It had escaped the notice of very few of the curates at Glastonbury that we were actually away from home on Mothering Sunday. It would be fair to say that many of us, of both genders, were less than delighted!
Not surprisingly, in recent post-Christendom years Mothering Sunday has become inextricably entangled with Mothers Day, but its roots are very different, having as much to do with a return to a home "Mother Church" as to a great celebration of the female parent.
Of course, I was sad that I wouldn't be with my own children this year (though with Hattie Gandhi in Cardiff, and the boys engrossed in the final rehearsals for Les Miserables I'd barely have seen them anyway).
More than that, though, I found it really hard to be away from St M's on a day when so many of the children I encounter each week really might turn up in the congregation.
I wanted to be there to welcome them.
I wanted to make sure things were OK, that everyone had a wonderful time and determined to return at an early opportunity.
(Hang on...wasn't there something about this sort of thing over the weekend? I wonder if I dare to blog my own targets from the weekend - boring for others, possible useful accountability for myself)
I felt awful when I gathered that this year there weren't enough flowers for everyone to go home with a bunch.
I can but hope that nobody felt excluded.
I can't fix it, even if they did.
It's not actually all dependent on me!
Relieved edit: Flowers did not actually run out at St M's...and there had been clear instructions that everyone should be included. Inevitably I hit the one person whose experience didn't match the norm - isn't it funny how the negatives always find a way to get through. But I'm so glad that the majority went home feeling happy and loved.!
For me, one of the most important truths of the day is that the sort of care that we regard as "mothering" comes to us from so many many people, only a few of whom will be mothers.
When it comes to soothing ruffled feelings at the end of a long day,- I go to my sons. Hugger Steward is not called that for nothing!
When I want reassurance that I'm loved and lovable,- I'll probably phone my daughter.
When I'm too tired to cook, and left to myself probably wouldn't bother to eat, - there is my husband.
If I'm reduced to tears by the proportion of chaos at home, the Domestic Goddess appears to set all to rights.
And in any number of situations when I need consolation, understanding, advice or encouragement, - and perhaps above all a sense of proportion, there are my friends. You.
Mothers have never had the monopoly on mothering - and at times when I'm very aware of my own absences from crucial points in my children's lives, I'm thankful that there are others to share in the role.
If you've mothered me in any way this past year, thank you. These flowers are for you!