For me, Providence will always be synonymous with mother,
but the dictionary defines it as:
the protective care of God, or of nature as a spiritual power.
I'm struck by how these two definitions accurately describe me and my mother.
I too am Providence, although it's my middle name.
My mother has always received comfort from living under God's watchful eye, his protective care.
Her strong religious beliefs were one of the greatest influences during my upbringing.
Parochial school, grace before meals, lighting the advent wreath during lent, Sunday mass;
Catholicism was a governing force in my childhood and took root in my developing morality.
During tumultuous times, it was also my mother's salvation.
I loved the rituals associated with religion,
but as I got older I questioned the tenets of the church.
Nature became the place where I found spiritual comfort and guidance.
For me, nature is the primary spiritual power.
It's what lures me onto the hiking trail as often as possible.
It's the morning light that catches my breath in my throat, marveling at its beauty.
My mother and I are both profoundly connected to providence,
yet the way it exists in our lives is as different as the lives we live.