Happy Mother’s Day! Today is a day when we reflect on what our mother means to us, what motherhood is all about, about what mothering involves.
My mother was my creative muse when I was a child. She encouraged me at every turn to express myself and she often engaged in arts and craft activities with me. I can remember many a Christmas season watching her make ice candles and snowball candles for the hospital guilds Christmas sale. We would make bread dough ornaments, cut out snowflakes from wax paper, make paper chains, or other such things.
She was a master gardener, without the official title. People would stop when she was out gardening and as who her landscaper was. It was her. I learned my love of gardening at a very early age, helping to plant annuals as young as 5 years old and having my own garden when I was around the age of nine. I remember her showing me how snapdragons snap, spider webs covered in dew diamonds, the new growth on trees and shrubs, the first bulbs pushing their way our of the soil in the spring. She taught me all about nature and respecting and enjoying it.
I sat at her knee when she was sewing clothes for us. She would give me her button box, filled with all kinds of beautiful sparkly buttons, a piece of cloth and a needle already threaded and I would cover the cloth in beautiful buttons. I was only about four or five when she started this. Then I moved on to sewing doll clothes on the machine and finally, when I was eleven years old, she let me sew my first piece of clothing. It was a pair of culottes in a fabric I still remember vividly. It was white with black flowers and leaves on it and yellow lady bugs (gardening and sewing already combined, lol). I was ecstatic at how it came out and wore it a lot.
Not only did she teach me how to grow flowers, but how to arrange them, as well. I won the junior achievement award when I was a teen. I enjoy filling the house with vases of flowers to this day, although most of them are just hodge-podges of whatever is in bloom that day.
My mother passed quite some time ago, but I feel that in some ways she lives on in the things I create, because without her encouragement, guidance, and patience I may not have grown to love creating.
Even if we don’t have children of our own to encourage, we can help others both young and old to reach their creative potential. It would be wonderful if you shared stories about your creative inspiration, whether it was your mother or someone else.