Even though it's not Mother's Day

I spent six hours in the garden today. I started off feeling like a 25 year old and ended up feeling like a 75 year old (a sore, achy one). But it was totally worth it. The sun was shining and there was a wee breeze. I raked, clipped, dug, planted, cleaned up, swept up, washed up. Lots of things are coming up, a few are already blooming. The pansies look happy in their pots and the snap peas are already grabbing the trellis. I feel joyous from it all and, yes, sore. I think of my mom when I'm in my garden. She had a beautiful one when she was still on the farm. She taught me the names of flowers and led me to love growing things. She's my inspiration when I'm gardening. Really, Mom is my inspiration in anything I do creatively.

Through her life, Mom has pursued many, many kinds of art, craft, and design. In addition to that garden, her home is decorated with a unique and beautiful style -- always something interesting to look at. Over the years she mastered flower arranging, cake decorating (and I'm talking the BEST birthday cakes as well as wedding cakes), sewing, furniture upholstery, crocheting, macrame, decoupage, caligraphy, stained glass, painting with acrylics, tole painting, photgraphy. I'm sure there are more (Mom, you can finish the list). The things is, she didn't just do this stuff, she did it really, really well. I was proud of her, always happy to show off what she made.

Meanwhile, she raised five kids, worked, and lived a great big life. She read too and she let me read her grown up books (maybe a little sooner than I should have).

Mom has slowed down these days and is enjoying just "being." She still reads alot. What's really cool is she always asks me if I've written something new for her to read. She's read everything I've written. She knows enough not to read herself into my fictional moms and, when it comes to my non-fiction, she knows the love I have for her even when I write about some things that maybe she'd rather I didn't.

The little kid chair in the picture is something mom painted for me. It's got pansies on it, like I planted in my garden today. Sometimes I sit in it, knees up to my chin. Not tonight. Tonight, I'm going to soak the aches out and feel smug about all I got done today.

Jackie Shannon Hollis