. Not sure what day or time it is? It doesn't matter, experience the moment and learn from it. Whenever a challenge arose, I felt the energy and the support to lean in and just handle it.

Funny enough, I had no idea what do to when things were simply easeful. When Zayd first starting sleeping through the night, I would still wake up with worry that something was wrong, placing my ear close to his crib to make sure he was breathing. The days when he was happily playing by himself in the corner, I’d begin to harshly criticize myself, telling myself that I needed to be more involved, more committed to engaging him at all times
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And through this time, the mugwort shared its wisdom with me through its effortless growth. It began to flourish right away, with nothing more than a few loving words, a sprinkle of water, and some sunshine. Within a two months, the mugwort grew three times its original height, and took over half the garden bed, with no effort on my part!


Brother David captures this sentiment perfectly when he stated, "
“I think mothering is just like dying, in this respect; it is something that we must do all through life. And whenever we do give up a person or a thing or a position, when we truly give it up, we die-yes, but we die into greater aliveness. We die into a real oneness with life. Not to die, not to give up, means to exclude ourselves from that free flow of life.”

Endless thanks to the mugwort for inspiring me to try just a little harder to let go, and give up, and for time to time, allow things to be as they are (even if it means, it’s easy sometimes). 

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Comments (6)

  • Pavi Mehta wrote ...

    Aww! You're a beautiful mother Arathi -- and thanks for sharing the Wisdom of the Mugwort!

  • Sara wrote ...

    Thank you for sharing this beautiful reflection. Interesting to think of motherhood as something that can be easier. :)

  • Brinda Govindan wrote ...

    Beautiful share! I love the lessons of the mugwort :-)

  • Meghna Banker wrote ...

    Such a beautiful reminder of the journey of motherhood :)) Thank you for sharing this Arathi!! Looking forward to more in your journals!

  • Zilong Wang wrote ...

    Lucky Zayd! :)

  • Trishna Shah wrote ...

    Wow Arathi, what a poetic expression of your journey as a mother, and I just LOVE that Brother David quote you shared! Can't wait to hear more from your experiences of motherhood as the journey unfolds :)