How do we remember? Will a photograph return us to an irreplaceable moment? Can words take a picture? Or will the imprint of a felt experience stain the heart with goodness?
It is a cool morning. It is a fresh morning after a long season of not cool mornings. I drive my daughter to school. Already there is a sweetness as this is often the daily routine of my beloved. My beloved who is not her father, but my partner, my friend, my support.
We arrive a bit late as the morning had me moving slower than I can sometimes move.
As I carry my precious girl from the curb where I park to the entry of her school, I am met by one of her teachers, who brings along her wheelchair. I am grateful to have a place to put her down. We strap her in. She appears snuggly, for the changing season’s call for layering clothes.
I am a lover. Sometimes I forget this about myself. This day, I am my lover, especially with my child. My girl, almost a teenager, gifts me the pleasure of receiving my many kisses. Always on her soft tiny face, and that day on her little mouth. You get lips, big teeth and sometimes a bit of drool. Kiss and kiss and squeal and kiss. It is the most joyful loving gesture I can offer my angel before we part- each to return to our individual experiences for the day.
I pull back from my shower of offerings and girl is laughing. She smiles big. Bigger. Her head is dancing.
Her teacher and I both join in the expression of this ego-less child allowing herself a knowing of a mother’s love.
Of course, I do it again. I swoop in for that rare opportunity to connect so deeply with pure joy through loving another.
A flash of truth behind the moment. My 12 year old daughter, so small, so different than most every other 12 year old I have ever met. She does not deny me the way many would. And I believe she has no thought that the gift should be different. I let all that is different, has been different for almost 13 years melt for a snapshot in time.
It was I, a mother, a daughter, a sister, who had the grace of an unconditioned experience.
Tiny girl, big teeth, cool air, heart open, witnessing love, offering, receiving, praying, grown woman, surrender, acceptance, concrete, metal, sky, support, laughter, God – all flashed into a picture that I can only ask my memory to never forget.
As I say goodbye to sweet girl, and the infinite moment, I know how special it all is. I wonder if the sensitivity to what is could ever have been more perfectly held in time. Maybe all of our moments could easily be held with such grace? I am certain that this one is special.
With cleansing tears I return again and again to this portrait. I welcome the ache in my chest. I willingly return to my heart and the picture in time that may become implicit on this journey I share with a sacred speechless being that allowed me to know a bit of her beauteous soul and the adoration she welcomes.