the original mother nature (appearing elsewhere…)
a note: a dear writerly friend of mine, laura lynn brown, author of “everything that makes you mom,” and the award-winning essay, “fifty things about my mother,” published by iowa review and slate, has carved out a writing place for all things motherly. it’s called “makes you mom,” and in her ever generous ways, she asked if she might pick something i wrote about my mama and post it there, as she begins her library of motherliness. i would do anything for laura, so i said yes. it’s posted there this morning, and in hopes of helping more readers find her newfound corner of the cyberworld, where soon enough laura and her team of writerly compatriots will be accepting submissions, i’m pointing you toward laura’s lovely new botanically-bedecked site. and even though a monday post feels a bit like getting out of bed and forgetting to change out of my jammies, here’s the pull up a chair post (originally written in 2007) that dear laura chose to post. i’ll include the first few grafs here, but to read it to the end, you’ll need to click the link. that’s how the cyberworld often works. and how it works this fine and foggy monday morning…..
we didn’t know it, her little brood. we thought everyone’s home movies had pans of tree tops, flashes of scarlet tanager in between the frames of children waddling, waving, being silly for the camera.
coulda fooled us. didn’t every mother teach her hatchlings to hush when an oriole was in the yard? to rush out and scatter halves of oranges, the winged things’ sweet reward for populating her old oaks.
doesn’t everyone get daily, heck, hourly if warranted, phone calls with the up-to-the-minute news of the baby screech owls whose mama pirated the wood duck house, high up in the trees, and taught her babies to fly, right over my mama’s head?
when you grew up with my mama, you took these things for granted. you had no clue how much you’d learned, how much she’d taught you about the world of God’s creation while other children were merely trying to memorize the capitals of algeria, and bolivia, and, perhaps, the republic of congo.
it came slowly to my attention one day sitting in the newsroom, when an extremely intelligent friend of mine, a friend who grew up in queens, was wondering what the red bird was, not the one with the orange belly, she said, but the one that was red all over.
you mean the cardinal? i asked, as if she’d asked which letter followed C.
but you didn’t even look that up in a book, she cried, unnecessarily impressed.
well, no. but my mama is the original mother nature. or at least my original mother nature, my very own earth mama. and some things, you just absorb.
(to keep reading, please click the link below….)
blessings, and see you friday, when i will remember to get out of bed and change out of my jammies…
and while you’re at it, please tell your friends about “makes you mom,” and the lovely work my dear friend laura is unfurling…..
Loved it! It reminds me of how my daughter reacted when her friends in high school AP Gov, growing up almost within the shadow of the Capitol, did not know what “cloture” was.
And after my parents died, just before we sold their home, I transplanted a little bunch of white trilium plants from their garden to our, and they late still thriving!
Thanks for sending me to your friend’s blog.
love your “yin” from my “yang,” meaning that you made the connection to government and the bits of knowledge we take for granted…..
love that you transplanted trillium, one of the woodland wonders…..
thanks for following the yellow brick road to laura’s website….
Now I have discovered the fertile soil from which you spring, and the loving naturalist who nurtured your soul’s blossoming. What a blessed gift this morning to find this love letter to your lovely “earth mama.” Would that we all could embrace the wonders of nature with such reverence and delight! I’m smiling from my heart, and I’m grateful to your friend Laura for choosing to share this gem with a wider readership. xoxo
ah, bless you dear amy, who might have grown up with a mother, too, who took you to the woods, instead of the dress racks. it was sort of a treat to read those words, written years ago, and pulled out of storage for dear laura’s new cove. i feel so deeply blessed that over the years i’ve had the chance to etch so many love notes, and leave them, as if a trail through my dappled woods…..
The acorn doesn’t fall far from the tree, does it? (An expression your Mama Nature can appreciate.) I love it, especially the story of the hawk. (And your newsroom exchange about the cardinal!) Laura shows the good taste that tells me this will be a successful venture that I will certainly explore.
bless your heart, dear ngw! perchance down the road you too could write for dear laura. she’s a copy editor at the arkansas democrat-gazette in her not-so-spare time! she’s your people!!!!
Thanks for the link. Your story of your Mom reminded me of the woman I encountered once at the Morton Arboretum, walking alone on the side of the road during a monsoon-type rainstorm.She looked utterly soaked. I stopped the car to ask her if she wanted a lift to her car. She turned to me with a huge smile on her face and said, “Oh, thanks, but I’m having SUCH a wonderful time! I’m just going to walk.” I loved it.
i love it, too. how glorious. makes me long for a rainy spring day, so i can try the same…….