I wanted it more than anything…
To travel to a place most people dreamed of but never went,
To embrace the callings of soul so many heard, but few answered.
Standing in the shower I contemplated the decision at hand, to venture to Grand Cayman, a little spit-dot of an Island in the middle of nowhere 500 miles off the coast of Cuba, the temporary home of my spirit.
My friend and I were going to set up life and work there, but at the last minute she’d bailed to teach English in Japan. Now I had a decision to make, go it alone or shirk back into a life I’d already determined wasn’t for me.
The room filled with steam slowly, and I breathed deep to discover clarity through it all. I heard the door click and the faint smell of Mom entered. She flicked the fan. Zippers and the click of a blush compact – she was refreshing for supper.
“So Jenny, what now that your friend Kim won’t be going to Grand Cayman with you.”
I think the freshen-up was a hoax.
My words are garbled between wash and rinse, but I can get the gist out.
“I don’t know Momma. I’m ….uh, scared, I guess. I mean what if I give up all I have here to go there and then…well…it doesn’t work out?”
I’m perturbed by the silence, but as I age I come to know the value of a dramatic pause for learning…
“Jenny, no regrets. If I could wish you only one thing, it would be no regrets in this life. No matter what, go after your soul’s desire. If you do, you can never lose.
I mean what’s the worst that can happen, you follow this dream to live in Grand Cayman and it doesn’t work out…at the very least you have a two-week vacation in a fabulous place.
In it all, no matter what, you will, at the very least, know you gave it all you had.”
I let the warmth of the shower and the depths of her wisdom fill me. There were no words just then. I simply felt 22 years of hope realized and it numbed me.
I mean I knew she cared, understood me, but often felt she used it all to her own end. But now, here she was encouraging me not to stay and care for her and put her first. She was encouraging me to live, and live for the sake of what simply could be.
Surely this must be the voice of God himself, finding its way to me. And He knows there must be some Divine purpose in that!
Two weeks later I moved to the Caribbean, with the vision of experiencing it all for 6 months. It lasted 3 and 1/2 years.
I learned to play with the virtues of tenacity, trust and truth-speaking despite all the conformists intent to call me to order. I lived a life carefree and committed and aspired to live and work with equal parts constant expansion, and heartfelt reflection.
She never steered me wrong.
5 years later I wove this story into my Mommakin’s eulogy and it moved me then as it did before and always will. Lois Ferne Farquhar Wortman was a woman of artistic vision and Divine insight. Sometimes it found its way into her watercolors, sometimes into her temper or her love, but somehow, someway no matter the pain, it always, always found its way into my heart.
When it all comes down to it, more than anything, I wanted her love. It never truly came until I decided to stray, and there and everywhere since, in the depths of my longing soul and the moments of my grateful heart I have found she and I, dancing, breathing it all in, no regrets.
These stories between mother and child are not always simple but they are always of purpose for the growth of our soul.
May you find wisdom and depth and love in the stories you share between you and your mother, and find the meaning in it all as you nurture yourself, the children of the earth or body or the ideas and visions of your soul.
Happy Mother’s Day, but more than that, Happy Mothering Life.
Xoxo in the spirit of Mothers , Nurturers, as the ultimate Xtraordinary Game-Changers of our planet.