misty memories

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I did not cry at my son’s wedding. The rain and Maine mist had me covered. And yet, the memories, misty as things become in the blur of emotion and layers, remain firm and strong.

The way they look at each other is enough to make anyone believe in love. The years they spent in discernment of their path, separately and together, is enough to make anyone believe in faith. The joy and rightness in the air over the weekend was palpable enough to make anyone simply believe.

We created a movie featuring video clips of him learning to walk and play piano, running cross-country, delivering a valedictory speech; and including photos with friends and family at home, in the mountains, at the ocean. For background music (when he wasn’t playing) we used ‘Beautiful Boy’ by John Lennon. [The corresponding slide show by her parents was set to Stevie Wonder’s ‘Isn’t She Lovely.’ Tell you something about these two?!!!]

As the two newly-weds spend the week on a Maine island, we return to the misty shore of Massachusetts, wet with rain, storm and yes, not a few tears. But they are tears of such joy and appreciation for the many gifts of heart that a weekend with all our wonderful families uniquely offers. Misty memories, all.

taking it easy

Josh and Kate

the happy couple

My son is getting married next Saturday. He’s probably the one who should be taking a few days off. But I’m the one hanging out by the ocean with my two daughters and a close friend.making garden beds 1

They assembled five raised garden beds for me – my dream of permanent rhubarb, asparagus and raspberries to complement my husband’s dream fruit orchard now underway. This involved constructing the cedar beds themselves and preparing the ground beneath. How seamlessly each young woman found her niche in this cooperative effort. While I took it easy.

 at the crowbarIn one spot preparation required evicting a boulder from underground. This is New England, after all. I took it easy, capturing the deed.

Now the sun is getting ready to set, the largest moon about to rise. In a couple of hours’ time, my girls and I shall gather by the water’s edge to take it all in.

Taking it easy.pre-sunset

a woman’s life had rules

sepia photo of my elegant mother

my mother as a young woman

A woman’s life had rules
when I was growing up,
rules about silence, propriety
in its many guises;

masks, false smiles, pretended
enthusiasm for male ego
being a good listener and always
maintaining silent approbation.

Those rules were cast in iron
and wrapped in a death grip ’round
heart and mind, restricting
blood to brain or any thought
of what  I might be, want, or do.

So it never occurred to me
to breathe into my heart,
question, create my own line
of boundary or defense – never thought
I had the power to say ‘NO!’
‘I’d really rather not,’ or

‘what about me?’

Those rules so silently slipped
from mother’s mouth to daughter’s duty,
silent words demanding silence –
there were of course other rules;
but as someone for whom words
are key, I found myself slow
to dismantle
that mother tongue
that tore speech from me
and sent it into oblivion.

swb

Daily Post: Power, Rules

Weekly Photo Challenge: Pattern

Interior of peach peonyAs I attempted to capture the layered luminescence of my Mother’s Day peony (gifted to me by my youngest daughter), I moved closer and closer into the blossom until I was literally lost in the sweep of petals and the sense of an inner path. I was transported back to Antelope Canyon in Utah, where I took the photo, below, last year while visiting my older daughter.

The canyon walls felt like flower petals; the petals, like the canyon. Each came to me thanks to one of my two daughters. Both images speak to me of fragility that displays as strength; and vice versa. And both look like themselves while conjuring multiple other associations.

Inside Antelope Canyon, UT

Inside Antelope Canyon, UT

Within these petaled walls
my eyes slip, a  silken slide
over and around each curve
a sensuous swirl of motion caught
in stilled waves of light.

early morning kayak, mixed

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‘early morning kayak,’ by faith

My three adult children made a Google hang-out date with me for this morning. Today is my birthday; they wanted to be ‘with’ me when I opened their gift which arrived in the mail three days ago. Turns out this project has been in the making for months – at least four or six.

Here’s the full story. My son Josh loved a small poem I posted while he was away in Ghana for the six months in 2012. While he was on a three-day weekend break from his work there, he decided to pen a tune for it – as he describes it, the notes flowed from the poem through him. Next phase: he and his younger sister Caitlyn spent a reunion weekend together when he got back Stateside in November. At that time, they apparently recorded and re-recorded the song until it felt just right to them. I do not know at what point his older sister Faith got into the project: all I do know is, her artwork graces the CD cover. Today I located and promptly framed the original. My lopsided photo doesn’t do it justice, but it felt important to have as much of the total package together here as possible.

For once in my life, I was/am utterly speechless. With awe. With gratitude. With the absolute certainty that THIS is what is important in life – knowing and being known by loved ones who take the time to connect through their own respective gifts. May you also enjoy them – lyrics by myself, music by Josh, sung by Caitlyn, with cover art by Faith. Early Morning Kayak (Music (C) Joshua C. Hester, 2012)

Ahead of swimmers and breakfast,
slip silently through morning waters
stroke forward, glide, repeat
floating free from routine constraints,
giving up and in to the lulling roll,
the rhythms of the sea.

swb