Tuesday, 19 February 2013


Gardenias floated in a blue tinted glass bowl. Vibrant green leaves waltzed round their delicate white petals, which still remained in tact and unbruised even though their journey an arduous one. They travel from their tropical comforts through cold frost in the confines of a lorry to pose and greet and fulfill their role in the midst of a centre piece.  Each of the hundred flowers, unique, each complicated, each beauty distracting from their own fragility, each creating their own stage to be seen while the band played at your Aunty's wedding.

I saw those gardenias, again, today, in the outline of your silhouette. You reached over to your sister, whispering in her ear, quietly guiding her through the line of other little sisters. She stepped back and you placed your arms around her, she leaned into you before she stepped out with new confidence. She was three and you were seven. However, your profile, momentarily, reflected the woman you would become and that flicker startled me. I watch your curious brown eyes scan the room, processing finite detail, creating a plan.  Your composed, as you maintain control of the little ones conducting them to their places. And then, you smile, patiently, hands together, kneeling down to the one that is lost.

Let me introduce you to your seven year old self.  You collect stones, and keep them in shoe boxes that you also collect. You are bored by ballet but have the grace not to say it in company. You still don't like to see people kiss on TV, and you become visibly uncomfortable watching a fight, even if Spiderman always wins. You love to create whether it be by needle and thread or pen to paper.  You watch things grow, change shape.  You commit to distinct ideas that live, at times, in conflict with the mores of your little-girl world and it disturbs you, at times.  Sometimes you play a part, noticeably mimicking the movements and words of others, without fully understanding its context.  You, out of boredom, or silliness, or to create a reaction, poke fun at Mommy's need to be so serious, and you do it again and again and again until Mommy turns red. Then, you ask for a cuddle and shed the bravado, reminding me of your delicate soul of your pure spirit.

I question how you will wear the journey to your own centre piece.  You're easily bruised and your memory is much too keen. I try to shelter you from all that will taint your lustre, but I can't shelter you from me. I questioned the affects of the choices I make, of the flippant comment that escapes. Fatigue that causes me to misread a moment and confuse you with an undeserved rebuke. I play confident, mimic those who came before me. You, unaware for now, ignorant to the hesitancy in my response, trip of a breath and the whispers between your father and me.  You put your confidence in me and I want your world to be secure and safe as you follow me through this labyrinth. I turn to a different you each time;  the baby I cradled, the toddler with chubby arms and legs disappears behind the brush. There is barely enough time for me to say goodbye as maturity invades your being. I wonder how the morphed memories of me will affect how you live and how you love, and I wonder how you will remember how I loved you.

Please know, you are Cherry Blossoms in spring to me.  The wind catches and spreads your fragrant petals across my world, and my world becomes beauty.

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