On the occasion of her birthday last year, I wrote a poem for my mother, Lucia, and sent it to her in a card with an amateur portrait I attempted to draw of her with markers. Fortunately, this bit of ephimera made it all the way across the Carribbean Sea to her doorstep. Now, I would like to share the poem here, because this woman has, like no other, taught me what it means to be fully attentive to sensing the world around me.
My mother belongs to the birds.
She belongs to the one absurd red flower
That appeared out of nowhere along the path.
She sees them; she loves them.
She expects nothing else.
My mother is a house by the sea.
She breathes. She is full of empty space.
She dwells in a very particular place,
With pancakes and maple syrup,
Cut onions frying in tamari,
Laughter and speech that pours forth
Knowledge from a secret symmetry
In the microcosms of our bodies.
My mother sometimes works at a desk
With machines and people.
Sometimes, she works over a table
With the tender bodies of people.
She is not always compassionate,
But neither are you.
She remembers the one with the aching heart.
Her best work she does over a bed of moss
Or a cool patch of sand dune.
My mother is a day of rest.
A new Sabbath instated
On the day she was born
After a long, hard creation.