Trees on the hill


Sometimes I go to visit my mother in the cemetary on the hill in the middle of our city. Of course she is not really really there, but then, where is she?  She is, I suppose, the person who has had the greatest influence on me.  When I see her name and the dates of her birth and death on the stone somehow I feel that she is there waiting for me.  In a very real physical way, she is.  In terms of her spirit, her personality, she is even closer.  She is inside me.   I hear her words come out of my mouth.  I laugh, as she did, at inappropriate moments because things seem ridiculous.  I am old fashioned as she was in thinking  men should be honorable and take care of women. I think cooking should be done quickly and that people should be made comfortable.  I think reading is the way to knowledge and the best pastime.  I look at things in nature very closely.  I love the moon.  In those things I carry her around in me.  Not absolutely, of course.  I don’t care much about clothes or my appearance,  my nails or my hair.  My impulsiveness, my restlessness, my embarking on schemes…all that part comes from my father.  I regret that I can’t visit my father’s grave.  His ashes were thrown into the deepest, coldest part of the Bay of Fundy.  And that none too gently or reverently either.  But that’s another story, as they say.

So there I was this sunny afternoon, an afternoon that might have been Spring, but wasn’t.  Snow underfoot still, and a stiff breeze through the bare branches.  I went, ah, a bad habit,  to ask her to give me a hand with getting through something hard. You’d think I would stop perstering her to keep on looking after me!

And there was my reward…..the slender distinct shadow of a young tree.  Oh, I thought it was like a spirit somehow, slight and devoid of earthly things, fading away when clouds covered the sun yet persistent and distinct in bright light.  And after that lovely thing had encouraged me, there was the tall tree behind all decorated and gleaming in the spring sun that was doing its best.  A wonderful thing really.  Whoever had climbed up there?  How had those frail baubles remained in the strong wind and the heavy rain we have experienced lately?  Just the sight of that tree made me smile. Yes,  and because of those two trees I went away better than I had come to the cemetary on the hill.