The view from my cup…memories. Although you might only see an African violet, I see memories of my mother. I’ve never been quite sure why people bemoan ‘turning into my mother’, or ‘sounding just like my mother.’ I certainly could turn into, or sound like, any number of people far less admirable than my own mother.
This African violet has been alive now for quite a number of years. It’s thriving in a flower pot that belonged to my mother. She nurtured her violets, just as I find myself doing. Repotting from time to time in fresh soil, trimming away older, withering leaves. And the cardinal rule of violet care, always water from the bottom. Violet shy away from getting their leaves wet. (Would that make them shrinking violets? Is that where the phrase originated?)
This morning the temperature was in the 30’s. I’m back to wearing a sweat jacket over my pajamas to have my morning coffee. The flower pots are sitting on my porches, empty, waiting for temperature to even out before being filled to overflowing with annuals.
This year we are planting a new tree in front of our house, to replace a large holly that succumbed to an eighteen inch snowfall and frigid temperatures a few winters ago. I’m thinking perhaps a weeping cherry with a bed of white candytuft underneath and lavender phlox spilling over the wall bordering the driveway.
Even in flower selection, I tend to choose things we had growing in our yard when I was a child. My pink, chubby hands learned to work the soil, lovingly guided by my mother’s tanned and aged hands.
Today, I know many of my friends who, like their mothers before them, have become good stewards of their land. Sometimes our garden paths cross. A lilac bush from my mother’s garden now grows in my dear friend Mary’s yard. Amid my friend’s spectacular floral display, a piece of my mother lives on.
As we approach Mother’s Day, neither my friend Mary nor I have our mothers with us any longer. But their love of flowers is now ours. We both have grown sons of our own. So, boys, if you read this…buy your mother some flowers this year, won’t you?