Mother Made it So

Mother Made it So
 

I was a well groomed young lady because my mother always made it so.

She stressed ironed clothes, well brushed hair, and the best selection of hand-me-downs and St Vincent Wear, with the occasional new bargain thrown in.

Early photo albums always show her well dressed, but not conventionally so.
Sometimes she’s in saris, other times she’s in mini dresses with bee-hive hair.
Sometimes she’s in a grass skirt with a bikini top (because it’s Australia) ready for national dress events.

Make-up carefully applied, long lashes, now she looks like a Supreme.
Later there are leopard print clothes and bright vibrant purples and blues.
She’s usually slim, sometimes a little well- rounded, but only for a short time, then she’s slim again.

She moves (on a budget) with the times.
She moves with new geographies, Australia, not Papua New Guinea now.
She was generous with everything, including my time.
I was often the unpaid baby sitter for her friends and an old lady who once lived next door.

She was adopting the old ones to remind her of her mother.
She was making sure I knew how to clean, wash and cook and care for the old and the young.
She was taking me charity collecting for Red Cross, and we were running from big dogs guarding houses that don’t want charity collectors or anyone else at their door!

I was making mistakes, putting sugar with rice, wearing clothes that were out of fashion plus drawing on my sneakers.
I was trying to learn.
Patience has never been her strong point. Generosity has.

I didn’t know how to absorb what she was trying to teach me so, often I learnt something other than what she intended.

I learnt some people take too much from generous souls;
you can make a young boy leave his wheel chair with sheer will and lots of physical and emotional therapy and
you can change your future no matter how life begins.

She never gave up on the underdogs.
She was and still is critical, caring, and ferocious, all in one day.
She is my mother and she made me so.

My latest contribution to ABC Open.  A new project begins  Who Shaped Me

Image Credit: Mum from the Family Archives

 

My Medicine Bag

This was inspired by the Medicine Bag prompt 

 identity boots 2- self portrait flag and feet

My healing bag is made out of thin strands of synthetic plastic that are dyed in the traditional colours of my mother’s village in Papua New Guinea.

It is lined with silk from the kimono of a Japanese Princess. Persian Paisley Patterns adorn the silk and soften that synthetic plastic when I place my hands inside to feel what’s there. It is a healing bag that says remember Mother Theresa, Remember Tahirih, Remember all those soul women who wandered through the soul garden almost every step of their lives.

It is full of the choicest tiny strawberries to eat and smell. Another time my fingers are covered with the scent of the apricot coloured roses at my wedding. Things to remember, to savour fill the bag and in moderation they are healing.

Words waft out of the prayer book I have placed there, chants of Persian Poetess Tahirih, run through my veins and I feel the sisterhood of Faith and creativity and sacrifice. Love is a verb, prayers want to lift me to action.

The ocean cools me and now I swim with the dolphins and mermaids my girl students seem to love so much. But these mermaid girls can drive monster trucks under the sea, and the monster truck boys can learn to care for the ocean. The healing bag says humanity needs two wings, and both must be strong.

Both countries of mother and father… surround me with their love and give me gifts to tell my stories, to heal my soul, and to find that identity is what you store in your healing bag not just what you are born with.

(c) gumbootspearlz all rights reserved words and image