This week at The Potting Shed I watched with pleasure as people chose gifts for Mothers Day. One mother and her daughter decided to give their mother/grandmother a new garden. So they carefully selected plants they thought she would love. These were lovingly spread out in a colour-way that would please and discussion was had about sun and shade and height and colour. Bonded in this quest, the mother and daughter were lovely to watch. Then off they went, excited and laughing with a boot full of flowering perennials to make up a beautiful garden. What a gift. Then yesterday a little boy came in with his father. Serious and cute as a button. Selections were made, but they were outside his budget so I led him to a pretty pink Schizanthus, the butterfly flower, in a white glazed pot, wrapped in paper and twine. He sat down to write on a little card I gave him so the whole deal would be complete and he was ready for the morrow. Without hesitation he solemnly wrote his special message to his mother and we tied it onto the gift which he carried carefully away.
Earlier in the week, an old friend came in to tell me about a letter she had just received in the mail. Addressed from her son’s school, she said she jumped to the thought it would be a notification about behaviour or another lost hat, yet oddly it was in a child’s handwriting. Blinking back tears and waving her face with her hand like a fan, which women do to stop the tears, she told me it was a full page letter from her little boy telling her how much he loved her and that she was the best mother in the world and all that she meant to him. She was completely overwhelmed. What a school to give their children that gift. Not only to express in writing their thoughts of love, but to plant that understanding in their minds of the power of an actual letter, written and put in the post box. And received and opened and enjoyed. No exercise could better illustrate the force of the written word and the unique enjoyment of a letter arriving in the mail. The hand fanning failed and my lovely friend had tears streaming down her face telling me this simple but beautiful story.
Then yesterday as I drove to work, I was thinking of my own mother who died many years ago. I was remembering the little gifts we made for her as children and the excitement of giving them to her and taking her breakfast in bed and snuggling in beside her. Just at that moment a breeze from the north lifted the gold autumn leaves from the poplars on the roadside and they showered down over me as I drove by, magical, beautiful and sparkling in the sun. Like kisses. I cried all the way to the shop.
Above: My mother (in the white blouse) and father in the foreground with my mother’s sister Kath to her right, and her mother, my grandmother, at the back in the middle. Mum’s brother Colin is on the far right and to his left, Mum’s father and other family and friends. A picnic lunch at haymaking time.