My Mom’s centennial was a couple of days ago. That is, she was born 100 years ago. I don’t get to celebrate her birthday with her in person any more, since she’s been gone seven years now, but it is always an auspicious blossomy day full of memories and the sweet sadness of loss. Sweet because I wouldn’t trade that memory of my loss for anything, even though I sure wish she were still around.
The year she died her birthday fell on Easter. This year it fell on the same day I spotted the first pipevine swallowtail butterfly of the season feeding on the blossoms of the weeping cherry where we planted her ashes. The first spotting of that butterfly is an occasion I always nervously await, because I’ve become quite attached to the subsequent explosion of orange polk-dotted caterpillars that hatch from the butterflies’ eggs.
My Muse Group met the day after the birthday, and we were doing fabric collage. I used Mom’s favorite colors and embedded her jolly face beneath her tree.
Listen in the wind to the sighing of the bush
This is the ancestors breathing
(excerpted from Earth Song, traditional Senegalese poem)
This is. . .the mother who now turns 100 in her realm within the cherry tree
that blossoms in its fullness now and leads us with all our senses
into the territory of ancestors,
the heart realm that she never left.
Shower me with blossoms now
as I feel the depth of love
and loss that never grows old.
I wonder, will I still be smiling when I am 92, the age she was in the picture?