In Praise of my Mother


This morning the sun is shimmering through the cottonwoods outside my east window – the light is so extraordinary – the contrast between dark limbs and the earthly radiance that these trees emanate, seemingly from within, as well as from their golden bronze heart shaped leaves, transfixes me. It is difficult to believe that they are not celebrating the end of their season in the most joyous of ways. Have I ever experienced such a depth of wonder?




For the past two days I have had difficulties with people. To be ignored and dismissed has the effect of making me feel invisible and painfully isolated. Reflecting upon my feelings, I reached the conclusion that what I experienced was more about the people involved than me. Even so the aching loneliness persisted…


When I am deeply troubled I turn to “my mother” for solace. If I am missing the mark She is silent and I know that I have been taking whatever happened too personally.


If not, She manifests in concrete ways to remind me that I am worthy and loved.


Yesterday, needing an answer to my question, and needing to feel her presence I walked to a place that is sacred to me, and sat quietly on the ground gazing into the trees and grasses that lined the creek that meandered her way through the valley. The wind was still and the autumn sun felt warm on my back as I absorbed the wheat, rust, touches of gold, gray green, and sage…


When I heard them call I knew that She was with me, and that my sadness would dissipate because what had happened had nothing to do with me.


Sand hill cranes migrate through Northern New Mexico each fall and what I was hearing was their collective murmurings. I could not see them but I would recognize their voices anywhere. There is no bird song like this one. To my astonishment, a few minutes later another group answered from a different area by the creek. I could only imagine the gathering of these “women with wings” who journey across continents as one, relying only upon each other and the mysterious routes of migration to reach their destination. I leaned into those calls and felt comforted.


When I stood up my heart was healing… and with an inner stillness as my compass, I drove home.


My next encounter was with the baby house lizard who had taken his parents’ place near the slat closest to the door. He was warming his tiny brown striped body in the afternoon sun…I hadn’t seen him for a number of days so this visit was one of unexpected joy. I sat with him awhile, telling him about the cranes as he watched me with beaded eyes cocking his head while he listened. I could feel that veil between us thinning as his body and mine slipped into that space where separation no longer exists.


Later that afternoon when the sun slipped lower deepening the autumn blue sky I walked into the cottonwood forest simply to be with Her. My love for trees has defined my life in a myriad of ways so being with trees is being with a part of myself that loves and mourns… Here too, comfort enveloped me as I stood under her arching boughs and luminous leaves. Together we breathed love into this body that so intimately belongs to Her.


A solitary white crowned sparrow sang the song of creation.


When I looked up into the cottonwood canopy there She was sitting on a snag looking down at me. I slipped into those pools we call the Owl’s eyes and found even a deeper peace.


When the waxing moon rose over the alpine glow of the eastern horizon I sat in my chair by one of the windows that allows me to feel close to Nature even when I am indoors reflecting upon the mystery that is All There Is.


How does S/he always know what I need?


I thought about women and birds and trees and how we are woven into one miraculous tapestry as I gave thanks for this day.