I slumped in my deck chair; my eyes level with the bowl of the metal bird bath. It was a pleasant view covered as it was with a greenish patina on the metal. I had filled it with fresh water and now it was teeming with miniscule fluttering life. Little gnats, or whatever they were, paddled around, and occasionally dipped their wings ~ enjoying their solitude, barely moving the water. My thoughts drifted along with them and rippled across my mind.
I thought, “If some of my feathered flying eye candy would stop for a visit they could have a sip as well as a snack, right here, right now on the edge of my deck… and that rhymes with peck; that’s what they’d do, but they’re not around; what a pity… and that rhymes with where I am right here, right now in River City.” Sorry, but I told you I was drifting, not on the Ohio, but in my mind.
My thoughts were like a kaleidoscope on this slowly warming day. The sun topped my Sugar Maple tree and its light fractured when it touched the reflective water; I shut my eyes, and the red spot of the sun still shone in the blackness of my closed lids. There was a scene change as a dense cloud passed between that glorious orb and my closed eyes, and suddenly, there she was, my mother. The strength of her presence always takes my breath away. She was my teacher, my guide, and my earthly center. The excitement and adventure of the life she so loved, still passes between us like electricity. I know God is calling my attention to her for a particular reason ~ His to know, mine to comprehend.
She was standing in her back yard; rake in hand. She was wearing garden gloves, and her blue and white plaid cotton dress with full skirt, “It is much cooler than slacks.” ~ a favorite mantra of hers. However, I only thought it, she didn’t speak to me; she seldom does, and only when I sleep. Once she called out my name, and one other time I answered a phone in my dreams she said, “Hello!”
Did I answer each time? I don’t know; perhaps I said, “I love you, Mother.”
Still standing, the top of her body was covered with a protective blue smock, she was holding a handful of loosened rich earth, testing it; fumbling with her fingers, and then she spread them wide, the dirt scattered and blew away as dust. As I opened my eyes, she also scattered away, borne on the gentle, fragrant breeze of this late Spring day; as it blew its breath in my face, my longing was for her breath.
I could tell many stories of mother and daughter: laughter and tears, understandings and misunderstandings, the love of God mixing it all together; you know exactly what I mean. She lives in heaven now surrounded by the Lord of her life, and the loved ones she so longed for ~ my Daddy and so many more. As you can tell we, visit from time to time in our own way.
When she escapes my heart and becomes visible to my eyes, I see a frame filled with dreams and memories; her face flickers from my beautiful “life-filled” adventuring young mother, always ready for exploring to my maturing supportive mother, so calm and serene, so solid yet gentle. Her attributes were a gift from the Holy Spirit, due to lifelong faithfulness and trust. Occasionally, I see the face of the dying saint, asking Jesus for another breath, and in His mercy, He said “No. It’s time to come to me.” She did.
My mother dreamed her dreams and sometimes she followed them in her mind. She experienced life’s stiff breezes and turned her face to them, but she never chased the wind. Her feet remained firmly planted as she lovingly and patiently tended and prayed for her family.
Mom had more grace than grit; more spirit than flesh; she found delight in her Bible, and her walk with Jesus was visible. I know in my heart of hearts the Holy Spirit loved dwelling at “her place.”
Once again, this was a pleasing, blessed visit, and I am refreshed and fortified now to go forth and fix my husband’s lunch. The wind, still hanging around, lifted and turned the leaves and it seemed to urge me on. Rebel that I am, I paused. Just one more scene lingered as I stood by the bird bath before heading through the door:
~ Her last shallow breath slowly filled my world as she entered the new… my Mother had gone adventuring ~
Always, I love you, Mom.
A Song for My Heart
Pay close attention, friend, to what your father tells you;
never forget what you learned at your mother’s knee.
Wear their counsel like flowers in your hair,
like rings on your fingers. Proverbs 1:8 (MSG)
It is comforting to read God’s words and see the comparisons He often makes that show His respect and high esteem for the role of mothers.
Isiah 66: 12-13
“I’ll pour robust well-being into her like a river,
the glory of nations like a river in flood.
You’ll nurse at her breasts,
nestle in her bosom,
and be bounced on her knees.
As a mother comforts her child,
so I’ll comfort you.
You will be comforted in Jerusalem.”