Mothers are the weavers. As indispensable as water, sunlight or oxygen. Their role is at once concrete and nebulous - undefined, and yet, somewhere, surely, carved in stone.
Here, I think, is the gist of the project: She must begin the weave with the threads from the past - light and dark alike, gossamer silk as well as good, durable fishing line. The threads my mother received from her own mother were as varied and colorful as the prairie land birds. Bright strings of flowers, art, and music, shot through with solid browns of practicality and fortitude. The courage thread is surely pink – neither neon nor pastel, but the deep, lovely shade of crab apple blossoms. It is an old thread, handed down from a grandmother who survived a train wreck and a mother who counted green stamps during the Depression.
So - first the fabrics and textures at hand, and then the unique new cloth of her own existence. My mother wove in a blend of humor that laughs, always, at the inappropriate. A love of all things medical and all things mysterious. She filled our tapestries with cookies and Hail Marys, Band-Aids and hair ribbons. And love, always love.
A mother makes us who we are; only she has the bravery and the skills to shape a life, and never actually credit herself with the accomplishment of that monumental task.
The first lullaby sung to my first child was a gift from my mother, who had received it from her own mother and so on, probably all the way back to Eve. “Hush little baby don’t say a word” and “Honey tie your shoe”. “Don’t eat an hour before swimming. Or communion” and “Never ask a boy on a date.” Along the way, the child became the mother, the new child the recipient, and the fabric of life brightened yet again.
Mothers are life.
And so, to all the mothers, and especially to my own, who is the bestest, the brightest of all – happy day! Joyous day!
*Art by K. M. Berggren
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