With that four word proclamation my mother would head out to pursue her greatest passion, the nurturing of beauty.
No greater joy, no time better spent, no more captivated audience of one than she when surrounded by her flowers.
It seemed that the closer to the earth mother was, the happier she grew.
What was it about being down on her hands and knees, using a small spade to turn over the dirt?
Did the rich, black loam that had already been carefully worked into the soil, need it?
And how she smiled, her eyes crinkled at the corners and her lips pressed together as she hummed a favorite hymn as the soil softly fell through her ungloved fingers.
How many colors of flowers were there, even in a single blossom?
Not enough to hear her tell it.
She tenderly tended to her flowers in the garden the same way she went about nurturing her children, and the children she reached out to in the garden she pictured as her community.
She envisioned a day when those flowers – and children – would be displayed, the flowers to grace our dinner table with their delicate artistry, and the children to take her place in the nurturing of beauty.