Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Pruning and Shearing God's Little Things

written by Stephie Goldfish

Her words cut me like a dagger. Maybe mine did her.

I said to her, I need my space, and she moved over on the other side of the couch, I said, don't you know boundaries, she said, I used to rock you to sleep, I said, maybe that's what's wrong with me, and she said, don't you know you shouldn't say things like that to your mother, and she continued, you're suppose to honor your parents.

And she said, it also says don't be exasperating your children.

She said, I'm 73 years old, and she said, no, mom, you're 74, and she asked, how old will I be nine years from now, and she continued, shoot, by the time you start receiving your pension benefit, I'll be...

And she said, dead, maybe.

It hurts like a dagger. All these words thrown and flung about without thinking of the consequences.

I'm sorry, mom, for what I said.

I do need my space, but it's not only space from you I need. I am just like that. I can't be in close proximity with hardly anyone. Even when I would lay down next to him I felt like I was smothering.

She is outside digging up the weeds around one of her small pine trees. I came in and sat on the bed. I am writing. She came in and laid down trying to rest.

I said, her words hurt me, maybe mine did her too.

There was silence.

He began kneading the soft blue blanket like he's playing on the piano and then curled up next to her.

I said, I can sit here and mull over the hurt, but instead, I prayed, a long, silent prayer for forgiveness, for thankfulness, for long lives, and for kinder words spoken to my mother.

I went outside to see about her, worrying about the heat, and there she sat in the grass and dirt working on her pine tree, pruning so diligently, shearing so carefully.

The strong fragrance of the pine caught my breath. I stood for a moment and just breathed.

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