My mother on her honeymoon, long before I came along.
It’s Mother’s Day, and a young poet friend has been three days without his mother. She died suddenly and unexpectedly in her sleep. What can one say, except, “Friend, you are not alone?” I’m thankful that he has many friends and family to look out for him. Eventually, it is my hope, he will feel the truth that she is always with him, a part of him, not just his memory, but his very person.
It’s been thirty years since my own mother died on “Good Friday.” The date was April 17th, and while I know that, to me, the cloud is always over that religious weekend. I think it took until this year for me to look out the window and actually take a little joy in Easter, and not to feel any resentment.
I saw a young rabbit in the yard, among the fresh Dandelions and Violets (weeds, people call them–I don’t understand), a Robin in the grass nearby, digging for spring worms. And what I already knew somehow sorted itself out in my brain so very clearly, that the old resurrection story I grew up with was, in its proper context, symbolic, metaphorical–for this, but also for our lives in general. So much pain has been caused by taking only the literal view, or taking the symbolism only as far as the doctrine of Christians being “born again.”
I think Emerson would agree that somewhere along the way, and probably very early on, the original intention of an inspiring parable of rebirth and renewal for the earth and for our own spirits, was subverted into something that focused only on the death of one man and how we now must build our entire lives around him. But perhaps the original was a metaphor, a super-hero story (which is always a story about the untapped power within ourselves), symbolic of what we might become if we were to follow nature’s cue and let the old seasons of depression, cold and darkness pass away and see our world anew again. Continue reading