The Thread of Life
"Sail on silver girl, sail on by.
All your dreams are on their way. See how they shine.
If you need a friend, I'm sailing right behind."
-Simon and Garfunkel
At the not-yet-ripe age of 24, I am of the age my mother was when she brought me into this world. A mother, my mother, knowing nothing of motherhood, except to listen to the whispers of her own intuition, faint whispers to provide and protect, like a lioness of her cub. Now, as I settle into that same not-yet-ripe age, my vision is less hazy, making clear the reality of my mother's story as a woman. Up until now, her presence to me was that of my mother, and wasn't that enough (so I thought)? Yes, she is my mother, though she is also a daughter and a sister, and much more. Our paths have crossed the road of recognition. She was me, and I am now her - at that not-yet-ripe age of 24.
I ask myself, what dreams filled my mother's goblet as a woman? What treasures did she gain with the coming of a child? What treasures were lost? Am I prepared for a child of my own? My secret belief is that I will never be prepared. What preparation can you do, except to simply brace yourself for the unexpected?
Weaving deeper into the fabric of motherhood and the lineage of my female past, I find a more guarded question in my heart. Will my own intuition guide me as a mother? Faint whispers, will I hear them? I can only hope, just as my mother sent her hopes to the sky.
The crossing of mother and daughter into dual womanhood is a milestone in our intertwining roadways. With instinctual, yet timid steps, we walk toward each other, open-handed, understanding the link we represent in a long chain of our past and future. At 50 years of age, with a grown daughter of her own, what treasures have found their way back into my mother's life? What dream is she sailing to rediscover? Where are my sails leading me?
As the safety of the harbor shrinks farther and farther out of sight, I move forward with a mixture of thrill and nostalgia. My mind drifts back to my mother, as she sails her ship. Does she feel that same tug of emotion? What of my fellow sailors, my friends and sisters? Do they too welcome the wind, yet fight down a lump in their throat as their own harbor blurs in the distance? We come from different harbors and follow different dreams, though the sea we travel is the same. [As individuals, we define ourselves by our freedom to choose.]We choose to give life, we choose not to give life, we choose our partners, we choose our careers, we choose our future. The freedom to choose fans our sails and keeps the wind steady for moving forward. Thrill and nostalgia, the cornerstones of any passage through life, we need them both to appreciate what was left behind and what is to come with our passage.
The wind carries secrets for women who sail alongside it - the secrets of women who sailed these seas ahead of us, those who will said in our wake. In faint whispers, the wind shares the tales of the past, the wisdom for the present, and a challenge for the future - to leave a trail.
We Hold Life.
We Give Life.
We Link Life.
We are life - the thread of life.
Vashti is a freelance writer and creative crusader in San Francisco, California.
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