A walk with the Mothers

Hey, my loves.
I thought for a minute that I forgot how to write. Haha.
But life moves in waves…and sometimes atmospheric rivers.
So here I am. Writing. It’s 4:44 am and I’m up. I woke up weeping again. Took 2 GABA and drank some water, splashed cold water on my face.
Anyways. I’m at a very pitched ascent in life and I can’t tell some days if I’m going crazy or becoming enlightened.
A wise one once said ‘The same sea a mystic swims, a madman drowns.’
It’s like the more I attempt to keep it together the more the world forces me to break apart.
I’m a stubborn child digging her heals in. It’s cold and windy outside and I want my Mom.
I want her to put her warm hand on the back of my shaking heart and just stand there with me, not saying anything, just facing the mountain ahead.
And we’d walk and talk and get to a flat part, and stop to talk with the crows and the red trilliums for awhile. And then come to another hill.
We’d turn a corner, and I’d remember my Grandma when she’d take us camping as a little kid.
We’d go on these looong hikes and i’d drag my feet and she’d say ‘C’mon girl’. I’d watch the way she’d approach the rough path ahead as if it didn’t phase her.
It was if she was hungry for it. For the resistance of it.
What can I say? We’re Alcasians. Mountain women with big thighs.
Standing on what Earth we can.
Adapted to uneven ground.
I remember her setting up the camp when we’d go to Mt Lassen for the weekend. I remember how she’d made me hike even though I complained about how my legs hurt.
And how she told me to keep going. And so I did.
And I recall as clear as day when my grandmother, sister and i found our way after that long hike to a glassy mirror lake. It was a glacier old and covered in magnificent blue dragonflies and cattails.
The sky reflected the warm Earth, and everything was still.
And for a moment it was peace.
And then Grandma’s voice would say
‘Get in the water, girls’
And we’d say ‘But it’s cold.’
And she’d say ‘Get in the water, girls!’
And we would.
And I’d have to breathe real deep when it touched my belly. But once I dove, I guess it did feel kinda good.
And then we’d dry off and we’d come back down the hill and she’d make brussel sprouts, little smokeys and pancakes with maple syrup and we’d eat it by the fire on speckled blue aluminum campware.
And then I’d get tired and she’d tell me to wash up before bed.
And I’d go into the tent and i’d hear her voice say ‘ wash your crotch and your armpits.’ . And I’d blush.
And then I’d lay down clean in the soft down sleeping bag, my hands getting tangled in the sleeves of her too large gortex shirt. And I’d fall asleep listening to owl and the stream and the crackling of lichen and my grandmother dreaming.
We are mountain women.
And sometimes we have to do hard things.
But it’s worth it for the beauty.
For the rare glimpses of peace in this life.
She had a harder time on the decline.
She needed more support. Her ankles and knees hurt.
She still climbed Mt Shasta in her 60’s.
She walked the entire Lost Coast in her 70’s.
She just stayed in the dark sand where it was more flat and she could find herself in a quiet and natural place.
She’d pick up a rock that had a hole in it.
And take it home on her birthday.
And then the next year she’d bring it back to where she found it.
And she’d pick up another one.
And she’d bring it home.
Like borrowing from.a living library.
Now she's in her 80's and doesn't do much walking.
It’s raining and I feel my tears for her
washing up on the shores of that dream beach,where she’s sauntering alone and free,
And im tagging along with her as she changes,
As her memories return to the sea like sand.
And I feel her with me as I wipe away my tears
with a hanky she hands me
Before I crawl back into the down
And go to sleep.
Maybe I’ll dream of the mirrored lake.
And the dragonflies and the cold pool.
And i’ll summon her determination.
Place my own warm hand on my own gentle heart. To dive in. To dream with dragonfly and trillium.
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