On Wednesday, May 15th, our Lower and Middle School celebrated the mothers and mother figures in our lives through a Mothers’ Lovefeast service, held in Central Moravian Church. Through beautiful music (provided by our Middle School Concert Band, Middle School Chorus, the 7th Grade Handbell Choir, and Third Grade Chorus), prayers, readings, and short speeches, students and faculty offered words of adoration and gratitude both to and about mothers.
Our featured guest speaker, Mrs. Ngozi Bell – mother of Okezue Bell ’23, spoke beautifully to the curiosity that lies within the actualization of a mother’s love. Listen to her speech:
A sickly child is fiercely loved and favored by her grandmother and could do no wrong! Gradma-Nne teaches her about the plants, the wisdom of the day and night, what makes the moon hide and the clouds throw shade across the universe. Grandma-Nne tells her that her 1 pound gift is actually worth 10,000 because the touch to her heart does the multiplying!
The girl’s mother-Mmachi is a scientist, author, and lifelong learner, who invents without fuss, gives unconditionally, is everyone’s anchor but no one’s burden and yet is fun and relatable, teaches while learning. In gentle manner this mother gets her daughter across the finish line.
The girl grows up and forges her own path – As a growing mother she comes in huffing and puffing, pushing and prodding – in her world everything needed to be perfect – she says to her children “do this, and that, have you done your school work, what of violin and math and English and science, what of chess and tennis, have you read your bible?… And don’t forget to drink water and oh let’s not forget dinner or else we’ll be eating air”
“Let’s do all this now so that we can soon really relax”.
As they relax, sort of..she punctuates it with… “so what are your thoughts on college?” —-
“What? Mom! I’m not going to college any time soon?”
“You’re right, okay let’s get back to relaxing and fun, let’s watch the clouds throw shade on the universe ……. ehnn…but have you studied about the 4th Industrial revolution, – are you considering the impact of mechatronics, Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality, Robotics, Blockchain Technology, IoT….smart cities….?”
“What? Okay Mom do you want me to tell you what I know about Blockchain so we can keep relaxing?”
“No, no, we just have to make sure to have our head in the game everytime!”
“Okay I do”
Several years now, in my increasing reality, as I look across this room, at all of you, and see all of you as precious! Your faces, eyes, smiles, your beauty, your stories.Your stories, single yet collective, different yet the same. I see the promise of you, of us that must not be rushed, the promise that must be savored, enjoyed slowly like a good meal with great company – So in enters me again that growing mother I described, except this time mellowed in my next act – I’m taking it slower, my world is a lot slower now, I’m a lot older now and…. I look out and see that the sky is still there, the moon exactly as I left it and the sun..the sun is just happy that I am no longer trying to hurry it along!
I know you are wondering what I sound like now….arghh! Somewhat the same and yet very different. I still demand great work, and ask lots of questions and sometimes punctuate relaxation with checklists! But I also create and play and spend long periods inventing without fuss, I’m learning to in gentler manner get my team across the finish line!
So it brings me to somethings I now know and share with you. That for the most part those like our grandmothers before us had it right, those like our mothers did too, many of us mothers and care givers have it right also, the difference is in the styles and the seasons. Some are in the gentle-mellow seasons, some in their hurry-it-along season, others in the wait-and-see season. No matter the season or style, mothers make their mark and there is love to be found
I did not tell you the full story of the little sickly girl, the doctor said she would not live, the last rites were done once, twice, three times, but my grand-mother said I would live, my mother too, and I did like they said I would!
This, is the deepest empathy, one accompanied by Faith! That’s what a mother, a caregiver can do! Love, that faces the odds with strength! That’s what a mother, a caregiver can bring Trust, that is firm and yet tempered with grace! That’s what a mother, a caregiver can show.
She can stand against all odds, be stern to make you smart, be silly to make you laugh and be strong to make you live, she will talk, scold and even yell, she will pull and push and sometimes cry, she can do the odd thing and the great thing as well! You can trust she has you in the fore of her acts!
So now I’m still engaged in the 4th industrial revolution, I still talk mechatronics and AI and VR and IoT but I also talk about the wisdom of the night and day and teach while learning. I’ve learned that I can live on the edge of intensity and also bask in a gentle gaze. Love makes me intense and Love makes me gentle. Love is the curiosity that lies within the actualization of motherhood and care-giving.
So students….when parents yell about your work, your responsibilities, your chore, ask you to do this, that and the other – Strike your most charming pose, glare at them with your most adorable look, shake your head and ask —-“Is this the curious nature of your love?”
Now, Mothers and Care-Givers match the glare back and then smile and say a resounding “Yes,,,, but you must still do this and that and the other things and —-because I love you!”
Thank you to all of our mothers who joined us on campus for the celebration! You mean the world to our students and our community!
Watch Mothers’ Lovefeast: