Now that I am on the far side of over 50, most of my life is made up of memories and stuff. In the past few weeks after my return from Florida that’s exactly what I’ve been doing – going through stuff that is bringing back memories. If you’re my age you probably either already have done this, or plan to do this in the near future. I’m intending once and for all to let go of physical memories that I can’t carry with me any more.
If you’ve been through this please have empathy for me because you know that it’s not easy to get rid of material things that are evidence that you did have a life and lived it and it mattered… at least to you or your mother. Yes, I still even have the things that my mother saved about her life and about the lives of her children while we were growing up.
I was at that point today where I was so frustrated that I just decided I was going to close my eyes and start dumping all ancient report cards, essays, letters with old stamps on them, birthday cards and pictures of people that I didn’t know when I came upon a small bundle of folded papers secured by a faded blue ribbon.
What I found on those papers actually broke my heart. You see my mother was one of the most creative beings I have ever known yet, as a woman in the 30s and 40s she was a housewife, always ‘just’ a housewife. She was caretaker of all that she loved and secretly put her creative dreams in a box somewhere for her eyes only.
Throughout her life Mother’s need for creativity came through her interior decorating in our home and as the years grew and she had more leisure time, she satisfied her creative genes by working on small oil paintings and crocheted so many quilts and scarves for us we didn’t know where to put them.
That was my mother, or so I thought until I found her secret bundle of papers. I gently opened the yellowed papers and began to read. …”The Little Naked Tree”……as I read on I was finding beautiful stories in rhyme that she had written. They had her signature at the end and her return address beneath. It looked like Mother had possibly submitted these for publication, probably to one of the women’s magazines of the day. Or maybe she wanted to, but never got the courage to follow through with her dreams of being published and most of all, had kept her secret compositions from us.
So as her daughter, a published author and writer, I am giving my mother’s dream life. Here is one of her stories that I have copyright for in her name. This is for you Mother. Thank you for my creative genes.
THE LITTLE NAKED TREE
I am am a little naked tree
People on their boat pass by
And make fun of me.
Here I stand with lovely green trees all around
Tiny squirrels scamper on the ground.
There a lot of things they don’t know about me.
I am a friend, companion, too, for a lot of animals that you see.
The fishhawk sits on the very top.
He makes makes a wish
Then swoops down to catch a fish.
The mother squirrel has made a retreat.
She stores her food so nice and neat.
Down near my roots there are some holes.
Snug and cozy for little moles.
Near the trunk there is a nest.
Mother Robin lays her eggs to rest
And soon the eggs are hatched out.
Little robins flutter about.
So now you can see,
Why did they make fun of me?
Just because I am different as can be?
You may have friends who are not like you
But they may be very nice
And have purpose, too.
So always remember on life’s way
Be very careful what you do and what you say
Always be kind and nice to all you see.
They could be just like me
The little naked tree.
V. Atkinson© Sandra Hart© All Rights Reserved.