In 2020, when the world was shut down due to the pandemic, I spent some time in the mountains. I started each day with a short hike. I loved the cool, quiet mornings. I could hear birds singing, the creek in the distance, and the sound of my footsteps on the ground. I was walking uphill on such a hike one morning. Lost in my thoughts, I came around a curve and found myself very close to a large momma Black Bear and her cub. I stopped moving and breathing. Momma bear began to growl deep in her throat. I began saying in my mind over and over “All you, Momma. All you. I bring no harm. I am a mother too.” I hoped that she could somehow know my thoughts and I slowly began to step backward. Once I was far enough away that she no longer felt threatened, she turned into the woods and was gone, with her little cub following behind. It was one of those magical moments you never forget.
As I walked back to where I was staying, breathing slowly to calm my body, I thought about the power of mothers to protect the young and vulnerable. There are many videos online of momma animals protecting the young. Female elephants work together to care for and protect all elephant calves, and so do many other species including humans.
An organization called Mothers Out Front harnesses the collective power of mommas to stand up for and protect the physical, mental, and spiritual health and wellbeing of all children. In honor of their incredible climate leadership, Mother’s Out Front received a $25,000 award as runner-up for the 2023 American Climate Leadership Awards.
In honor of Mother’s Day, I spoke with Stephanie Bowman of Mother’s Out Front to learn more about their work. Stephanie is a mother, an aunt, and momma bear to all children. She is a passionate advocate who dedicates her life to protecting all children from the impacts of climate change now while working for a livable climate for them tomorrow.
I invite you to honor all the momma bears in your life who have worked to care for and protect children. Also, encourage all people of any gender to find their momma bear spirit and lead on climate for the children of today and tomorrow.
Watch and share now: Momma Bears For Climate Action.
About the Author:
Rev. Carol Devine, Blessed Tomorrow Director, ecoAmerica
American Climate Leadership Awards 2023 Broadcast Recording
ecoAmerica American Climate Leadership Awards Replication Guides
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