[Prospect Park, Brooklyn, NY, summer of 2013*]

“Either your children are the centerpiece of your life or they’re not. And all the rest is commentary.” 

I’d copied that quote so many years ago I can’t quite remember which New Yorker writer, quoting his wife, wrote it, nor know any more the name of his wife. But I do know this: For forty-four years, ever since the birth of my first daughter, that statement is me.

And yet it took a tiny, peppermint-striped, baby’s sunhat jammed into the chainlink fence to really, piercingly understand how true that is!

I’d been walking around Fresh Pond last evening, a reservoir for the city of Cambridge, when I’d spotted that sunhat. Although a popular and well-used wildlife preserve and nature walk, the actual pond is carefully cordoned off. Hence that chainlink fence.

I was there for the beauty and the solace of trees and sunflowered meadows and redwinged blackbirds and late-afternoon sunlight on water, having just gotten word that my grown daughter, who’d had been in a horrible bike accident on Saturday, had just gotten out of surgery.  And that it went well.

So much to process as I walked: Lingering, still-heart-racing shock. (She lives and bikes in Connecticut; I’d been in Louisville, Kentucky when I’d heard the news.) Overwhelming gratitude that her sisters and her loving husband have been and are still so hands-on taking exquisite care of her. Relief the surgery, which took hours, went well. Anxiety. Worry. Sadness. A roiling, boiling stew.

And then, suddenly, I saw it, that sweet little hat, tucked into the fence because some baby had lost it and someone else had picked it up and carefully displayed it in the hope it would be found.

And motherlove just flooded me, primal, fundamental, incredibly powerful, central to who I am; the centerpiece of my life, indeed.

* This photo references a well-known children’s book re motherlove. Do you know which one?





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1 Comment

  1. Dear Patricia,

    Hi, there, Patricia! Praise Spirit, praise God that your dearest darling daughter is recovering so excellent from her urgent and emergency surgery from her horrific bicycle accident!!!!!! I know how horrible and petrifying this is, and even worse you were so far away in Louisville, Kentucky when you learned this terrifying news!!!!!! I am for sure for always praying for you, Patricia, your dearest and darling daughter, and for all of the rest of your family, and I am sending heartfelt thoughts, prayers, and positive energy all of your way!!!!!!

    What a gorgeous walk which you had taken along the reservoir in Cambridge. The comfort and strength of the magnificent trees and the glow of the radiant sun beaming on the meadows and life-giving water, all aglow with the lovely redwinged blackbirds scurrying and fluttering from here to there made for a late afternoon to enhance your spirit and indeed provide you solace at this stressful and very agonizing time, I love how you said someone found the pretty baby’s sunhat, and stuck it between the links of the chainlink fence in the hopes that the baby’s parent would come back to look for the lost sunhat and find it there. The blessed image you created in these words with such natural simplicity and beauty is such a grace-filled image brought to my mind in the Spirit!

    I so love this magnificent and amazing blog post article of yours, as well as your other very powerful and inspiring ones, Patricia! You are so, so very right, Patricia, when you write and share on a mother’s love, in particular your motherlove for your children and grandchildren, but also motherlove in general. Because I am a lesbian and have not been involved with a man, I didn’t have children. I wish having children had been feasible in my life for I dearly love, value, and cherish children! I know that If somehow I had been able to have children that I, too, would have had that gentle and strongly ardent love in my heart, spirit, and soul for my children as well! What gracious, special, soulful, and splendid words in which you have shared and composed, Patricia, as usual! I am so, so very filled with joy, blessings, and eager anticipation for more of your astounding, fantastic, and fabulous writings, and for the time when your extraordinary and fascinating book, “Welling Up,” will come out! I can barely wait because I am so filled with super anticipation and excitement! My day is so, so very much brighter to have visited your very fine and excellent blog website again, and to have read yet another of your very Spirit-filled, soulful writings, Patricia! I feel even more uplifted now, and inspired, and I feel the Spirit which is our God coming from your blessed writings! I thank-you, Patricia, for the precious gift which you are, and for your blessings filled and inspiring writings!

    Please have a very nice, special, peaceful, serene, stress-free, relaxing, and a very blessed day, and please know that I am for always thinking of and praying for you, your dearest darling daughter, and for all of the rest of your very precious and beloved family, my white sister as an ally in solidarity who you are so, so very much, Patricia!

    Very Sincerely Always,
    Your black sister in solidarity, Sherry Gordon

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