Maia Madden

Book Author, Journalist, Blogger

Mother and Son: A Duet

“I thought at first of swarms of bees covering her white hat and net like a buzzing brown rug. My mother walks toward me, her arms stretched out to hug me. Behind her in the apple orchard, four wooden hives teeter on the hillside, waiting for her to pull out their honey-heavy combs. When I look up from my Time magazine, I see not many bees, but two flies circling desperately in the glow of the television.”

“If I fix wide-open eyes East in this golden fall sunset, I can see him in his small bare room, reading, humming, perhaps rubbing a green apple against the rough blue ridges of his pants. The bees are still. I have stolen their life’s work in a day. I miss my son’s strong hands beside me, his laughter like a bell waking my heart.”

“This is how we make our way home, in twilight dreams, in lonely rooms, on nights hollowed by our mistakes. When I lived there, in the warm California hills, she fed me toast with amber honey on thick pale butter. I cannot drive home to see her. My heart presses into itself. My mouth is dry. I take a sip of bitter water and see her in my mind, the curly hair, the coffee-brown eyes marked by a hundred lines pulling her skyward. I smell her grass-clean scent, and it fills me with longing.”

“I slipped so quickly I had no time to be afraid. I fell into the yellow grass and the earth became my bed. (When I was a child, I used to lie like this, in the evening, waiting to catch the exact moment light ceded to darkness.) It is so cool here. I know he feels the same coolness. A wisp of fog lifts off the ocean and drifts past me, a careless cloud that has lost its way. Perhaps he thinks of me. My thoughts are strong and calm and distant, like the night he was born when the pain was so great I shook it free and felt the universe open inside me. The night when joy and fear began.”


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3 thoughts on “Mother and Son: A Duet

  1. Melinda on said:

    “This is how we make our way home, in twilight dreams, in lonely rooms, on nights hollowed by our mistakes.” This portion tugged at my heart as I sit in the dark and quiet living room reading from my glowing laptop. I sit here listening to the sound of my 22 year old son’s breathing, while he lay sleeping on the carpet with his faithful companion Moses, our Welsh Corgi, at his feet.

    It is the night before Easter Sunday. Memories of the Easter’s hustle and bustle of sewing and shopping for new Easter clothes, buying Easter Eggs, boiling, coloring, hiding and hunting for, all seem so sweet, yet faded in my mind. Life is flying by, memories are becoming more and more difficult to hold on to. Some are so vivid while others, like blurred vision, lose their sharpness.

    All we really have is today and the hope of tomorrow and the every present choice to treasure each and every moment and not allow the past joys and pain to paralyze our ability to enjoy the present. I treasure this moment, the soft breath of Cameron and Moses sleeping near each other on the warm thick carpet. I am so blessed to have a son that tells me everyday he loves me, to have the comfort of our dog and a warm home with a cozy bed that beckons me. I am thankful for this very moment and the solitude that nourishes me. I am thankful for Maia Madden, who reminds us to stop and be thankful for today and forgive the past. Happy Easter.
    Embracing the newness of life in the splendor of SPRINGTIME!
    Melinda Hodges


  2. beautifully poetic…who is the other voice?


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Natalie Breuer

Natalie. Writer. Photographer. Etc.


p 1 o 2 e 3 m = Four By 4 By Four

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