Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Journey Of A Mother

The young mother set her foot on the path of life.
"Is this the long way?" she asked.
And the guide said, "Yes, and the way is hard.
And you will be old before you reach the end of it.
But the end will be better than the beginning."
But the young mother was happy,
and she would not believe that anything could be better than these years.

So she played with her children,
she fed them and bathed them,
and taught them how to tie their shoes
and ride a bike and reminded them to feed the dog,
and do their homework and brush their teeth.
The sun shone on them,
and the young Mother cried,
"Nothing will ever be lovelier than this."
Then the nights came, and the storms,
and the path was sometimes dark,
and the children shook with fear and cold,
and the mother drew them close and covered them with her arms,
and the children said,
"Mother, weare not afraid, for you are near,
and no harm can come."

And the morning came,
and there was a hill ahead,
and the children climbed and grew weary,
and the mother was weary.
But at all times she said to the children,
"A little patience and we are there."
So the children climbed,
and as they climbed they learned to weather the storms.
And with this, she gave them strength to face the world.
Year after year, she showed them compassion,
understanding, hope, but most of all...unconditional love.

And when they reached the top they said,
"Mother, we would not have done it without you."
The days went on, and the weeks and the months and the years,
and the mother grew old and she became little and bent.
But her children were tall and strong,
and walked with courage.
And the mother, when she lay down at night,
looked up at the stars and said,
"This is a better day than the last,
for my children have learned so much
and are now passing these traits on to their children."

And when the way became rough for her,
they lifted her, and gave her their strength,
just as she had given them hers.

One day they came to a hill,
and beyond the hill,
they could see a shining road and golden gates flung wide.
And mother said: "I have reached the end of my journey.
And now I know the end is better than the beginning,
for my children can walk with dignity and pride,
with their heads held high,
and so can their children after them.
And the children said, "You will always walk with us,
Mother, even when you have gone through the gates."
And they stood and watched her as she went on alone,
and the gates closed after her.
And they said: "We cannot see her, but she is with us still.
A Mother like ours is more than a memory.
She is a living presence."

Your Mother is always with you. She's the whisper of the leaves as you walk down the street, she's the smell of certain foods you remember, flowers you pick and perfume that she wore, she's the cool hand on your brow when you're not feeling well, she's your breath in the air on a cold winter's day. She is the sound of the rain that lulls you to sleep, the colors of a rainbow, she is Christmas morning. Your Mother lives inside your laughter. And she's crystallized in every teardrop. A mother shows every emotion...happiness, sadness, fear, jealousy, love, hate, anger, helplessness, excitement, joy, sorrow...and all the while, hoping and praying you will only know the good feelings in life. She's the place you came from, your first home, and she's the map you follow with every step you take. She's your first love; your first friend, even your first enemy, but nothing on earth can separate you. Not time, not space...not even death!


Nessa said...

This is so beautiful, you made me cry.

Tom & Icy said...

Beautiful. Happy Mother's Day, every day!

SOe said...

I totally agree with Nessas comment. Wonderful!

RED MOJO said...

Wow. That's very touching, and true.

ariel said...


Jeanne said...

Whose words are these? Your own, or borrowed?

tsduff said...

Nessa, it made me cry too.

Tom & Icy - Every day is Mother's and Father's Day.

SOe - It is a sentiment that resonates deeply with me.

Red Mojo - As many times as I've read it, that poem is worthwhile reading again.

Ariel? I'm fine hon :) Thank you for

Jeanne: Okay Missy - TODAY, when I went home for my ordinary, mundane lunch a mere 2 hours ago, I have had my day made in a completely fabulous way. If I had my camera here I would delight my readers with the fun and completely unexpected joy that comes with such a surprise. Being a tad later than usual, I managed to see the mailman as he made his afternoon delivery to my house. So I strolled out to mailbox, and was happy to see a package stuffed into it along with all the other mail. Thinking it was for my Sweetie, or one of his daughters, I glanced at the addressee and saw my own name scrawled on the front. Hmmm - I pulled out the wad of mail from the mailbox and took a closer look at the stamps on the package - foreign stamps in Krona - even two with a hawk on them! I turned it over, and saw on the back a familiar name - now who the heck? Sweden? You should have seen the smile crack my face open. I savored the moment, grasped the pile of mail more firmly and went into the house. Mine! Mine! Mine!!

With the Bear watching with feigned disinterest, I examined the package more closely, and then opened the carefully taped end of the bubblewrapped envelope. It had several mystery items inside, which I drew out one by one. First... Fruit soup! I love the gaily colored pictures of fruit on the front, but was grateful to see in that distinct penmanship, hand- written directions of use on the front. Next: Blueberry soup! But wait, there's more! Next out of the envelope was a giant bar... the utter downfall of many a dieter... Swedish Milk Chocolate and nuts. I paused, having more fun than as if it were Christmas morning. My hand felt a card. It was a postcard whose whimsical art portrayed a family of...yes, I believe those are trolls! (How did you know I played with trolls most as a child?) Swedish trolls to be exact. I saw your note then, on the back. I haven't had so much fun in simply ages. Yes, it made me very happy. Truly one small act reaped a thousand percent return. But wait, there's more! Next, we were mystified by the box of soup - although it had the same beautiful illustrations on the front... what kind of fruit it that? Weird tomatoes? AH HA! Reading your note, I saw that it was Rosehip soup. How come my homegrown rosehips never look like that? Utter bliss I was in by that time. Looking one last time into the now empty package, I saw something small away down in the bottom corner. It looked like Opals... the Icelandic licorise candy I've grown fond of. Hmmm - I don't know what this Norwegian version is (made in Norway), but am looking forward to opening the box. You my dear Jeanne have made someone on the other side of the world thrilled today. Thank you!

Now - as for your other question, when I first found that poem several years ago, it was unsigned and circulating on the internet. It was of special interest to me due to the recent loss of my Mother. Last night my little sister wrote to me, asking if I still had a copy of it, because a friend of hers had just lost her mom. I found the poem, and as I re-read it, found it much more poignant than the post I had just put up on my blog. So that is why you have a sentimental "Mother" poem at no special time of the year, posted "just because". Whomever the author is, he or she is an excellent poet.

Doug said...

She's the complaint no virtue can silence.

Mo'a said...

This is a beautiful post...and as usual you have just the right photos to go with the words.

Jeanne said...

Now I'm happy. I was half afraid the package would be impounded by over-zealous mail guards fearing the sounds of strange powders, and that it would never get to you.
Salt licourice. I hope you like it. I do.

The poem reminds me of Khalil Gibran's "The Prophet". You've probably read it, being of its generation of popularity.

Now I'm going to bed. G'night!

Jeanne said...


Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this, I know someone who needs to read this today :)

Catnapping said...

so very beautiful. thank you.

tsduff said...

Doug - um - what? It seems very profound, but somehow doesn't sound complimentary...

Mo'a - I went to visit you today but got lost in your old blog. It really was a sweet thing.

Jeanne - that makes two of us :) Happy happy day to me. (heh heh, foiled homeland security once again.)

Thank you for the link. I am indeed an old fan of Khalil Gibran's "The Prophet", although I haven't revisited it lately. You are right on as usual.

Anonymous - very glad to spread it around.

Catnapping - I was pleased beyond repair (hmmm, now that didn't sound right either) to notice I made the "A" list (at your link list). I've been a fan of yours since before you moved away out there to the great wide open, admiring your art and everything else you share with folks.