I was always barefoot as a child. As my thoughts dwelled in the possibilities of the sky above, shoes weighed my feet down. The grass between my toes was the best welcome home. With a leap, I entered my Mom’s well watered flower bed. The squelch and suck of the mud between my toes dared to keep me in one place for just a second longer than I’d like. My toes were never in need of a pedicure, but always embraced a hose. My Mother’s garden was a place to freely explore, imagine and dream. It was because of her that my free spirit soared as she gave me room to take flight—albeit, right in my own backyard. She taught me how to dream by allowing me to discover my own dreams.
Looking up, the clouds formed unicorns, bunnies and even a castle or two. Reaching down to pick a most prized dandelion. I can still hear the echo of my Mother’s voice through the open screen door, “Careful! However many needles (seeds) are still left on that dandelion after you send them sailing in the wind are as many children as you’ll have when you grow-up!” She thought that was funny. I thought I’d be investing in a very large shoe.
I have been blessed with some wonderful Mothers in my life, who like the woman that lived in a big shoe, seemed to effortlessly make room to care for one more. After the passing of my Mom from breast cancer in 1992, I have encountered people that have done my Mother’s work as angels on earth. They never tried to over-step or replace her, but rather they have helped guide, support, shown compassion and love to me. I’m forever thankful for them. They are the essence of what a universal mother is. A child need not have to come from your womb for you to be his or her mother. Many children are born in one’s heart. Yet there are a whole slew of other children that we Mother by being guardians, mentors or teachers.
When you have so much love to give, you have less hate and anger to embrace…
“The laws of nature do not make exceptions for nice people….That is why good people get sick and get hurt as much as anyone. No matter what stories we were taught about Daniel or Jonah in Sunday school, God does not reach down to interrupt the workings of laws of nature to protect the righteous from harm. I no longer hold God responsible for illness, accident, and natural disasters, because I realize that I gain little and lose so much when I blame God.” (Harold Kushner)
Those words cut deep and the echo of that quote resonates with my soul. Life is not always a walk in the garden. Sometimes we walk in the shadows forgoing the sunlight which only amplifies the realities of dreams deferred, focusing on moments lost or placement of blame. Sometimes, some one extends a hand and tucks someone else’s dream in their heart for safe keeping to remind them of it later on.
No matter our age there are times in our lives when we all need a little mothering. Wherever my children go, a prayer has already been there first sung directly from my heart. They inspire me to make the world a better place. They have taught me how to fearlessly dream again in many regards by simply witnessing them discover their dreams.