Some of the greatest gifts of my life have been given to me by my mother. They are the type of gifts that have been passed from generation to generation, shared by example, and taught through simple interactions. I hope that through these gifts, I can carry a part of my mother and grandmother in me, and that I can pass their gifts on to my children and the people in my life.
My mother is an artist. She is always creating something—painting, sewing, gardening, cooking, baking… She knows that the secret to making something beautiful is the quality of attention and love that is put into it. It is such a gift to see or feel or taste something that she has created. It is especially wonderful when she creates something that doesn’t turn out as planned, because she knows how to laugh about it and learn from it. She never seems to be troubled by mishaps—she allows it to be part of the fun in creating. She seems to know inherently, that perfection lies in the imperfection, and she’s willing to allow room for the unexpected gifts of creation to occur.
My mother knows nature. She doesn’t simply appreciate it—she knows it. She stays in balance with nature by giving back as much as she receives. She offers her love and gratitude for every flower, tree, sunset, sunrise and fruit or vegetable that is received from the earth. She spends countless hours gardening and preserving the food that comes from her efforts. From her, I’ve learned that as far as food goes, there is nothing better than a fresh picked raspberry, peach or tomato, and that one of the very best ways to spend a summer evening is in the middle of a raspberry bush, picking, eating, enjoying the sunset, and visiting with my mother.
Among many other gifts, my mother is teaching me how to handle difficult situations. Her younger brother died this week. She has already experienced tremendous loss. Over the last fifteen years, she has also lost her father and two other younger brothers. I was grateful to have had the opportunity to be present with her, my aunt and my grandmother in the hours just after his death. I was amazed to observe and feel how calm they were. There were waves of sadness, but there was also laughter, shared memories and work, as arrangements had to be handled. They were fully connected with each other, and each of them did their part to help with the beginning of the grieving and healing process. I felt so honored to be sitting among these beautiful women and so grateful to be taught by their examples of strength and grace.
To all of the women in my life; my mother, both of my grandmother’s, my mother-in-law, my aunts, sisters, friends and teachers: Thank you for being such a tremendous example of strength, courage, beauty and grace. I am forever grateful.
Happy Mother’s Day.