Mother of the Forest is one of the tallest trees in Santa Cruz Park. A symbolic womb at her core forms an 8 x 13 foot room, or a hobbit hole, or a sacred space — depending on your perspective. Trees are a testimony to patience and resilience. They offer shelter, contribute to healthy ecosystems, and fight climate change. Redwoods protect and support each other as well as other sapling growth by creating family circles sprouted from the roots of a parent tree. These families may or may not be genetically related. These lessons in cooperation can be a metaphor for humanity in its current fragmented state.
Perhaps social support does improve women’s feelings about motherhood. However, recent articles, during the time of COVID, for example, would indicate that the fundamental challenges for women who are mothers remain fundamentally unchanged. A recent New York Times article, This Is a Primal Scream, depicts the frustration of America’s maternal mental health crisis, as does this article by Kimberly Seals Allers in the Washington Post titled Female Rage is All The Rage (2018). Cathi Hanauer and friends have an updated version of this book called The Bitch Is Back: Getting Older, Wiser, and Happier. The original Bitch in the House is part of MOM’s library.
Our Bodies, Ourselves was written by The Boston Women’s Health Collective in 1970, with the goal of promoting women and girl’s health, reproductive rights, and sexuality. The knowledge presented was radical for its day, illuminating topics as varied as masturbation and abortion.
In America, the month of October is the month of witches – the evil, the cruel, and the ugly. The Museum of Motherhood has hundreds of books in its collection, intended to educate, elucidate, and empower us. How have women been targeted as witches throughout history, since the middle ages and what can we learn? Let’s look at how Barbara Ehrenreich throws light upon this subject in her book “Witches, Midwives and Nurses: A history of women healers “.