In her previous life, my mother
must have been an architect.
She brought to each family occasion
her vision, her love of precision, her stability
- ensuring the family structure
was sustainable and capable
of longer-term development
- and we still bear her signature style.
In her previous life, I’m sure
my mother was a portrait painter
- able to take a fresh canvas,
such as mine and my sisters’,
and add layer upon layer
of colour, of texture, to portray
what she saw we would become
– each proudly bearing her inscription.
In her previous life, I expect
my mother was a pioneer
– not of paths yet travelled,
but of more frequented avenues,
boldly exploring the details and intersections
between friends and neighbours
helping us rediscover what we had in common
- each fresh bond bearing her seal.
In this life, my mother
was an endurance athlete, a gifted healer, a 5-star chef,
a respected teacher, a talented mediator, a wise counsellor,
an innovative financier, a diligent archivist, and our chief story-teller.
In this life, she was my mother.
Arvon retreat June 2022 - an exercise to narrate about family from a fresh perspective. I recommend Cynthia Miller and her poem, Dropka. Thanks to tutor Jonathan Edwards for helping me rework this.