Sunday, May 10, 2009

My Mother’s Garden

Random bits of my Mother's Garden

My Mother’s garden has always been wild and unpredictable. Being a Sagittarian with a significant Virgo influence, she is constantly stretched between twin goddess-muses: Free-wheeling Abandon and Obligatory Order. And, the balance of power changes without notice. Except in her gardens. And in her children.

In my Mother’s garden, things go in, are given fertilizer, sun and water, and are left to take root. There is no plan. There is no grand design. Nature will out, and it does.

And, the same conditions apply for her children. Oh, once there were plans and visions of who we would become. My Mother dreamt of upright individuals embracing success, God, and functional families.

We were provided food, clothing, the best education, and music lessons (piano, cello, violin, and guitar). We read shelves and shelves of books. We lived in a safe place near woods and fields and streams.

We always had a bike and a sled and a closet full of board games. We went to church and sang on the choir. We drove to Canada, Florida and cross-country to California. We flew to Jamaica, and also through the skies of New England in a Piper Cub. We were well cared for, and then we were reluctantly let go to bloom.

When I was 21, I worked for a nursery, and decided to take our garden in hand. I brought home bulbs by the bagful, shrubs and perennials by the trunkful, and balled trees tied to the roof of my car. I dug walkways and carved out flower beds. I thought I brought colors that coordinated. I thought I brought species that grew to the proper size. But, my efforts only made my Mother’s garden a more substantial riot. The trees towered over the roof, the flowerbeds were a psychedelic tapestry, and the bulbs naturalized simply because that is what they do.

And, my Mother was pleased, because by day the riot energized the viewer; and by night the colors faded to a murmur, leaving the white dogwood and the white tulips to glow in the moonlight like the gardens in the best fairy tales. And, that is the way her children grow. We have not followed a plan or design; we grow out of our borders; and we clash much, much more than we harmonize.

But, my Mother knows that in the odd moment, when the full moon shines and the spring breezes blow, we glow with the inner light of who we were always meant to be.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom.


mountain.mama said...

This is a great post! It contains so much beauty, in the flowers, in the garden and in the love you have for your mom.

One Red Horse said...

Of all this day, this is the most moving tribute to being mothered that has touched my path.

CoyoteFe said...

Mountain Mama!
Thank you! I hope you Mother's (Mama's?) Day was full of love and light!

You are most kind! Happy Mother's Day and wishes for love and warmth for all those you mother!

Esther Garvi said...

A lovely tribute! I think it's awesome that both you and your mom share the blog world together, and your thoughts are always so interesting, Fe!

Lori Skoog said... glad to see you have written a post. As per usual, you have expressed yourself in a way that no other can. Very touching! Your Mom must be so proud of you, and I'll bet it has been that way since you were a kid. Hope all is well and that you can now catch your breath for awhile.

rebecca said... left me speechless, Fe. What a beautiful tribute to your mother and so eloquently and lovingly expressed. I liked your use of analogy of the growing and tending and nurturing of the flowers to that of you and your siblings. It seems you had a delightful and loving childhood and just of what I know about you, your entire family must be terrific. You were blessed with good parenting, sunshine, laughter, love....and that is indeed the very best gift a child can ever receive because that gift lasts a lifetime.

Happy Mother's Day to you too dear friend...

Lori Skoog said...

I'm baaaaccccckkkkkk. Read your poems! I LOVE THEM BOTH. Some new information in your little are something.

rebecca said...

Congrats on your published poems! Woohoo! Your foot is in the door, Fe, now, full speed ahead!

Loved Elastic aptly expressed; very, very nice. In poetry to tell an entire story in as few words as possible is a sign of a good poem and a good poet and these were very well done. Kudos and congrats again, Felicia-san! You must feel so giddy right now =)

CoyoteFe said...

Thank you! ANd, greetings from green Pennsylvania. Glad you got some rain over there! Now, saying that my Mother and I share the blog experience is a bit of an exaggeration as she is WAY to busy to update her blog - Ha!

Thanks Lorelei!
I have been gone too long, I know. Trying to take advantage of the respite between semesters. Let me run and tell my Mom that she should be proud of me! :-)

Thanks, and I must say that I think you wouldn't be speechless on a bet! Hmmm .... reminds me of an old Patty Duke episode ... I did have a rather nice, if slightly quirky childhood, which only serves to make a quirky child. That's a good thing, right? ;-)

CoyoteFe said...

Lorelei and Rebecca-san!
Thanks for checking out the journal! And, I am glad you liked them! I am indeed over the moon (of course it really doesn't take much, since I am rather cow-ish), I am hoping to get some more work done before classes start again, and also hope to take a poetry class in the fall. We shall see...

CountryDreaming said...

I get the sense that your story is still unfolding. May it have a happy ending.

CoyoteFe said...

COuntry Dreaming!
Thanks for visiting. And, yes: all of our stories are ever unfolding. I wish you happiness as well!

Janie said...

I love your garden metaphor. The last paragraph "we glow with the innter light of who we were always meant to be" is simply a beautiful expression of what every mother hopes for her children.

CoyoteFe said...

Hi Janie!
Thanks! I have a 23 year old son, and when I remember what is important, I stop nagging about the small stuff and am blown away by the light that shines from him!
Hope your Mother's Day was bright!

San said...

Fe, this is stunning. The parallel between gardening and mothering is wise indeed. I'm sure that each of your mother's offspring is uniquely beautiful and reaching towards the light. I know of one who fits that description anyway.

CoyoteFe said...

Thank you San!
I tell my mother. She will giggle. :-)

lazyclick said...

Very beautiful garden and nice flowers.

CoyoteFe said...

Thank you, Lazyclick! I will pass on your compliment to my Mother.