Happy Mother’s Day!Saturday, May 11th, 2013
I tell this story each year because it is important to me. Long ago, my own mother and I developed a tradition; I no longer remember who started it. The winters in the Midwest can be brutal (which certainly it was this year!), but in spring, the world comes back to life. May apples, trilliums, crocuses, and violets are the first flowers to appear.
On Mother’s Day, Mom and I would hike through the woods behind our house and search for violets. We would select the blue ones, the light lavender, and the deep purple. It was an adventure we shared, just the two of us, without my sisters. We would put some of the flowers in a vase in front of Mom’s statue of the Virgin Mary, and the others she would keep on her dresser. The tradition remains a part of our lives.
As an adult, I have sent her live violet plants, dried ones, pictures of violets, and violet-covered cards. Since I was able to see her last week, I got her an African violet as an early gift. When we are together in the spring, we go out together to look for violets. They are a symbol of the thread between us, mother and daughter. Invisible and yet so very, very strong.
This is what I wrote to her today as I sent her the photo of the violet you see here.
” Mom, Alexander and I went on a hike today to look for violets for you. We found violas and larkspur and pretty blue and purple and violet and orange and yellow flowers… but no violets.
And then as we were coming out of woods on the trail, Alexander wanted to sit down and take a break. I sat down next to him. Right there in front of us, was this simple lone violet plant. Nowhere else, anywhere around was there another. It was as though God put it right there for us to find. For you. Of course.
Happy Mother’s Day Mom (and Grandmom).” And to all of you too!