Ms. Moon is gone to Mexico and I stay in her house
My mother's house. It is truly beautiful out here. When I was in high school this house belonged to my friend's family. Her mom and dad were married underneath an oak tree out in the yard, over by where my mother's garden is now. The oak tree is gone, and my friend's parents are divorced, but they produced three beautiful children and this was where it started. In high school my friend brought us out here. At that time were a tight group of mostly girls, one boy. One time we all got on a canopied bed that was in what is now the library and traded off massages. One of us would lie in the middle and the rest would settle at her head, her hands, each of her feet. It was heaven. Another time we ate acid and walked down to the railroad tracks and stood five feet from the train (which was as close as we could bear to get) and we screamed into it's oncoming horror and it roared back and we could not hear ourselves scream. Now it is my mother's house, and no one could mistake it for anything else. My mother is a homemaker. By that I mean that she is able to make a home, which I think is more rare than people realize. My mother has light and color in her soul and she is able to bring all that up and out, through her hands, through her eyes. She understands that being around beauty makes you a better person and so she fills her surroundings with beautiful as if her house is an extension of herself, and it is. To walk into my mother's house is to walk into her. Everywhere there is something to look at, something good to rest your eyes on. I see a chime. I see a doll. I see a feathered mermaid. I see a virgin. I see a chair with curve, a flowered cloth, a chicken lamp. There are pitchers of flowers here always, she brings the outside in. Oh, and the outside.... When Mama is here and we come visit she takes us out on walkabout. She points out her new babies and her old babies, telling us their stories- where she found them, which ones she rooted, which ones are lovely mysteries. We wander through the garden and she pulls cucumbers from vines and from furry stems tomatoes that are so sweet they taste sugared, and she puts these in our open hands and goes for more. There are flowers here in purples and pinks and reds, and succulents that are jade on top and magenta on the bottom. There are plants that shine like gold and plants that are the color of fresh bruise. While my Mama is not here, we (her children) watch over the house and the chickens. I would put up pictures of their funny surprised faces but I have no camera so I will have to tell you. They miss her, these chickens. She calls them all by name and they eat out of her hands. I tell them they are fine chickens, such pretty chickens! And they are greedy little buggers too. They bumrush the collards and the watermelon, they snatch a flung cockroach from each other like drunk-mad bridesmaids to a bouquet. They sidle and cluck, one eye on me, then the other, sidle sidle step-hop feet and cluck. These chicken ladies have bosoms that make me feel inadequate, and they are lucky they are so pretty and I don't eat meat. I have not seen the front step toad. I think he is waiting for Mama to return. The whole house is waiting for Mama to return. It has taken a great inhalation and rests patiently. I think a house can hold it's breath for a long long time. She will not want to come back. She never does when they go to Mexico. But she will, and once here she will be glad. There are chickens. There is a baby on the way. She will breathe in her house and her house will breathe with her, relieved to hear her footfall and her laugh, relieved to see Mr. Moon duck his head when he comes through the door. Did you know there are love notes from him to her tacked on cabinets, tucked behind photographs, all over the house? A woman in love always returns to the place her love notes are kept. Until then we will wait, the house and I, for her to return and make this place her home once again. This is a beautiful house and I love to be here, but my Mama is my home.
Rugs hold onto dirt and catch your high heels. I have no time for rugs, let's roll them on up. Let's throw some sawdust on the floor. Let's put some music on. Let's wake the children, rouse the neighbors, and see who has the rhythm in 'em. It's time to dance.