It's Mother's Day. My own mother's spirit has long since traveled to that Land which knows no shadow.
I know she waits for me there with Sooner, the wolf-dog that once roamed the hills with Mother when she was a young girl.
I've written of their love, Sooner's long, loving devotion, and the tragic reunion between Mother and Sooner.
I choose to conjure, not the ending, but seeing them both young and happy, racing along the hills of their childhood.
I'm heading into my 7th day working straight, now on first call. I am weary and battered. I can hear my mother in my mind :
"Oh, Little One, the battleground of the heart is the storm. The storm does not try to knock you down --
though it will if you let it.
No, the storm is trying to teach you how to stand tall."
"How does it do that?," I remember asking.
"It does that by making you strong."
Her fingers ran through my hair. "The weakest step forward, Little One, is stronger than any storm."
"How is that, Mama?"
"Because when you face life
instead of running from fear, from pain, from the dark,
when you walk into the wall of the cold winds, you build the muscles of your heart, your spirit."
She smiled sadly, "And you become strong ... strong enough to be kind to others who chose the dark path of selfishness and fear and running from pain ... and from themselves."
"How can anyone run from themselves? That's as silly as trying to run from your own shadow!"
Mother nodded, "You would be surprised how many never come to that simple child's wisdom."
"Then, why be kind to them, Mama?"
She mussed my hair again,
"Because by choosing the dark path of running from pain, from life, from the testing by fire ...
they have chosen to be weak and to always be less than what they could have been."
She tweaked my nose. "They have hurt themselves enough. Do not add to it by being angry with them. Be strong enough to feel compassion for those who have none for you. Understand?"
I nodded "yes" though I hadn't a clue. Mother just laughed and hugged me.
HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY TO EVERYONE, Roland
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