This is one of the few years since I’ve moved back to the Midwest that I haven’t spent part of Mothers’ Day weekend with my Mom. The last fifteen years she and I, or the two of us and her Madison grandchild, have sowed our vegetable garden the second Sunday in May. Felt odd to break tradition last Sunday. Missed you! We did have a weekend spring snowstorm, so perhaps it’s better we didn’t plant…
My mom is one of these capable people who is able to do just about anything. Her can-do attitude and broad base of knowledge about the world set the foundation for my expectations of personhood and particularly womanhood. She’ll spot and correctly identify the beetle or bird flying by. Mom can tell you what kind of tree has the best branches to make a basket, and within an afternoon make one worthy of display. She is willing to speak out about injustice and help those in need. When Rodney King was brutally beaten by police in 1991, she and I protested in Minneapolis and sung marching hand-in-hand. Mom’s volunteered for Habitat for Humanity, swinging a hammer with the best of them. She was the first person in her nuclear family to get a college degree. A third grade teacher for years, my mom helped kids’ reading and math skills take flight. My poem is for her:
My mother the naturalist, botanist and pharmacist
the meeter, greeter, weeder and reader
the carpenter, dessert chef and gardener
the artist, florist and feminist
the activist, correspondent and educator
My mother creates rainbows with her hands, her heart, her smile.
My mom, who lives by example
Women can do anything.
Much love, your eldest daughter.
Rebecca Cuningham 2020
Who inspires you?
Gracias for reading Fake Flamenco! ¡Olé! –Rebecca
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