my dad, my mother and I
Today I remember the sweet goodness
I gathered from my mother’s garden
and celebrate the beauty
of the legacy that is hers….
~the crunch of scissors on construction paper as she cut out figures
to decorate holiday doors and windows
and delight little girls.
~wandering together through forests of fabric,
a whole universe of color, texture and pattern
wrapped in rows of possibility
with ribbons and candy-like buttons.
~the sound of crinkly Butterick patterns and pinking shears
that became magic in her small swift hands,
wrapping us in jumpsuits, sundresses
~the pungent bite of green tomato and onion,
peaches and peppers,
as our kitchen became summertime spicy
with her brilliant chow chow and pickled peaches,
the pressure cooker steaming as she canned green beans,
and missed her mother
and put away treasure for the winter.
~her comforting presence as she shelled butter beans, shucked corn
and read her books on homemade beach towels
in the grass by the public pool
while we swam away summer afternoons.
~her angelic voice in choir on Sundays,
her pretty lips singing in pink.
~evenings reading Pippi Longstocking out loud,
my stomach sore from belly laughing
~the food…oh, the glorious FOOD she created.
Our meals were art.
I know that now.
~how she would find her way to the piano
when her heart was heavy or anxious,
and the way it gentled her
to leave her burdens there.
In her own way,
she taught me to find my own garden
where my own prayers and praise could rise.
Mothers……we’re not very good judges of our own fruit.
She probably doesn’t realize how rich a harvest she has borne,
how beautiful the legacy she is leaving.
I suppose we never do.
She has loved her girls
and grandchildren well.
Does she know it, I wonder?
I have a feeling her crop is immense;
much maybe not ripe for years.
But her vine is heavy
with thickset fruit
And I stand up
and call her