Facing the fireplace, albeit a gas fireplace with no wood smell or crackling sound, in the overstuffed, butterscotch leather chair, studded with nail heads, knitting together, row after row, stitch after stitch, yarn entwined between fingers, there is so much to take in. You have to have a lot of light when you are old if you can’t see. Everywhere I look is beauty: the petite Victorian down stuffed sofa covered with red-orange dots… I am empty inside and I am full, but I don’t know…the 10 foot long table made from the floor boards of the old family business, large enough to hold ⅓ of the family in mismatched chairs… this one, then this one, then we go to the house. No, the store. No, to the yarn store. To get paper.
The yellow sun umbrella expanded fully – inside the house… I know exactly what I am telling you about. …the attached green house, filled with fresh blooms of orchids, the new growth of amaryllis, a lime tree with fresh fruit hanging on heavy branches, faces the mirror glass river. She who lives here has a lot of love. The walls are wrapped in a blue-green-grey color that changes by the hour. Tom has all his marbles. He is really the best child. My newly trimmed pup is sleeping on my lap as my old cashmere sweater hugs me following a long shower. Do you mind, I mean think, I don’t know. Do I need to forgive your father? Is that my problem? My feet are cold and tucked into slippers.
A perfect cuppa tea, sweetened with warm milk and sugar fills the fine china mug that fits my arthritic hand perfectly. The sounds of rain hit the roof and run in sheets off the windows. I could watch the weather on the news but it doesn’t change one thing. Why waste time…lets go for a walk.
There is nothing physically recognizable from my childhood or young adult years in this home. The beauty and refinement only emphasize and shine light on the fragility of life. A life I have never known, yet know intimately as my own. A life of a woman deeply wounded, grieving her own history, her own loss of knowing and being…reframing gratitude and gift and blessing….
The fragility of a question asked, mother to daughter, “What gives a soul meaning?”
My strong, independent, creative mother is slipping away.