It’s good to go home and to remember our roots. May is the month of mother’s day. I like to remember that the root of Hearth is a deep respect for mothers, for all they do, for their capacity for enlightenment, for how they are growing whether they know it or not, for how they continue giving without pay and, oftentimes, without respect from others for their daily activities. Mother’s give because they feel the impulse to give. How amazing that all over the world millions of women give birth, give milk, give time, give their lives to their children. So for you, Hearth mothers, I would like to offer this bouquet of verse from the pen of Billy Collins, the 2001-2003 United States poet laureate. On this mother’s day I hope you take a moment to realize how important and how awesome you are; that you weave the world anew each time you make a lunch, wash clothing and grow your awareness.
The other day as I was ricocheting slowly
off the pale blue wall of this room,
Bouncing from typewriter to piano,
From bookshelf to an envelope lying on the floor,
I found myself in the L section of the dictionary
Where my eyes fell upon the word lanyard.
No cookie nibbled by a French novelist
Could send one more suddenly into the past-
A past where I sat at a workbench at camp
By a deep Adirondack lake
Learning how to braid thin plastic strips
Into a lanyard, a gift for my mother.
I had never seen anyone use a lanyard
Or wear one, if that’s what you did with them,
But that did not keep me from crossing
Strand over strand again and again
Until I had made a boxy
Red and white lanyard for my mother.
She gave me life and milk from her breast,
And I gave her a lanyard.
She nursed me in many a sickroom,
Lifted teaspoons of medicine to my lips,
Set cold face cloths on my forehead,
And then led me out into the airy light
And taught me to walk and swim,
And I, in turn, presented her with a lanyard.
Here are thousands of meals, she said,
And here is clothing and a good education.
And here is your lanyard, I replied,
Which I made with a little help from a counselor.
Here is a breathing body and a beating heart,
Strong legs, bones and teeth,
And two clear eyes to read the world, she whispered,
And here, I said, is the lanyard I made at camp.
And here, I wish to say to her now,
Is a smaller gift-not the archaic truth
That you can never repay your mother,
But the rueful admission that when she took
That two-tone lanyard from my hands,
I was as sure as a boy could be
That this useless, worthless thing I wove
Out of boredom would be enough to make us even.
~ Billy Collins
Happy mother’s day!!!