I am not a mother. Yet, somehow, my children are the brightest parts of my day, the sun that lights up my life when I’m in darkness, the very thing I drag myself out of bed for when everything else is utterly meaningless.
This is a blessing, and it came straight from two deities, two powers, shaping my journey. Without getting too much into specifics due to the personal racial struggles & discoveries in my life, within the past year I have found myself encountering the Orishas on my path. Again without great detail, I have indulged myself in honoring them as I can, and allowing them & my beloved dead to influence my path as they will. Who am I to deny those whose blood pumps in my veins, circulated by the irregular, off-tempo beating heart my father gave me?
It was at a very intense, powerful time on this private journey, the en media res of my Imramma, that I was drawn magnetically to my new & current job.
I came from working overnight shifts stocking shelves with food I couldn’t afford, slammed with a bill of my own mental health I could never hope to pay.
On the rising of the full moon in my sign, the Burning Moon of Leo, the tide delivered me a second chance, and I became a 1-1 teacher* for children with moderate to severe disabilities. I spend each and every day caring for, teaching children with Autism, Downs Syndrome, and a myriad of other conditions unknown to the general public that have nonetheless branded them as children who cannot be taught and are impossible to care for. I have been given the express privilege of proving this is a LIE.
Every day of my work week is a gift: a gift from Athene, a gift from Yemaya.
From the Grey-Eyed Owl, I learned utter humility. For someone who always knew, hoped, and prayed she would become a teacher, I found myself at a loss, unprepared for what that would demand of me. Any time I had tried to approach Zeus’ Favorite Daughter in the past, I was brushed aside with the knowledge that I was not yet at Her standard and it was not yet my time. I wasn’t ready for Her. Suddenly I found myself thrust into the position where my life would accept no more excuses. I had to be ready to do my job, and so I swallowed my Hubris and threw myself to Her feet, begging to learn Her lessons so that I may teach others.
From the Bearer of the Aegis, I learned discipline and strength. The strength it takes to teach a difficult child, the discipline to keep a neutral, level head when you’re being assaulted by a 10 year old and make the decisions you are trained to… We are referred to as the “educational ICU” and it takes the calm, cool wisdom of Athene to hold the delicate balance between Chaos & Control. Who better to lead us in this than the beloved daughter of Zeus?
Through Yemaya, I learned the power of my own heart. I learned that my love is a gift, my mothering is a gift, and not only that, but it is a powerful magic that can touch others and spread through the fabric of our lives. Without betraying too much of Her, it is a power that has been passed down from woman to woman since the dawn of time, from the very first Mother.
And if it does take a village to raise a child, then this whole world of a village must take some responsibility for our children, no matter how difficult it may be. When love flows eternal as unbridled waves, and when this love is married with the observation & logic of Grey-Eyed Athene, nothing seems too difficult. There is no peak I may encounter that I would not attempt to climb… and it’s all for my children.