Today is our mother’s birthday. She would have been 72 years old. Or 72 years young, as it still seems to me that she left us too soon. I love her so much and miss her more with each passing year.
One of her favorite flowers were Iris. And the iris in my garden have been growing so strong and healthy in these last few weeks since Spring has sprung. I wasn’t surprised when I walked outside this morning to find that one had finally opened today – a gorgeous color of purple with streaks of blue – like the sky, or my mother’s eyes.
More stand ready about to burst forth at any moment with their fragile and fleeting beauty .
To honor my mother, we her family worked with the city of Nelson (her hometown for the last twenty five years) to purchase and dedicate a bench which will be installed along the Maitai River walkway in New Zealand. She loved to walk along this river with her partner Graham, watching the changes each season brought to the land and the rivers eternal flow through it. It seems so fitting that now others will be able to stop at her bench, rest awhile, and do the same.
I don”t know exactly where along the Maitai her bench is, or what the view is like, but if any of our friends or readers in Nelson see it and would like to send in a photo, I’d love to post it here.
(update: My brother Paul Wilson sent these photos of the bench this week. He and Graham had a quiet ‘ceremony’ to commemorate the bench; they scattered some of her ashes nearby and sat and enjoyed a reflective moment. I hear it’s very comfortable (!) and that many of mum’s friends and acquaintances are already planning on visiting it. As my brother said in his message: “now the familiy has a real pyisical connection with Nelson for generations to come “.)
When her family were deciding what to inscribe on the plaque, we went over many different ideas from the the usual ‘in loving memory’ to something more personalized and poetic. In the end we went with her name and dates and the standard wording because as Graham so eloquently put it, “loving memories are what we all share, and although the plaque is small with not too much room for wording, our love is big”.
Our Love is Big.
Recently though I’ve started researching the Japanese art of Haiku – or saying something very profound into just a few words. I found many that really touched my heart and here is one that I think captures my feelings for my mom. I would like to dedicate this to her today:
ONE FALLEN FLOWER
RETURNING TO THE
BRANCH? … OH NO!
A WHITE BUTTERFLY
A fallen flower. Gone from our lives, but never ever forgotten and always returning to us in the form of a moment, an inspiration, a fragrant blossom, a flittering white butterfly…
Judith Avril Wilson