Flowers of Childhood: My mothers hidden message

Mothers hidden message—


After my 12th November birthday, came a long winter. I would occasionally look at the small tulip areas my mother and I had worked on the year before. A tilted but otherwise flat area of snow that sloped away from the driveway. We did not have a car. This driveway was, instead, an artifact, a wide area of rock going from Central Avenue near Chicago, to our garage, which was a storage shed for all things not car related.

We had turned winters corner that year, but snow was back over the tulip patch. This seemed irrelevant to the tulip bulbs who were sending up their stalks confidently, as if knowing there was not a foot of snow there. There was not. But now I watched in wonder as her and my flower bed came back from the dead. I had no illusion that my mother would return. When the phone rang that early morning of her death, we were relieved. We could not stand the agony we knew she was in for so long. Somehow, pains absence meant a kind of peace for her. That was our relief.

It had become my job to weed the flower beds and mow the lawn for years now. Seeing these bulbs that mom and I planted connected me to her intentions for beauty. Some days later, snow gone, I continued cleaning up the 5 by 8 foot bed that was covered with rotting leaves. The first bulbs began opening a few days earlier, kind of here and there. Now most were becoming fully opened. A quick rain storm began pelting me, but I keep working. Then came the hail. No! I thought. The hail increased in size and intensity. Tulip flowers were being torn off pedal by pedal. Then the leaves began to be shredded. I went in the house.

After the storm passed, I returned to the flower bed. It was covered with white balls of hail and green shreds mixed in with flower pedals. I think not one whole flower was left. My moment of reflection and rejuvenation had been decimated. The idea that somehow beauty would survive its trials with the promise of spring, was stripped of its bucolic romance. Life goes on, yes, but I am on my own.

I did draw a lesson through time about this moment, where seeing my mothers hand at work was shattered from its moorings. It is not in the physical world where we establish our signpost, our seeds of presence. It is who we are in spite of trials and tribulations. It is how we come back to bloom again by the power of our own spirit over the realms of chaos and destruction. We are the flower. Our reservoir of Spirit, of yes to Life, is where an indestructible revelation emerges.

The love and intention toward beauty survived the wrath of circumstance and situation. That victory my mother and I shared remained true no matter the impositions of the outside world. This is how spirit, not only survives, but remains continuously reborn. Not fire nor brimstone can erase the Presence.

I live in time and space, but I am not governed by their surface. At the time of the hailstorm and flowerbed shredding, I felt kicked by life right in my face and heart. In time, I leaned more of the viewpoint on the transient. It is necessary to see through time and space, to be their moderator. Surfaces may become ugly and cold, but the roots of truth extend through time and space itself, they are immortal, transcendent. Death and loss become a moment of painful change, but also an opportunity for reaffirmation. It is the opportunity for conscious life to say Love and Beauty are worth all this, in fact, this destruction proves their power, and I can spread them.

I have gone on through my life, always tring to have gardens and a home surrounded by wildflowers. I even go down barren streets-capes sowing seeds in different towns throughout the nation. I have a message to deliver.

(A tulip stand in for the desert)