Reflection on ‘Love Your Mother’

April 25, 2023

Earlier this month was the official launch of the book “Love Your Mother - 50 States, 50 Stories, and 50 Women United for Climate Justice.”

Through a diversity of voices that include, among others, First Nation elders, scientists, farmers, poets laureate, activists, lawyers, artists and young people running for office, Mallory McDuff has eloquently woven together the passions and creative initiatives of 50 women on a common mission – the care and protection of this miraculous blue-green planet of ours and of each other. I am so very honored – and profoundly humbled – to be included, representing Delaware. 

There are quote-worthy lines in every story, but this is one that stuck out for me.

“Quite simply, I don’t believe we will solar panel or vote our way out of this crisis without radically reframing our connection with our Mother.” – Tara Houska, Minnesota attorney and environmental and indigenous rights activist, Couchiching First Nation. 

And by Mother, of course, she means the Earth. 

The Delaware chapter highlights the Climate Conversations program I envisioned and developed. Now a signature program of Delaware Interfaith Power & Light, and funded by Energize Delaware, Climate Conversations creates opportunities for a diversity of people to candidly and respectfully discuss issues related to climate change. It’s a chance to share personal beliefs, confusions, observations, hopes and fears; to explore practical ideas and available resources for taking meaningful action; to identify areas of common concern and to feel a part of some larger movement, a revolution, for creating a healthier planet. As noted in the book, Kirit Minhas, one of our student interns, reflected that the climate was “a source of constant anxiety” but the dialogue provided “a point of connection.”

A revolution is a dramatic and wide-reaching change in conditions, attitudes, operation. And that is just what it is going to take to set us back on a sustainable course. 

We need to rediscover our sense of connectedness with the natural world; to reestablish and sense ourselves as an integral part of the greater web of life. We had it once, an intimate connection with the sky above us and the earth below; with winds and waves and currents and seasons; with tree and shrub and fruit and flower; with the mind-blowing diversity of creatures and organisms with whom we share this planet, all of which we ultimately depend upon for our survival. The web of life is not some childish image; it is a biological principle to which we are beholden. We exist within a wondrously complex and interconnected ecosystem, and we ignore that reality at our peril. 

We need to regain our sense of community, our sense of connectedness with each other, a do-unto-others moral code. We proclaim the inherent worth of every individual. But, what does that mean? It means recognizing and addressing the fact that the inherent worth of some is too often sacrificed to benefit the inherent worth of others. This has been, and continues to be, a tragic pattern. In the words of poet Amanda Gorman, as quoted in the book, “We’ve learned that the norms and notions of what ‘just is’ isn’t always justice.” 

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is the body of the United Nations responsible for advancing knowledge on human-induced climate change. With 195 member countries, its mandate is to assess the state of the scientific literature on all aspects of climate change, its impacts and society’s options for responding to it. It just released its latest report. 

“This report is a clarion call to massively fast-track climate efforts by every country and every sector and on every timeframe. Our world needs climate action on all fronts: everything, everywhere, all at once,” according to UN Secretary General António Guterres. In other words, a dramatic and wide-reaching change in conditions, attitudes, operation.

These are critical issues we need to talk to each other about. And “Love Your Mother” provides perspectives and inspiration and hope to fuel those discussions.

Over the next couple of months, and hopefully beyond, I will be leading discussions of the inspiring stories in “Love Your Mother” and facilitating conversations to explore the creative power of women in advocating for climate justice in Delaware. The first one will be held at Lewes library from 6:30 to 8 p.m., Tuesday, May 9,, co-sponsored by the library and Energize Delaware. The Route 9 Library and Innovation Center in Wilmington will host a discussion from 5:30 to 7 p.m., Wednesday, May 17.

To celebrate Earth Day and Mother’s Day this year, read this book, attend a discussion, join this revolution, and talk about it!

Lisa Locke is retired executive director of Delaware Interfaith Power & Light.


  • Cape Gazette commentaries are written by readers whose occupations, education, community positions or demonstrated focus in particular areas offer an opportunity to expand our readership's understanding or awareness of issues of interest.

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