mother/child, choice, and the Honorable Harvest

Yesterday, the day my son turned eighteen. As I celebrated the meaning of motherhood + mothering, there was breaking news of Roe v Wade standing on the precipice of being overturned by the Supreme Court. Nothing new in the story of reproductive rights in this nation, nothing surprising…and still a gut punch. 

Western Christianity has twisted and perverted the story of who we are as humans for over two thousand years. I want to (re)claim these stories, reclaim ourselves. I do not want to pass these decayed stories down to my/our children and my/our grandchildren.

The patterns of domination can be traced from and through the Genesis creation myths. Returning to them promises wisdom and new/ancient insight around what it means to be alive and what it means to create + bring to life.

Denying the selfhood of a woman with sole concern on what her body might birth is synonymous to how humans (mis)treat Mother Earth. We occupy the stance of takers, forgetting that life and love is mutual. Choice is central to mutuality and right relationship.  

Robin Wall Kimmerer names the Honorable Harvest as a principle that invites mutuality, right relationship. She offers a set of guidelines as a way to practice Honorable Harvest in daily life. It resonates with me today as I wonder how we might shift to a world rooted in right relationship: 

Know the ways of the ones who take care of you,
so that you may take care of them. 
Introduce yourself. Be accountable as the one who comes asking for life. 
Ask permission before taking. Abide by the answer. 
Never take the first. Never take the last. 
Take only what you need. 
Take only that which is given. 
Never take more than half. Leave some for others. 
Harvest in a way that minimizes harm. 
Use it respectfully. Never waste what you have taken. 
Share.
Give thanks for what you have been given. 
Give a gift, in reciprocity for what you have taken. 
Sustain the ones who sustain you and the earth will last forever. 

Imagining what it means to be truly pro-life and pro-choice, respecting the life of all…thanks to Mother Earth for showing the way.

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