If you grew up in the South, a common destination was ‘Mama’s.’ The expression doesn’t mean that Daddy isn’t there, too; but when we refer to going to our home place, it’s always, “I’m going to Mama’s.”
And when/why do we go?
We go when we’re upset, when we’re hungry, when we want conversation, or hugs or understanding, and to step back onto our home base. For all those things, we go to Mama’s.
And when we leave that place, we take the memory of it with us—a lamp in our thoughts.
Mama’s is a state of mind. A place of refuge in an often stormy and even dangerous world. Mama’s is safety, security. It is roots.
Why do we need this? Because there is so much in our lives that has become temporary, disposable things that have no deep meaning—in fact some things that have no meaning at all except in our possession of them.
Here’s what J.R.R. Tolkien says in “The Fellowship of the Rings.”
“All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.”
Of course, I realize that Mama is absent in many homes, that abuse, neglect, abandonment, and violence are prevalent, and it is tragic that so many children have to live with this opposite of what home is supposed to be. How can we change this?
It starts with the sort of training–or lack of it–that parents have gotten in their own homes. And it comes with a loving commitment to everyone present in Mama’s house.
Thanksgiving is a number one reason to go to Mama’s, for memories, for sustenance, for love with a family. I hope you enjoy your Thanksgiving, especially if you’re celebrating it with your Mama.
As for me, there was, and still is, no place quite like Mama’s. My mother’s house has been sold now, my mother and father are gone, but they haven’t left my heart, and never will.