every january mama wrote four songs, one for each season. i sometimes wonder if she sang those songs, or played an instrument outside of her ink paintbrushes. last week i was thinking about my dad, and his never learning how to play the harmonica, which got me to thinking about mom writing about how she never got to go back home to france. it made me think about my wanting to play the cello, and how i couldn’t put one in my pocket like dad did with his harmonica. that got me thinking about traveling, and wondering whether i’d find as much joy in writing about the places i wanted to visit, as i would in actually visiting.
even though mom and dad are gone, their hopes and dreams helped to paint a road-map of some kind for me to plot. i decided i didn’t want to just write about things i wanted to do – i figured life was about finding a way to do it, so off i went to sign up for cello lessons. but a funny thing happened on my way to sign up, and i ended up playing frere jacques with two other people on the piano instead. if i didn’t know any better, i’d say mama planted that song smack in my path, all so i could wake up, laugh, and not take all my endeavors so seriously. the playing did cause me to feel lighter, even if only for a few minutes, and it helped me to see how easy it can be to set our sights on one thing, and end up somewhere else entirely; somewhere we needed to be for those few minutes, few hours, few days, months, or years.
my longing to hug mama always leaves me on my knees and grasping handfuls of soil. this time, i planted a bed of yellow crocus in honor of the french parents she never got to go back home to visit; i planted purple crocus in honor of her favorite childhood song, frere jacques; and i planted white crocus in honor of all things in nature that joyfully sleep, wake up, and open to the sun.