For the mothers

This little jug was my mother’s. I can’t remember her ever using it for herself. But a guest might be given a cup of coffee or tea in a china cup with cream and sugar offered in this jug and its companion bowl. If we had an overnight guest — a rare event, and mostly it was her foster sister visiting from Halifax, or, on one occasion, an old school-friend — my mother would set a place at the table with special china and so forth, though the rest of us would have our usual melmac dishes. (When I lived in Ireland, I remember that I was always given the china cup of the guest when I went to pay my rent. Everyone else had their tea in plain mugs. I wondered how long it would take for me to be allowed to drink my tea from the same crockery as everyone else.)

Anyway, this morning I’ve put lily-of-the-valley in my mother’s pretty jug and I celebrate all mothers — my mother Shirley Kishkan, who died in 2010, my mother-in-law who died last June but whose gift was the wisteria in the background, the robin who is building a nest in the grapevine out my study window, the deer with the spotted fawns we saw on the highway last week, my friends far and near. It is the most mysterious and difficult process, it seems to me: that journey to motherhood in the space of nine months (for a woman) or two weeks for a robin (I think this is right) and about seven months for a doe. I sit at my desk thinking about my children and I realize how they have enriched my life. Made my life, in a way — the life I live now, in a house we built to be a family home, surrounded by trees and rocks and plants and the visitations of birds, deer, the occasional bear, the snakes who are even now mating behind the woodshed, and the lizards in the pile of old cedar shakes we’ve kept for kindling.




~ by theresakishkan on May 12, 2013.

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