Mother’s Day may seem like a holiday for the benefit of the greeting card and floral industries, a phony phenomenon dominated by consumer pressures.

For those whose mothers have died or are distant, and for those who have never been mothers, the day may touch off painful sensitivities.

But any reservations about Mother’s Day can be readily dismissed by taking a more expansive perspective of the day.

There are many kinds of mothering experiences. All of us, in fact, have many mothers who have touched our lives.

In addition to the biological mother who gave us life, we have grandmothers and great-grandmothers, living or dead, who have touched our lives and shaped the people we are.

Native Americans revere the Good Earth as the mother who gave us birth and still takes care of us throughout our lives along with our progeny and all living inhabitants of the planet.

But it goes much deeper than that. The most common word association with mothering is nurturing, a practice not limited by gender or any other characteristic.

Everyone, male and female, single or married, old or young, has the potential to give birth to something meaningful in the world.

Here, then, for this very special day, Mother’s Day, May 13, are some inspired practices to honor our many mothers.

We can find ritual ways to revere Mother Earth and the bounties she supplies and follow them up with concrete acts.

Taking time from our busy lives to notice the birds, the bees, the flowers and the trees and sing their praises is one example. Helping to clean up or protect their habitat, the environment, and encouraging others to do the same, is another.

We can show our love by making a donation to a worthy charity, or we can whip up a delicious meal and serve it simply or with pomp and ceremony, depending on our mother’s preferences.

We can show the many mothers in our lives — male and female, single or married, old or young, living or passed on to the spiritual realm — that we love them by giving generously of ourselves in our thoughts and, especially, in our deeds.

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