When my Mom felt the first signs of going into the labor with me, she was out in the flower bed, planting pansies. In that moment, we three were joined in a life long connection. The effortlessly smiling pansies, shining up to mom, her hands moist with rich soil and me, a wiggling awakening of wanting to be in the sun with her. My mom cultivated a deep love for the outdoors for my sister and I. For my mom, growing up in the heart of San Francisco, camping in the woods with her family made her tap into something authentic, a real love for nature, trees, conservation and education for places still wild. As we grew, she instilled in us the same love, zeal for Smokey the bear and Woodsy, encouraging us to stick our noses deep into the canyoned grooves of sugar pine bark and breath in deeply, to walk quietly, gingerly and always on the trail, to keep a look out for fairies and gnomes, to never complain, to never be destructive, to be happy, content and to learn from nature.
Our mom taught us how to use our hands and how to create. Life is found in creating it and our mom made us go outside interact with it all, crafting, playing, crocheting, cooking, painting, drawing, sowing and writing. From the beginning the understanding of creation, as a pillar to a happy life, has always been there. This importance of imagination and creation, of resourcefulness and play. Other than life, I can’t think of a better gift to be given than these treasures.
My mom aslo gave me Mt. Shasta and the Shasta Valley. My mom received her teaching credential from Humboldt State in 1983 and applied for teaching jobs throughout the country: Alaska, Montana, the puzzle-pieced states of the East. Before she knew it, she was packing up the car and headed east, from the coast, to work at the quaint school of Grenada. And so my family was rooted here, my sister and I went to school in Grenada, and 30 years later I would be living here, in the same valley, blessed to have the queen mountain’s mothering presence and best of all, to be close to my family.
Happy Mother’s Day, Mom! You’ve made me, made me who I am. You’ve connected me with all the elements that I value and continue to inspire, teach and fill my days with abundant love. You are the one that encourages me to write, always my editor, my biggest supporter, my welcomer of created words. You’ve always understood my cadence, because it’s the beat that you gave to me, our swinging duet. I love you with all my heart!