Tag Archives: Mother

A whale’s tale


It’s time. We’ve prepared, eaten well to fatten up. We’re ready for the pilgrimage that will grow our family.

We glide and porpoise north through cool as ice waters of the sub-Antarctic, sometimes rolling in ripples of grey water currents. Haunting howls orchestrate to our swim.

We’re south of great southern lands where we swim in pounding rains that drill into vehement waves. We’ve not done this journey in three years.

Waters grow warmer as those great southern lands grow nearer. It’s time to part our pod, to continue our migration as only us females. A good-bye lob of my tail fluke, indented after colliding with the cold, tough wheel of a boxy creature unknown. Such pain.

Groans and wails from our males. They will eagerly await our return.

We swim to the coastline where high wave energy builds, effervescence in my blubber. Swells and breaking waves, squawking seagulls nose-diving from cliffs commanding deep waters … a masking to distract any acoustically sensitive predator like the killer whale. It’s the perfect nursery.

It’s time. She’s coming. Such pain that contracts in my bowl of creation. My echoing moans, a solid breath erupts as a jet of water from me.

Deep squeals, contractions grow quick. Sharp. A tail appears. Breathe … water squirts from my blow-hole.

A black body comes through, a white patch of an underbelly, a fin … all five metres of her are free. Release.

Coos and sprays. A tail slap.

My calf suckles my milk. She grows. We fin and tail slap together, swim and lunge to the deep water by the cliffs. We dive deeper and surge up, spraying from our blowholes before back slapping down again.

Four months pass and my calf is ready to leave the nursery. My hunger is supreme – time to re-join the pod.

We swim to our waiting males, this Southern Right Whale mother and calf, and as a pod again, we journey back to the Southern Antarctic waters.

Shattered beyond collection

smattered heartTwo mothers speak of the friend who has just lost her son in a most senseless act. Eyes brim weepy as a son’s life has ended, as a mother’s life fades grey.

How does a mother reason with a son gone, a life of future cut short without cause?

Weeps seep from eye sockets.

The friends lift their glasses and sip at the Shiraz, eager to wash down emotions that clog their throats. How do a mother and father ever come to terms with such loss? And his siblings?

Hearts shatter into the tiniest, minuscule of fragments, strewn beyond collection.

To lose a son is one thing, but to lose him at the mercy of another, after going out with friends one night, is unfathomable. Chased, and slain.

Buttery river rapids churn through a bottomless, vast chasm that is my gut.

I remember holding my son and catching a whiff of his musk cologne as we danced together the night before, our first dance as mother and young man. Emotions catch in my throat again.

Our friend and mother won’t have those opportunities. No more first-times, family dinners and holidays together, nor kisses hello. I swallow hard as my eyelashes soak in sadness. I think of my son again, who will walk home from a friend’s party tonight.

Weepy eyes, and buttery rapids dive down and around in that vast chasm, smashing into hardened cliffs and bouncing into inside ethers.

This senseless act has set a hardened, cement path in a family’s life that they could never have imagined, one that will never be removed no matter how hard any jackhammer can attempt to drill at it.

As my friend speaks to me, I notice speckled salt spots on the glass of my spectacles. I pick a tissue and rub them clean. Being a mother, I cannot help but think of that mother, what she must be feeling. I will never understand. Selfishly, I never want to.

Takeaway truth | moni schott | Blog Post | Red Room

Takeaway truth | moni schott | Blog Post | Red Room.


It was many years ago when I first thought about what that simple, four letter word meant. A word that is so easily thrown around by some yet can be so difficult for others to say, even though they feel it.

It’s a word that is with me every second of every day.


It can be so simple, and yet so, so complex. And I’m not talking about romantic love.

I was pregnant with my first child and feeling quite anxious about being a mother. I went to a session at a Reiki Centre one day and asked the guest presenter, a ‘spiritual’ man, what it meant to be a good mother.

‘It’s simple,’ he said with a chuckle. ‘Love. Simply love your children.’

I had no idea what he meant, but from then on, I questioned what this love was.

Some said it was unconditional love. But what did that really mean? I didn’t get it.

Then I heard that to love is to be open, and to open my heart. Again, I didn’t understand it. How do I open my heart? What did I need to do?

Years of contemplation and trying to understand, and I was starting to get it. Love is the KISS principle.

Keep It Simple Stupid.

Accept people as they are, their beauty and those things within them that are not so beautiful. We’re all humans. We all have our positives and negatives, passions, insecurities, things we excel at …

Still, I thought, how do I do that?

Then I started to meditate. It’s not a meditation that is new age, hippy stuff, or Buddha-centric, or religious, or whatever fan-dangled name you put to it. My meditation is simple. It’s to empty my mind, and to keep it still.

My meditation is to swim laps in an outdoor pool on a day that reflects dappled sunlight through huge gum trees, with branches that dangle freely and when no one else is about. Or to run a few kilometres by a river gushing with joy after heavy rain. It is to sit quietly, early in the peace of a morning when little stirs at 5.30, or with a group of like-minded people in the evening.

Meditation can calm AND energise me beyond understanding. It’s a way for me to relax and take time out, and allows me to not have to think about anything that I have to think.

It’s in this meditation, that I discovered opening my heart. For me, it’s been my secret.

I meditate, empty my mind as best I can, which is sometimes difficult to do with a million things racing about. And then I visualise my physical heart, and open it, expand it. Once I see it physically open, my love flows out and love flows in. I’m surprised by the surge that streams in and out. A peace overcomes me and stays with me afterwards, where people in the street smile at me and speak to me. I find myself smiling more and some who know me, say I look different, younger. I ‘love’ that side of it!! Nature’s anti-wrinkle fighter!

The more I practice this, the better I feel, the lighter I walk, and the more accepting of others and compassionate I feel. Everyone has a story, insecurities. Everyone seeks love of some kind.

So I think I’ve found my elixir of life.


Feel it, give it. Accept it. Accept people and life.

Understand, truly understand the circumstances. With that understanding comes compassion.

Be grateful for all that I have. Gratitude is a wonderfully grounding principle.

And above all, KISS.

Discerning life so early

It’s 9.20 on a Saturday night and I head for my bed. Some may say what a boring life I have, to be going to bed so early on a Saturday, but I work fulltime and have three children to look after so a social life isn’t something I try to fit in.

This Saturday night, a vibration in my pocket tickles into my hipbone. I realise it’s my phone and quickly pull it out. It’s a text from one of my boys.

‘Can you come and get me. I’ve had enough,’ it says.

He’s at his friend’s sixteenth birthday party and should be sleeping there after the party finishes. Warning bells ring. I immediately text back. ‘Of course I’ll pick you up. What time? Everything okay?’

He texts back quicker than I can type. ‘Yeah, cool. Just had enough and want to sleep in my own bed.’

‘Be there in ten minutes,’ I text back. I grab my keys and leave. I know something’s not right. What’s happened? He’s supposed to be at a party. It’s his good friend. Something’s happened.

My thoughts continue round and round while I drive across the railway tracks to pick him up, as though I’m caught in a thinking vortex that doesn’t release me or let me get anywhere.

I’m finally at his friend’s, and park the car. Two boys are outside, one with an arm over the other. I text my boy. ‘I’m outside.’

He texts back. ‘Be there in 2.’

While I wait in the darkness, another boy shoots out of the house and jogs a lap of the small patch of front lawn. He sees me and comes over to the car. Should I be nervous? No, don’t be silly I reason, he’s one of the friends. I hit the button beside me to wind the window half way down.

‘You want someone?’ he asks.

I don’t recognise him. ‘Yes, my boy.’

‘I’ll go get him for you,’ he says, smiling.

‘Thanks.’ Something’s not right, I know it. His eyes looked googly, cross-eyed, and his body seemed limpish.

Instantly, I see my boy in the rear vision mirror, bag in hand and talking to the boy with his arm over the other. He waves at the boys and walks over to the car. The door clicks open. A long leg folds in and down into the seat of the car, the rest of his body follows.

‘Hi Mum.’ My boy sits, shuts the door and leans over to kiss me hello. His breath smells fine thank goodness, but I need to hear him speak.

‘What’s happened?’ I ask. ‘You’ve never left a party early.’ I begin to drive, back to our home.

‘I’ve been working all day and I’m hungry and tired,’ he says.

‘Yeah,’ I say. I know there’s more.

‘And they’re drinking and I didn’t like the way they were carrying on,’ he says. ‘They act so stupid when they drink.’

And there it is. My beautiful boy is discerning and growing into a sensible, thinking young man. I feel my shoulders ease and my breath flow again.

‘And some of the older kids, the brother’s friends, went to the park and took some drugs.’

My thinking stops, my breath suspends, yet I continue driving. Drugs.

‘You okay,’ I ask.

‘Yeah, just don’t like it.’

‘Drugs are scary because they look so innocent,’ I say.

‘Yeah,’ says my boy, my warm, sensitive boy who at fifteen and a half, is understanding life’s dangers, of alcohol and drugs.

How did I get to be so blessed? Emotion chokes my throat. We drive home in silence, a comforting silence I feel in my boy and me.

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