We are walking in the garden at dawn, just mum and me, picking hibiscus flowers.
“Look for ones that are fully open,” Mum says.
The village is just waking up and amber light casts a glow over Mum’s face. I am blessed to have such a mother. If it were not for her I would never have seen this place or these beautiful flowers at sunrise. I pluck one. It is covered in morning dew, tiny diamonds like moments to treasure.
We pick a basketful. There is no need for words for we are simply together, outside of time, living in an eternal now.
On the verandah Mum heats some water over a charcoal fire.
“Separate the petals. Look, like this.”
I watch her. She is my world. So strong, so beautiful, so alive. She sings as we work and it is a deep happiness she exudes, one that reaches into my very being, my soul.
‘What have I done to deserve this?’ I think. ‘To be born in this place, to this woman.’ And a question opens in my mind, like a flower. ‘How can I honour her?’
“Here. Let them steep. We need to keep the lid on.”
Mum drops the petals into the boiling water and removes it from the fire.
My question rises in my mind like the morning sun.
We wait in silence for the tea to brew, for the bright crimson to infuse the water.
Mum takes two cups and pours the tea. She sweetens it with sugarcane juice.
It was years later that the answer to that question came my way, carried on the wind.
‘…..by handing it on.’
Everything she taught me, everything she was. So I hand it on to you, whoever you are, wherever you are.
Which brings me to a quote by one of my favourite writers:
“And so our mothers and grandmothers have, more often than not anonymously, handed on the creative spark, the seed of the flower they themselves never hoped to see – or like a sealed letter they could not plainly read.”
P.S. The answer to last post’s riddle is ‘Wind’ and the source is ‘The Hobbit’ by J.R. Tolkien.