Poetry: For My Mom: Memories of 295 Union Avenue


For My Mom: Memories of 295 Union Avenue

When I was 3 and very small, I remember napping in a quiet room.
The scent of lilacs entering my dreams along with the sound of steady, gentle rain…. 
The surrounding trees created a soft, energetic circle all around me,
and this was safe like home. 

When I was 4 and still so very small, I would wander the enormous majesty within our home fences…
Touching purple irises, finding praying mantis’ cocoons… 
I’d crouch in a cool cave made of dark branches and  
shake the white snow bushes, blinded by a veil of magical, tiny flower petals.
I watched in wonder as they settled like white snow drops on my hair and on the ground…

The bees would hover in the summer heat on a massive bush of delicate honeysuckle flowers …
My mom and I each picked a small trumpet flower, pulled the stem out, feeling the liquid nectar on our fingers and we tasted this sweetness….

When I was 6, how small I was,
Standing absorbed in the deafening chorus of cicadas perched in the giant locust tree.
I looked up into a tapestry of many colors, woven by the golden sun, the blue sky, the white clouds, and the green leaves.
I stood wrapped in the sounds and the colors and we all swayed in the summer heat…
and this was safe like home…

When I was 12, Grant Park was a sparkling enchanted open space overflowing with emerald green fields and enchanted lakes…I waited in the grasses in the marshes to see the charmed birds and butterflies and bitterns…
and this was safe like home. 

In our home, a library of treasures expanded our outer worlds…
and created pathways to inner states of consciousness… 

Little Women, Nancy Drew, Harriet the Spy, Pippi Longstocking….

gave way to…

Of Mice and Men, The Grapes of Wrath, The Haunted Night, The Scarlet Letter, Pale Horse, Pale Rider, MacBeth,  Henry V, Twelfth Night…

All held worlds of dreamy imagination and complex realities of emotion and psyche…

Mom loved Montauk, the wild Atlantic surf swallowing and receding around the lighthouses…the sea brought wildness to my soul….
and this was safe like home..

Mom’s soul loved the wild forests of upstate New York.
When I was 14, we rode up to this land of deep, wide lakes and dark forests. We stayed among the trees on a magic, forested mountain. We dared to ride a ski lift high up among the treetops.
We swayed above the ground…thrilled, with fright,
but this was safe like home.

When I was 17, I learned to ride horses.
Beautiful beings who were steady, and harbored ancient memories of intense fear…

Riding was fascinating as I pendulated between the felt sense of steadiness along with readiness
in case the horse ducked his shoulders as he enacted his ancient prey script …

I have times when the cold chasm of anger and fear opens up and
loneliness and abandonment crawls out of this dark vault..…
And it is midnight and I walk alone…

Ad then yet there are my dream memories of nature, music, reading, art and love
and these drift up from the deep heart of the self…

My Mom and Dad had rich inner lives,
loved music, art, literature and artistry in our home….
color, nature, animals, adventure,
all magic gateways to feed our collective souls.

We all change and grow…
And there are times we ride our horses at midnight through ancient fears…
and yet this, too, is safe like home.

Thank you, Mom and Dad for teaching us that:

“In the midst of winter, I discovered inside of me an invincible summer.”

Albert Camus

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