Amma?

It’s my grandmothering name.

I spent a lot of time while my daughter was pregnant trying out different names for myself. “Grandma” made me think of my (old) grandmas. “Nana” was too close to nunna, which is our family’s code for nursing. Everything else was too cute. I was stymied.

Then I read an article about the Desert Mothers. According to Mary Earle, author of The Desert Mothers: Spiritual Practices from the Women of the Wilderness, “these women lived in the fourth and fifth centuries, C.E. 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.”

That’s what I want to be for Adaline. Her Amma. I don’t think I’ll be running through parks with her or climbing jungle gyms. But I can be a quiet, restful, peaceful presence in her busy and stimulating world. I’m already good at getting her to sleep, so I think I’m on the right track.

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Published in: Uncategorized on June 9, 2010 at 9:10 pm  Comments (5)  
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5 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Amma describes you perfectly!

    • At least it’s easy to say!

  2. Great job mom! I think this perfectly describes you too.

  3. Ohhh, Robin, I miss your thoughtful presence. I love that you have created this forum to put some of your wisdom out into the universe. I have loved reading about Spirit…Rest as it has evolved and am grateful to get to continue with your blog. You were sooooooo influential to me in my early days of mothering. Your support and encouragement to follow my mothering instincts meant so much when my mother was so far away. Adeline is sure lucky to have you for her Amma.
    Thank you for continuing to be an inspiration and support even over these long miles.
    Sarah Pitman

    • Sarah, thank you. Remembering you with your children has helped me be a grandmother. So far, I don’t think I’ve made anybody mad!


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