Thursday, January 01, 2015

Every moment matters, and my mother is February

I couldn't let the dreary obligatory post of the New Year be my only post for the day.

I'm much more contemplative than the list of tasks makes out to be. I've come to a place where I believe that bliss is found in the mundane. Nothing will bring greater joy or contentment than truly living every moment, and finding that moment and realizing it is the most important moment. If you think of it that way, than your entire life is filled with important moments that matter.

Some of you might jump to toilet humor. Every moment? EVERY moment?

One day, when my boys were around 4, they had fully (finally)grasped the whole 'poop in the porcelain bowl' concept.  At around 5 years old, I caught Turbo dragging a stool and a book into the bathroom. I was curious. I followed him, they weren't great at shutting doors and I often had to remind them to. I said, 'what are you doing?' or something to that effect, because he had climbed up onto the toilet, propped the stool in front of him, put his feet up on the stool and opened his magazine,  some  bright child magazine. He smiled the smile of someone who was about to fall into contentment. He said 'I'm going to poop. Can you close the door?"

Yes, every moment.
Though I don't believe you need to enjoy it quite as much as he did. Then again, why not?

There are times and moments we don't want to really live in, though, of course. Death. Loss. Suffering. But those moments are just as important as all others. The day to day. The once-in-a-life-time trip. Meeting the love of your life. Eating at a great restaurant. Moving in to a new home. But the big moments are made more so by the appreciation of all of life; and loss  and suffering and struggle are easier to bear, I believe, when you have a history of remembered and lived moments rather than a history of wasted ones.

I think of my mother often, as those who've lost their mothers do. I have a history of lived and cherished moments with her. My son brought home a plastic bluebird from something, a party or found on the ground, it is just a whistle. My mother came pouring back into my mind, a gentle, steady downpour after a drought. She loved bluebirds. The bluebird of happiness was her thing. So this plastic bluebird whistle sits on my desk now, a placeholder for the blue glass bird figurines she had when I was a child, sitting mostly unnoticed on windowsills or counters but always somewhere bright, and prevalent enough that I remember them.

I dreamt of her as well. I dreamt of my mother and February and blue and snow and brightness.

Blue is my color for her. A true, deep blue. The primary color blue, bright and deep. Blue butterflies. Blue birds.  I can't say why I chose blue for her, but I did. I have a wreath that I made a few years ago. Every time I see it, I think of her, which is funny because I didn't make it with that in mind. The wreath is February, like my mother is February. The bright, stark month that comes and goes too swiftly. The wreath is covered with frosted snow, like the white strands that salted my mother's dark hair. A delicate butterfly lands precariously but surely on one of the twigs. My mother was like that, delicate and strong all at once. Easy to pass over  as nervous and child-like, but filled with desire and strength and dreams. Red birds on the wreath because spring will be here soon. That' February's promise. The winter passes and spring is almost here. My mother lived her life like that - every season passes. Nothing stays the way it is, everything changes. That is the only constant.

She's been in my thoughts a lot lately, ever since she came with the bluebird my son brought home. She is blue and bright and February and every moment I look at the little figure I see dark hair, quick eyes and delicate hands.  Every moment I see it I hear her tsks and laughs and sharp wit.

They are good memories, of moments cherished and valued, and they all took place in the everyday. After school. In a car. A Saturday morning. So I have lost her, but I still hold her because she did not waste too many of our moments. She believed her favorite saying, don't forget to smell the flowers. She always did. Brightness in the dark. Light, silver linings and hope. Our lives are built on moments.  Memories default to moments. That is why they matter.

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