“No matter how old a mother is, she watches her middle-aged children for signs of improvement.”

– Florida Scott-Maxwell

This past week I’ve been remembering an experience from several years back.

A basket of gerbera daisies hung just outside the windows overlooking my deck. I had a fair view of the dangling flower pot as I sat at my computer.

The daisies had stopped blooming for some reason. But there’d soon be new life, just not of the flowering kind.

A few days later I noticed the bright green leaves moving, but no breeze blew.

Watching closely, I noticed a mama wren dive into the daisy dregs, her beak filled with pine straw from a neighboring yard.

She’d stay a second or so, then fly away – only to return momentarily with more nest-making material.

Appearing once or twice was a male wren, his own beak bearing building supplies, leading me to believe him to be a benefactor – if not the father – of the baby-birds-to-be.

But it was the mama wren who built, with a seemingly single-minded purpose, a first home into which her fledglings would be born.

That’s what good mothers do.

Giving thanks

And today’s the day we celebrate all good mothers and thank them for the wise lessons they’ve tried to teach us.

My own mother has been gone eight years and I miss her every day.

An artist from Arizona, she taught my sister and me to value differences in people, to dance with diversity rather than deplore it. It is, perhaps, her greatest lesson to us.

I believe our mother also passed on to both of us a great love of books, music, art and good movies. How empty and devoid of color life would be without every element of the arts.

I’ve been without my paternal grandmother for some time now. I miss her and treasure her teachings, like “Always look on the bright side.” “The truth is always better than a lie.” “What goes around comes around.” “Be kind.”

That mama bird finally finished making a place to lay her eggs and await the hatching of new life.

Soon, with the same beak that built their birthing place, Mama Wren fed her baby birds. Then she taught them to fly and one day leave the nest to soar independently.

That’s what good mothers do.

Happy Mother’s Day.

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