Saturday, May 11, 2013

Two women

Anita came over for lunch Friday. Beautiful day. Warm and sunny. I cut the grass Thursday because I wanted to make things nice for her. Grilled a lovely cilantro-lime marinated chicken and made salad. She arrived dressed in pool blue and white, bearing a container of chocolate chip cookies. The kids were all over them.

We sat and ate grilled chicken and salad, drank sweet tea and she listened intently and remarked on all the changes we made here.

"This place is you," she said.

"If I ever move, I would move deeper into the woods," I told her. This place has changed me.

We walked the grounds and talked about so much--tree forts and trees down, changes and moving on, and the poison of hatred. I told her about the dark days and the suffocating days. I told her about peeling wallpaper and raking vines and perseverance. I told her about joy. 

We went up the root stairs, and surveyed the steep hill, and walked through the garden. We talked about azaleas and apple trees and fig trees and scripture, of desert wandering and promised land.

She explained the differences: of being barren and being fruitful; an old life, a new one; before and after.

"Everything is blooming and fruitful here," she said. She said it with love and I couldn't believe my ears and I never want to forget the sound of it, "This is you."

My mother died when I was in my early twenties. But since then, every woman is my mother. Every woman teaches me and encourages me and corrects me. They can be friends or mentors and not my mother, and yet like a mother.

And this one comes alongside and asks why I never shared my burdens with her. ... looks at me and sees something good and sees something better, and calls me fruitful--says, this is you ...  this one, at times more like a mother than I had ever known. She held me close and squeezed me tighter and kissed my cheek, looked at me like a daughter, and I never want to forget the look of it--that kind of love.

I am grateful to know her.

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