Mothers Day – A Two-Way Street

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All-season chili peppers hang low in the snow.

May 8, Mother’s Day: Last weekend, we had snow. A heavy wet one to every rancher’s delight. The inside of our house smells of compost, wet dirt and vegetation – all those cuttings and nursery plants that I dare not set out. The dandelions brave the cold, but they are hearty perennials and big as dinner plates.

Saturday, my husband lingered in our local grocery looking at the cut flowers. He is, of course, supposed to recognize me on Mother’s Day. He wondered which bunch of the flowers I liked best. None of them appealed to me.

How about a new aspen tree to replace the tree that didn’t make it through the winter? Yes, I could have a new tree. He would buy one on Monday. I added that if he were to buy me flowers, I would rather receive surprise flowers on an ordinary day than flowers on a designated day.

In truth, the more I think about it, I think that Mother’s Day is a two-way street. We should honor our birth mother (adoptive mother, foster mother, grandmother or any woman who has mentored us like a mom) but if we are mothers ourselves, we should thank our children for making us more than we thought we could be. My three daughters have given me a lifetime of memories.

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Snow last week; standing water today.

 

If I were to think of myself as malleable clay wobbling on the potter’s wheel, I would acknowledge that their fingers have shaped me. Not that I’m complete and ready for firing in the kiln, but I’m closer with every passing year.

DSCN2740Yes, they should thank me, not because I’ve been perfect (I’ve made too many mistakes to count), but I have tried my best, and I think that they forgive me. Likewise, I should thank them. Our relationship has been full of give-and-take. Not to get all maudlin on my readers, I’ll just insert two poems – both of which I wrote some years ago.

 

“HOME ALONE” was written when the last of the daughters left for college. It was my first day home alone, and the poem tells how I sat in front of the TV.

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The eldest is gone /making a life /with the man she loves.  The fledglings are going / stretching their wings and /  looking at the world / up over the nest.  But I’m not lonely.  The television is on / and Mister Rogers / takes me back / to the age of innocent /sweet and sour bodies / sticky with honey and /coated with crumbs.  Fred Rogers is my neighbor / and in his presence /I recall the past / and take pleasure / in simple gifts.

 

A second poem, “BLOOD BOND: A NOTE TO MY ADULT DAUGHTERS,” is also older – I may have written it ten years ago or so, but with every passing year, the poem resonates more.

As I watched you run / out of the house / through the alfalfa / past the horses / under the pinon pine / my heart strings stretched / like the sinews / of a sun dancing Sioux.  Playing out / then holding fast / to the stretching strings / I tried to reel you in / but a child no more / you hit your stride.  Flushed with freedom / you headed west / over the Rockies / across the Painted Desert / into the Imperial Valley / where you paused for breath / beneath a lemon tree.  The family ties / first a bungee cord / then a thread / and then a spider web / stretched thin and thinner. / Just a wisp, a wish / a blood bond / tugged at me.  And like a small child / flying to her mother / I ran after you.

Happy Mother’s Day to my daughters Dana, Laura, and Sarah

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About timeout2

I have lived 100 lives. I write essays, short stories, poetry, grocery lists and notes to myself. If I am ever lost, look for a paper trail, but be careful not to trip over any books that lie scattered here and there. I am a reader. I am a reader in awe of writers. When I don't live in Westcliffe, Colorado, I live in London where I am a long-time member of Word-for-Word - Crouch End.
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10 Responses to Mothers Day – A Two-Way Street

  1. Maria Weber says:

    Doris—I like all your blogs, but this one particularly, especially the last line. Seems you’ve written your poem for the next Shavano meeting – the extended metaphor. The thing I wanted to mention is your first photograph of the melted water on a road. It creates an amazing optical illusion. Until I looked several times, it was the picture of a mild-tempered creek and waterfall. I saw the waterfall before the meltwater on a flat surface. Maria

    • timeout2 says:

      It is curious, Maria, that you liked the extended metaphor when all day I’ve been thinking of how I might frame next month’s assignment. I’ve been on-line watching videos on how to throw a pot on a wheel. I need to watch the technique and learn the vocabulary. I’ve never thrown a pot – but I’m thinking that we are all clay, and the poem would be about what and whose hands/ideas form us. As for the photo, I took it last week – walking along Clear Creek south of I-70 and west of Wadsworth. The creek was running wild and everything was wet, green and flowering. I love Denver’s open space! Thank you for reading – it is nice to know that writers read me.

  2. Carol Moran says:

    Doris–from your long lost cousin. Beautiful blog–so true. More so for me now that my husband has passed on and I am really alone here in Penn Yan. But not true–I have wonderful friends and memories, my daughter is here for a few weeks (lives in Fl.) and my son is in constant contact via internet (he lives in Annapolis on a boat and is planning to set sail in a few weeks for the south, I am blessed and love to read your blogs. Keep them coming.! Carol Moran.

    • timeout2 says:

      Not really lost… certainly not forgotten, Carol. I’m sorry I am not a better correspondent, but I often think of your mom and your dad (the faithful Democrat in a room full of rabid, disapproving Republicans) – and of course, you, Judy and Jim. Your note reminds me of all the times I’ve said that I’m coming to Penn Yan… sometime soon. I am sorry to hear about your husband – your children will give you strength. Don’t be shy about leaning on them. They have leaned on you. It is your turn. Snail mail to follow. Love, Doris

  3. monica says:

    Lovely!!

    • timeout2 says:

      Dear Monica, How sweet of you to squeeze me in between brunch at the Feed Store and driving to Denver. I hope Art’s appointments go well and you return home with a lighter heart. Love, Doris

  4. Dana Adamson says:

    Dear Momma,
    I very much love Blood Bond, somehow I’ve never read that one before, it really is lovely. You often said to me when I was growing up and there was friction “Wait until you’re a Mother, then you’ll understand!” I always took it as a sort of threat and it probably partly was …..but I DO understand what you meant and now in a more nuanced way. By the way I’ve caught myself saying the same thing to my children!
    Love you xoxo Dana

    • timeout2 says:

      L.J. posted a photo on Facebook of my holding you as a newborn… so tiny… so sweet… so hungry. Nursing did not come easy. Love you, Mom

  5. Jennie Ensor says:

    I like that 2nd poem very much too, and love how it ends.
    Hope to see you in London one day. W4w 29 June?

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