For this author, creative endeavors have been sorely tested by motherhood. But also transformed, and in ways she wouldn’t have imagined – couldn’t have, without her life “rewritten” as it has been, by her children. So linger here, to read all things weaverly, writerly and motherly.


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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A-Z challenge: V is for Vistas

V is for vistas. For my youngest boy, it is the vista from the top of a spry tree, with branches young and yielding enough to hold his weight. Up there, the view is wide, shadows are fleeting, and his face is illuminated like a small moon.

Lately, I'm more apt to be thinking about my mother's vistas. I think about the stories she'd tell me of when she was a young woman and spent summers on a horse ranch in the mountains of New Mexico. She would talk about the magnificent views from the tops of those mountains. She likes to relate a particular story of when she was out riding a horse down a mountain in a thunderstorm. That rush of excitement, as she knew it was a crazy thing to do; fork lightning seared the grown. But my mother has always faced life fearlessly. The lightning to her, that vista, was far more beautiful than frightening.

Until about a year or so ago, my mother's favorite vista was the ocean. She was still able to walk down to it from her house, to sit on a bench and remark on the extraordinary light reflecting off the water. She still visits the ocean, but only when I can drive her.

At 93, her balance has deteriorated as has her strength, diminishing her vistas. Her vistas now are from windows. Her most favorite, the one from where she rests on her bed, a vista of sunsets, more crimson and bold through the sparse branches of winter. New leaves only make her feel imprisoned.

Other than that, she enjoys the vista through the little window above her sink that looks out on her dining table. Where all winter she has kept a pink flowering plant, the blooms finally fading as they do in warmer weather.

"I will so miss looking out on that bit of color," she said tearfully. The smallest things now are magnified and can make her cry.

"We'll get another one, another plant," I said, though not convincingly. I feel some days, I offer too much false hope.This was a plant that only blooms in winter, and her table doesn't have enough sun for a geranium. Maybe a begonia....

"Well, I still I have him," she said, now with a little laugh, of the miniature stuffed reindeer on that windowsill. "I don't know why, but I enjoy him so."

The reindeer was a Christmas ornament I'd given her in her stocking one year. It was so delicate, its real twig antlers had broken off, so it looked more like some kind of little rodent with its pointy snout.

But what she "enjoys" about him is that "he is always looking up."

Driving home from that weekly visit, I thought how I would bring her cut lilacs from my own garden.


Francene Stanley said...

Thank you for sharing the differing vistas within your family. Your mother sounds wonderful. She's like a withering plant herself. We don't need to be sad when each life-for dies, as they must. Something else will sprout. Each of us is made of stardust.

Lynn Proctor said...

beautiful bittersweet post

Beverly Diehl said...

Perhaps an African violet? They can do okay with indirect sun.

These post of yours about your mother are so lovely and poignant. Thank you for sharing them with us.

Amy Morgan said...

How lovely to be able to visit with your mother's changing vistas. I think the ones we are left with eventually are the vistas in our minds. But that is a hope I suppose for myself. A really beautiful piece about your relationship and I'm sure she'll love those lilacs.

Kathy said...

Such a lovely post looking into how your mom views her world. Sweet and a little sad.


Paula Martin said...

Lovely post, Sandra. Our vistas diminish as we get older, it seems. But I still enjoy the many vistas I have in my memory.

Abracadebra Designs said...

Another beautiful post Sandra. Every time you write about your mother I can feel the love you have for her.

November Rain - k~ said...

That would be a lovely way to share their beauty Sandra. She sounds like she really treasures the things you share with her.

Anonymous said...

Very touching post, Sandra. A lovely idea to bring your mom some cut lilacs from your garden. Though temporary, she will enjoy them! 93 years old...bless her heart.

sell my house said...

Really a writter weaves a story.It's makes reader pleasure.It's also be enjoyable.

sell my house said...

Really a writter weaves a story.It's makes reader pleasure.It's also be enjoyable.

Julie Daines said...

Beautiful post about the cycle of life. I loved the vista from your son in contrast to that of your mother. Lovely metaphor. Thanks!

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