Tuesday, July 28, 2009

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.


SJ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SJ said...

It is so funny -this post makes me feel homesick for a place I've never been. And it sure makes me miss your mama, and makes me feel as though you're all part of my family :)

And in a way, at this point, I suppose you are.

She will love this post when she returns!

Tiff said...

love it. perfect.

honeyluna said...

!Holy Zinnias! You totally captured it. Mama is so much that house. Everything- the plants, the dogs, the chickens, the hallway, the kitchen, her garden- know that she is away, and it's just not the same without her, and Daddy too.

Really lovely, beautiful post. I love you my sweet May.

And I just have to say that it makes me so happy how Mama and Daddy have written love notes on post-its, which are found all around the house. (There is one on the counter near the laundry room, by the watermelon seeds, that made me cry today. Check it out if you haven't already.)

Steph said...

And the internet people wait for her too. :)

You paint a wonderful picture with your words.

Maybe it's morbid of me, and forgive me if you don't think this way, but it makes me feel sad for the day (a long way off) when she's gone for good and you kids will have to clean out the house and miss her. My mom and stepdad went to Alaska a year or two ago and I couldn't help but think of how it would be if they weren't coming back.

But I don't have to tell you to appreciate her :)

Mwa said...

You are all beautiful.

May said...

SJ- Mama would love for you to come visit, then you could be homesick for a place you have been. It's funny, I feel like all you people are a blog family I get to be in because of my Mama, so yes, we are all family. I feel lucky to be part of yours.

Tiff- Thank you!!

HoneyLuna- Thanks baby! I'll have to check out that note. They make me so happy too. And wistful.

Steph- That is morbid of you! Jeez! Yet, I did have a nightmare last night along those lines. Luckily I've already told them that they are not allowed to die. If they didn't come back we'd just have to move the family to Mexico.

Mwa- Thank you! YOU are beautiful!

Sarcastic Bastard said...

May May,
Your Mama will cry over this post. I nearly did. What a beautiful tribute to her.

You are a real writer.

Also, you are loved.


Steph said...

Sorry, I should have cut that comment short. It really is a beautiful post about a beautiful lady and a beautiful home.

Anonymous said...

Well I have read it and I am crying. And that was not morbid, Steph- dying and leaving things behind is part of life. I think it about it too.
May. Oh May.
I love you so....Mama

CMe said...

this was such a sweet tribute to your mama - she's such a wonderful lady - and you are a spitting image of her!

May said...

SB- Thank you! You know my Mama so well.

Steph- Don't worry about that, when I made my reply I was laughing. It was just so weird because I had that awful dream, like you looked inside my sleeping head. A friend of mine told me once that he thought that if we lived long enough all of our worst fears would come true. At first I thought "Really? I'm going to be attacked by sharks in a pool?" but then I realized that my deepest dread is the death of my parents. If I am lucky and live long enough I will have to go through that, it's the way it should be. Far better they go before me.
Another funny thing about that is the other day I was thinking that Mama should leave us the password to her blog in case anything should happen to her we could let the blog family know.
And you want to hear morbid- when and if Mom does die I want to get her remains crushed into a diamond (they can do this, for something like 10,000 bucks) and wear her around my neck. The other kids can fight over the house, I want the Mama diamond.

Mama! - How was your birthday! I'm so glad you liked my post! We miss you so much, but we are so glad you are getting your heart filled up again. Now go have more fun. Loving you. xoxox

CMe- I love it when people tell me I look like Mama! When I was a kid I wanted to grow up to look just like her because she is so beautiful. Thank you so much.

Sarcastic Bastard said...

I have the sharks in the pool fear too! What does that say about us? I fear to ask.

The Mama diamond made me laugh. It sounds like a terrific idea to me. Now I want a Mama diamond with the Moms ashes in it. Actually, I'm keeping my mom and dad's ashes so that when I die we can all be sprinkled back in Savannah illegally and together. I've got a spot picked out and everything--near my favorite bar.



Steph said...

For me it wouldn't have been sharks in a pool, but mice in a toilet. I was afraid they'd bite me in the tush. But I was a weird kid. :)

Petit fleur said...


Your mind seems to click in such a graceful way. The capture and release of your impressions, thoughts and mental images are like reading a beautiful painting.

Thank for sharing.

Petit fleur said...

Oh God Steph!! I had a recurring toilet nightmare involving a little green man who looked a lot like the Grinch. He would try to suck me in.

Freud would have a field day with us!

gingermagnolia said...

This was beautiful, and I teared up when I read about the love letters. So sweet, those two.

Lady Lemon said...

I miss your momma. I do.

The part about the love notes made me tear up. So sweet.

May said...

SB- Sharks in a pool and Savannah? I love Savannah. I keep saying I'm going to move there but as yet, no dice. Did you live there and if so, why don't you anymore?

Steph- Mice in the toilet! That's awful. I used to fear spiders under the toilet seat, but that happens pretty frequently in Florida. Never saw mice though, and I hope I never will.

Petit Fleur- Thank you for sharing.

Gingermagnolia and Lady Lemon- yes, the love notes are too sweet. They make me yearn for a Mr. Moon of my own. Well, not exactly a Mr. Moon, he is my stepfather, but you know what I mean.

Also to anyone who wants to know: the Moons will return this Saturday around 8:30 PM. I'm sure Mama will be posting post haste.

Ms. Moon said...

May- When we were at Playa Corona, one of the things Rogillio told us was that he has created this boat thingee to take his ashes out into the ocean. He said that seven other people have signed up for the same thing. "Put it in your will," he told me, making the gesture of writing. And I cried and cried, thinking of my ashes being spread in Cozumel in the sea and wondering which of you would do that and hoping it would be all of you. Sprinkling my ashes in that clear blue sea, watching them sink to the bottom, the tiny fishes coming up to taste them.
I was crying so hard that Glen was a bit embarrassed and Rogillio put his hand on my arm.
Cozumel. Sprinkle my ashes in Cozumel. Don't even bother to make diamonds out of them. I would just as soon end up as angel-fish poop. I am quite serious.
And then eat some shrimp quesadillas. With quacamole. And salsa. Lots and lots of salsa.
Remind me. I will tell you my password.

May said...

No problem, Mama. We'll all go. I never was one for diamonds anyway.

downtown guy said...

Write more.

May said...

All right, I'll write.

cozzie laura said...

I've met your mother, and this is one of the most beautiful posts I ever read and describes her to perfection!

May said...

Cozzie Laura! How nice to see you here! Mama told us how much fun she had with you all down in Cozumel. I know it was special for her to get to meet you, too. And thank you for your sweet words! I do adore my Mama.