She is sensitive and firm, relatable and divine. The Black Madonna teaches Lily that she has mothers all around her, Rationale's protection, Mayo's caring, and Augustus love, Lily finds a mother in everyone around her, including herself. Sue Monk Kid begins her story with a character by the name of Lilly Ray, a fourteen old girl who lives with her abusive father, T-Ray Brown. Lily had the tragic experience of losing her mother at a young age. She never had the intimate relationship that comes with having a mother in your life.
She never experienced the soft voice or embrace of a mothers loving arms, something she longed for all her life. Life has a funny way of eating us down the path we are destine to take, but at the same time, comforting us with situations that are unpleasant. The people that we meet on our Journey are people we are destined to meet. Rosalie, a black house keeper who lived in the south and worked for T-Ray, was one of the closes things Lily could call a mother figure in her life. Lily and Rosalie shared a common ground.
The two loved each other and at the same time, longed for something deeper in their lives. Sue Monk Kid teaches us the importance of relationship and the power of female community. Lily longs for her mother and cherishes the few possession of her mother. She keeps a box of her mother's memories buried in the orchard. In the box, there are photos, a pair of white gloves, and a wooden picture of a black Mary with the words "Tiburon S. C. " on the back. Every time Lily feels alone or unhappy, she digs the box up. Sue Monk Kid demonstrates the significance of mothers to adequate human development.
Everyone, regardless of circumstance or color, needs a mother. Lily's journey brings her to a place where transition and fate kisses face to face. Unfortunately, it also ends a relationship with her father whom she loved but didn't understand. The Black Madonna serves several functions in Sue Monk Kid writing. It symbolizes as a surrogate mother to Lily seeing this was the only image she could relate back to her mother. However, the real meaning and symbolization comes from Catholic Catechism. Catholics place high emphasis on Marry roles as the protector and intercessor.
The Church holds the Blessed Virgins Mary, mother of Jesus Christ, in special regard. They feel a strong personal relationship to Mary as Lily did to Rosalie and the Bodyweight home. She is in a sense, mother to all. Just as Lilly turned to August for love and support, the Catholics turn to Marry Madonna for the name type of affection. The Black Madonna, through the teaching of August, gives Lily the strength and confidence to begin to change the way she thinks about her father's behavior. Sue Monk Kid captures the bravery of Lily's actions.
In a time when slavery was still present and in its strongest form, Lily was able to gather strength from the Madonna and her circle of friends to make her passage way to wholeness and a new beginning. Many different faiths and religions view the icon 'Mary Madonna' in different ways, but for Lily's life, it would be the life changing motivating factor to start her on a new road of healing and freedom. Lilly sees honey for sale with the same picture of a black Mary that her Mother had. She discovers that a women name August Bodyweight sells the honey and Lily travels with her friend Rosalie to the Bodyweight home.
Lily meets the sisters, August, June, and May, who lives in this bright pink house. She was so nervous of the unknown; she began to lie to them about her past. It is human nature to hold onto to something from our past that brings us shame. We cling to the memories of the past; for it is there we can find peace and comfort. August is a black single woman who lives with her sisters and helps run her family business. She invites Lily and Rosalie to stay in the honey house. As time moves on, August develops a special bond with Lily becoming a surrogate mother to her.
In each person's life, much of the Joy and sorrow revolves around attachments or affectionate relationships making them, breaking them, preparing for them, and adjusting to their loss by death. Among all of these bonds, are the special bonds - of a mother or father we cherish the most. Bonding does not refer to mutual affection between a baby and an adult, but to the phenomenon whereby adults become "Committed by a one-way flow of concern and affection to hillier for whom they have cared during the first months and years of life," (hacker 20011). According to J.
Robertson in his book, 'A Baby in the Family Loving and being Loved,' individuals may have from three hundred to four hundred acquaintances in their lifetimes, but at any one time there are only a small number of persons to whom they are closely attached (Robertson, 1982, p. 53-54). He explains that much of the richness and beauty of life is derived from these close relationships which each person has with a small number of individuals such as, mother, father, brother, ester, husband, wife, son, daughter, and a small cadre of close friends (Robertson, 1982, p. 3-54). Attachment is crucial to the survival and development of human kind. August makes the most important statement Lily would ever receive about the black Mary and who she is; "Our Lady is not some magical being out there somewhere, like a fairy godmother. She's not in the statue in the parlor. She's something inside you" (Kid, 288). It is at this point Lily discovers where her true strength comes from. She sees it inside of her. As this story unfolds, Lily is now able to make peace with the past and with her father.
She understands the hurt she was feeling but never took the time to see that T-Ray was also dealing with his own daemons and hurt. It was the hate and bitter heart oft-Ray that drove Lily on her journey, but it's her destiny that leads her to a new hive of mothers, and falls in love with who she is inside.