Today is Mothers Day in Ireland. I woke up to a lovely card from my three sons. It is a reproduced lithograph and shows the back of a woman's body sitting on a diving board. She is clad in a black swimsuit. The sea below her is a teal blue. I related to her immediately because I feel like that sometimes. Do I stay sitting on the board or jump off? Most of the time I sit and....I gaze. Gaze out at what could be, afraid to take the plunge. The artist of this painting is unknown, a pity, but if you are interested in googling it, it is called Tomita Beach, Japanese, 1936. Inside the card the appreciative words of my boys were written along with a gift voucher to a spa that promises an hour and a half of pampering........apparently hot stones will be laid on my back, ooh, is that good or bad, sounds semi delicious and semi odd and I cannot wait. The back has been bothering me due to the vigorous bouts of activity in the garden and so the gift was thoughtful and besides they are probably tired of my moaning and groaning. Mothers' Day. It will be a lonely one though because hubby has just left with two of my sons to drive to Limerick. Another try out for the under 16 Irish Basketball team occurs today and thankfully the cut will be made after this performance. I don't think my son cares too much anymore especially after it was announced that each parent of the fifteen lads chosen will have to pay two thousand euro each for the honour! So much for a national team. Money talks. Hubby and older son will amuse themselves by attending an American Football game in UL, Belfast play Limerick. A total mans day as far as Í'm concerned. My youngest son will be off meeting his pal. He likes to go to his friends house because friend Dylan lives in the city and my son, at thirteen, understandably finds it more exciting than being out here in the boring old countryside. So my day is my own on Mothers' Day. What do I do? Walk the dog. Check. Take a long bath. Check. Go to the garden store to buy onions for planting. Check. FINALLY finish reading Cormac McCarthys' All the Pretty Horses. Check. (Start reading the novel that a friend of mine has written and wants me to edit and he will actually pay me for same). Check? maybe not. It is sixty eight chapters long. I'll start it tomorrow. Pick some daffodils from the garden. Check. Listen to the still house and miss the doors banging and the loud music and the rustling around in the kitchen for food.Check. Have some quiet time to mull over my life and my roles and my gazing. Check. Mothers' Day alone. How I miss my mother on this day more than any other day of the year. Her hands, her marvellous hands come to mind; ...they washed me, they loved me, they cared for me, they soothed me, they waved goodbye to me, they opened doors for me, books for me, they called to me, they showed me the way, they held my children for me, they peeled vegetables for me, they answered the telephone for me, they ironed my clothes for me, they tied my shoe laces, they reached out to me, they held my hands for me, they embraced me, they made brown bread for me, they knit for me, they dressed Christmas trees for me, they put flowers in jars for me, they wiped away tears from me, they clapped in joy for me, they loved me........So off I tread into Mothers' Day carrying the image of my mother's hands with me and the painting of the unknown woman (painted by the unknown artist) sitting at the end of a diving board gazing off out at Tomita Beach. I am wondering if she jumped or stayed sitting on the edge. Was she perfectly content?