The ammas, as they were called, help us to find ways to gently pay attention to God’s presence with us in all places and through all things. And they teach us to grow in the awareness that we are each unique, remarkable parts of a vast, vital, interconnected cosmos. The word means mother. It came to refer to those women who were spiritual mothers to many. Their insistence on practicing silence, solitude and stillness provides a kind of medicine for our over-heated, frenetic culture.”
“Amma Ponders” reflects my spirituality. Depressed, my ability “to gently pay attention to God’s presence with us in all places and through all things” disappeared. I had no energy for that. I practiced isolation rather than solitude. And I wrote little.
My new antidepressant helps me today. My joints and my soul love the few sunny, 50-60 degree days we had lately. I am waking up and looking out beyond myself.
I’ll be 62 years old in a few weeks. And, once again, I want to know what I will be when I grow up. Several wise ammas and abbas (men) listened to my string of “I don’t know…” sentences the other day and led me to a knowledge that it is okay not to know. One woman quoted Julian of Norwich, “Await.” An ex-Marine-Episcopal-priest said, “I may not know where I am, but I know I’m not lost.” Another woman spoke of “glimmers of grace.” And a woman older than I “still has an ambition to give.”
I pondered their words for several days. I sat down to write this morning. I found myself re-reading that first blog post about why I picked “Amma” for my grandmother name.
For a lot of years, I answered “stay-at-home-mom” to the question, “What do you do?” That was my calling. And once I got sober, I got pretty good at it. But I was never sure “mother” was enough.
Amma “means mother. Their insistence on practicing silence, solitude and stillness provides a kind of medicine for our over-heated, frenetic culture.”
I am a grownup. I am a child of God. I am Amma. And that is enough.