On Mother’s Day

As my well-informed, gentle readers will know, the lady who invented Mother’s Day (this second Sunday in May) also campaigned for its abolition. Anna Jarvis (1864–1948), who had framed the original proposal for a holiday, inspired after the death of her own beloved mother, was appalled when she saw what she had encouraged. A sincere Methodist, and a fierce opponent of infant mortality, she had advocated for a devout, religious holiday — but saw it turned, almost instantly, into a crass commercial event.

As it remains to this day.

We are not against motherhood, incidentally, up here in the High Doganate. Nor are we necessarily against nursing and other “healthcare” vocations — although we are quite irritated by the daily clash of pots and pans, and the rest of the urban cacophony, including the flypast of the Snowbird aeroplanes that we just endured. All these disorders promote our socialist, ludicrously expensive, and largely counterproductive, hospital system.

There are good mothers and bad; good nurses and bad; I’m sure there are even a few good doctors. To celebrate them, or any tribe as a species, is too heavy a load of codswallop for me. I would go so far as to add that there are good florists and bad, and would insinuate that there are also bad flowers — not as God made them, but as they are bred, and arranged. Praise for certain classes of people, with the possible exception of the (biologically deceased) Saints, is an “identitarian” movement, whether superficially of the Left or Right. How often crass commercialism has “evolved” from vulgar and deceitful politics.

For some years now, I have honoured Anna Jarvis by ignoring Mother’s Day.

Instead, let us address our prayers to that most Holy Virgin, and present our flowers at her shrine. And if there is a mother whom we especially prize, let us lay them at her tomb where her arms are folded, or in the living arms that once enfolded us.