Welcome May! A busy month of comings and goings, classroom parties and graduation ceremonies, vacation travel and summers-home-from-the-dorm, Cinco de Mayo and Memorial Day remembrances.

Still, we will take time to think of Mom. I could rant about Mother’s Day commercialism, but I’d rather share my thoughts on the word “Mother.” Beyond the bond of mother and child, there is a rich history of the ways we use the term mother everyday. Basically, the meaning of Mother as "that which has given birth to anything" is from Old English. Some centuries-old examples of adding mother to create new meanings are:

*Mother nature as a personification is from 1600
*Mother Earth as an expression of the earth as the giver of life is from 1580’s
*Mother tongue - "one's native language" - is from the late 14th century
*Also, Mother country - "a country in relation to its colonies" - is from 1580’s
*Mother-love - "such affection as is shown by a mother" - is used by 1854
*Mother-wit - "native wit, common sense" - is from the mid-15th century.

Don’t get me started on mother hen, mother lode, mother superior, mother-to-be, and mother-in-law. Much less birth mother, earth mother, tigermother, and the mother of all ____!

The verb to mother means “to treat someone with great or excessive care or kindness.” We don’t want to “smother mother” or “treat someone as though they were a small child,” so let’s go back to the noun, shall we? I prefer the powerful use of mother as “a condition that is the inspiration for an activity or situation.” For example: "Necessity is the mother of invention." Let’s say it is she who “has produced or nurtured anything.” She as a “source of birth or origin.”That’s us!

Finally, I leave you with an awesome old word, generatrix: a 1650’s noun meaning a woman who “begets, causes, or produces," from Latin generator "a begetter, producer," an agent noun from generare "to bring forth." A WiVLA member is the definition of a generatrix! As in our mission statement, she will provide, promote, and nurture with a spirit of creativeinvention.

Lee Steiner

"An ekphrastic poem is like a jolt of electricity surging through a work of art."
- Patricia Smith, ARTLines2

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