The rain is falling in a steady downpour. One step out of the door and I am already wet. The yard is bursting with bright greens of every shade. I am pretty sure that my plants are growing in inches every day. May showers are bringing the flowers this year, just in time for Mother’s Day.
And what about my mother? She gave birth to me in Brussels, Begium and I am guessing that the first words I heard were French. Little did I know what else she would give me. She brought me back to the family house, a large chateau where my father and three siblings also lived. My first memories of that place most often have my mother in them. I can see her in our kitchen, standing and cooking. I can see her in a printed dress and high heels, greeting guests at the massive front doors, ushering them into the marble floored hallway and into the front room. I see snippets of her hair blowing in the wind as she tightens her scarf and pulls a coat around herself. And I follow as she goes down the stairs to make afternoon snacks for the groups of children that come for summer camps. Sometimes I help her to spread pear butter on those sandwiches. Or I help to dust or wax the wood floors of the house, mostly because I like sliding on them in my stockinged feet, and pretending I am an ice dancer. But what I mostly remember is a feeling that, at that age, I cannot yet name. I feel secure, protected, safe. I feel that all is right with my world even though I sense that the world out there can be scary.
These years later, I know my mother was surrounding me with love as she continues to do. And now, I also can put words to those gifts I have received from her. She sees the beauty in the world and brings it to her surroundings. She offers warmth and goodness with the food she makes and the table she sets. She reads voraciously and keeps being curious about the world. She empathizes with those going through hard times. She writes notes and letters to many. And through it all, she keeps a cheery disposition. My mother is also not afraid to question, take time to think through ideas, and use her intuition. She is organized and thinks ahead. I hope that I have inherited some of these things she modeled for me. And I won’t blame her too much for the worry streak I sometimes carry...
Though I did not choose my mother, I couldn't have asked for a better one. Happy Mother’s Day!