She would have been ninety.
A Spring baby ... the youngest of three children and the only girl ... I wonder what blessings her mother bestowed upon her when she was fresh and new? What secret hopes did my grandmother hold in her heart, in her dreams for her only girl child?
This Spring arrives in the nick of time. I know grief is not finished with me, but I am ready for the heaviness within to lighten and I feel my heart turning towards the horizon, towards new beginning, new cycles and new growth.
For months I have been in deep conversation with the Moon ... unraveling her meaning for me and coming to understand the extent to which she illuminates my relationship with my mother and with myself. My moon mandala practice has ushered me into the mysteries of Maiden/Mother/Queen/Crone and unusual for me, I am relaxing into an understanding that lies beneath language, below what the mind can grasp.
I tried to explain to the Husband how my relationship with my mother is best described by the moon: how all my life has been a continual journeying out and away from her, collecting experiences, gathering knowledge and but always orbiting back to be seen and understood by her light. Now I journey out and I must make myself return ... I must find a new source of illumination to guide me, a new anchor to hold my sense of self tethered to life.
I am finding my way through simple practices. Each morning I feed myself one poem, moving mindfully and attentively through River Flow: New & Selected Poems by David Whyte.
As someone prone to gobbling books up, it is beneficial practice to make myself take time and care, savoring the words, the lines, the rhythm of his art.
I am cycling back to beginnings, remembering how it felt when I first returned to creative play years ago. The simple pleasure of gathering materials, creating bright, colorful things because they pleased me, they brightened my day.
Getting out of my way and cleansing myself of thoughts about Bigness and Importance and Grand Acts. Enjoying the simple, the playful, the tiny bright moments that lift my spirit and refresh my heart.
These are all things she would understand ... she delighted in my creative play while quietly pursuing her own. I mark her birthday with colorful adornment (she was known for her stylish outfits, beautifully coordinated and accessorized) ...
and I honor this season of new beginnings, new growth, and new opportunities to choose Love. I honor the mystery that calls me forward, that carries me through the darkness for I know in my cells, in my soul, it brings me home.
And so to these
and this broad night
to hold her
when I cannot,
to comfort her
when I am gone,
to help her learn
to take it
for the way
to make her see
where ordinary light
where happiness had fled,
will not reach.
-David Whyte (excerpt from My Daughter Asleep)
Happy Birthday Momma. I lean against your cloak of darkness and I feel your love.