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Looking back at Mother's Day

My mother is the only person I write about in glowing terms who I often treat, not so well. From the written word to actions in life a divide can present itself. This year was not idyllic as far as celebrating Mother's Day with Mom. It wasn't terrible or super sweet. We don't have the type of relationship that would make a best seller list. What we have is deep and stronger than any tangible material, and yet our bond is utterly typical.

Today we made food together. Today we laughed at silly jokes and took Grandfather out for a walk by the beach. I gave her a gift, a pink t-shirt that might not fit her very well, but it had a good thought behind it.

My mother lost her own mother young. Last night I was with a friend who also lost his mother sooner rather than later. He told me he usually goes to the museum on Mother's Day. Another friend just put out a tweet; saying how he missed his mother. Recently, I had to join friends in saying goodbye to a friend, a mother of three young teenagers and so I know, that indeed, my simple day with mom was very lucky. In fact, I'm so lucky, that I take her for granted. Maybe, despite the commercial quality to it, maybe that's why Mother's Day elicits from me more than an eye roll. Or maybe its my mortality rising up in front of me, teaching me things. You see, in two weeks I'll be 40, so I think some of life's lessons are finally making sense.

Today, before I saw my mother I planted things. I planted marigolds along the garden to keep out the bugs. I picked pretty ones too, that I knew she'd like to see when she came to visit and herbs who also perform double-duty, offering food and flower together.

I did the gardening my way of course, walking around unladylike, barefoot and without gloves. In some ways, I am not quite my mother's daughter. I don't even have children and she had hers so young! No matter I realize, we are women. We all stand in for mother as time goes on. I guess that's why I feel we must all stand up for each other, why we must endeavour to strengthen and heal our mutual bonds. We can't always agree what that means, but in terms of mothers and daughters it can often mean, simply being kind, graceful and patient. Before mom arrived I was showered and dressed in something dirt free, just because I could, just because it would make her feel special.

Today I looked at the earth and chipped into its surface. I felt the cool dark, soil which serves as the stage for our human dramas. On this soil I've cried and I've fallen. On this soil I have smiled and triumphed many small obstacles. On this Mother Earth, we are given life, each man, woman and creature. Out of this, comes all our civillization, all our many cultures and strongly held beliefs. To hold the earth, to move the soil or count the sands on the beach, to count the leaves of a tree or the flowers as they come into bloom is to be humbled by the vast faces of motherhood. So, I took this lesson today from the garden and brought it into myself a little bit better than I have before, for this, I am thankful and I feel peaceful, for who I am, for who bore me and for how we imperfectly support and love each other.

~hope you had a great day today.