As Jan and I drove past the farm, in New Land, where we live, a calf sat calmly and contentedly outside the fence, completely undisturbed by its separation from the herd. Following protocol, we notified the farmer of its predicament.
When we returned later, that calf had rejoined the herd, but strikingly we discovered that another calf had just been born, on the inside of the fence but with its back legs protruding under the fence.
Jan, seeing its predicament, worried that it was stuck under the fence and sensing that the mother was in some distress, stopped the car, and I got out to see if I could help. As I approached, the mother began licking her newborn and the rest of the herd stirred and headed in my direction, letting me know that I was unwelcome. I did note that the calf’s legs could easily slide back under the fence.
When we drove by again, later in the day, the newborn calf was still sitting in the same place, but both mother and herd had moved away to another field. The calf sat calmly alone, looking into space, like the first calf we’d seen earlier in the morning.
Newborn calves are supposed to stand and nurse within a couple of hours of birth. If they can’t, mother cow moves on, delivering its child to its fate. We did call the farmer once again, noting how strange it seemed that the calf had not budged, though its legs were now safely inside the fence. He said that he’d come around to check it out.
Interestingly, the first calf of the day was a sign that life was preparing to move on to another plane. The soul of the newborn calf, its etheric body, had touched briefly in physical life but would soon shed its fleshy garment and calmly enter life on the astral plane. The innate archetypal program of mother love assessed its child’s condition and knew to leave it to transition. The calf, very acceptingly, prepared to leave.
The human newborn requires extensive postnatal time and much maternal involvement to reach the level of autonomy of a calf, which can walk within minutes of birth. The attachment to mother, via loving attunement, is critical for the human infant to come fully online and thrive. Failure to thrive, death, or lifelong psychosis are the consequences of non-attachment at this critical early stage of human development.
Donald Winnicott, the famous British pediatrician and psychoanalyst, coined the phrase good enough mother to relieve mothers of lifelong guilt around having failed to execute, to perfection, the requirements of the mother archetype for their children, and to free them from holding themselves responsible for their children’s subsequent struggles later in life.
Essentially, he confirmed that early love and attachment for one’s newborn meets the basic requirements to allow a child to continue to grow into an autonomous being. Like all humans, mothers struggle with their own narcissism, which may impact their availability to tune in to their growing children; however, if they were good enough at the critical early stage, their children will continue to evolve, albeit with perhaps developmental challenges and neurotic conflicts. It will be the challenge of the child, in their own adult life, not the mother, to solve the challenge of unmet needs. Parents cannot heal their adult children.
My first wife, Jeanne, was adopted at birth by parents who fully met her archetypal needs for loving care and attachment. Mother love was provided and received. She thrived in her life, as a dancer, therapist, wife and exceptional mother. A few days before she died, we reached the clarity that it was necessary for cancer to break down her body, as its perfection had been a shield against her primal issue, felt rejection by her birth mother.
For Jeanne, mother love had been quite adequate, as she developmentally soared. The issue was not a lack of mother love; the issue had been primal rejection. After she died, she was able to connect with her birth mother, who was then in another life, and assisted in midwifing that woman’s birthing of a child, enabling the healing of that primal wound.
Psychic scientist Edward Randall reported about a soul who had died as an infant and later shared her afterlife journey with him, in his seminal book, The Dead Have Never Died. She stated that she was mothered by women in the afterlife whom had been denied motherhood in their previous lives on Earth. She described, as well, how she was taken in her soul body to her birth mother in sleep, where she would rest lovingly in her arms.
Sleep and dreams are natural times for meetings in soul bodies between dimensions. This girl soul expressed her appreciation for this connection between planes and particularly noted the joy of lucid encounters in dreams with relatives.
I am quite certain that the little calf soul, who briefly experienced its mother’s love in her licking of it, is well nurtured on the plane it arrived at and also visits its earthly mother in nightly dreams. Love never dies; it evolves exponentially, as we deepen our infinite journey. Mother love is critical to initiate that journey on this plane, however sparse or of short duration it might be.
The archetype of mother child love requires but a moment’s meeting to release a soul to begin its separate-self journey. As well, there are many opportunities between dimensions and lives to revisit and reconnect. We’re probably all doing it all the time, every time we fall asleep and dream, though we are mostly not aware.
The key to mother love is the switch it turns on to enable an infant to truly continue its autonomous journey, as a being separate from the maternal matrix it arrived through, into human life. Non-biological loving mothers fully fulfill this key function, though adoptive children may have to address an underlying feeling of primal rejection.
Though attachment with mother throughout childhood will further a child’s inner security to launch into deepening autonomy, the child who has experienced mother love at the beginning of human life is gifted with the ability to recover within themselves that love, regardless of subsequent relational conditions in life. Love turned on may be displaced, but it can never be turned off.