Monday, May 11, 2015


Mother’s Day 2015

With the wind whipping off of Lake Michigan yesterday, and our fancy graduation clothes severely inadequate, we nonetheless whooped and hollered when Jonah, tall and confident, made his way across the stage to accept his college diploma. That's three up, three down for Paul & I, a kind of graduation for us, too! One of my all-time favorite prayers is the shehechayanu, which loosely translates to thanking the powers that be for sustaining us and allowing us to reach this moment. The narrow tunnel I went through last year, makes me even more aware of my blessings and more alive to the poignant moments that string together to make this life I love.

On Mother’s Day today I am thinking about how milestones are stacking up for our kids, as they reach for their dreams, live the lives they want and outfit themselves for futures they envision. Diana Nyad, the famous long distance swimmer & athlete extraordinaire, gave a rousing commencement address, urging grads to relentlessly grab for their highest aspirations. Channeling the poet Mary Oliver, she quoted, “…what is it you’re doing with this one wild and precious life of yours?” a line we all need to hear about once a day!  

The student speaker was equally inspiring, recollecting homosapien forbearers deciding to make their mark on cave walls with hand prints, raising his own hand he asked, what kind of mark will you make? I think about being a mother and how the marks I make include my kids and how they go forward to make their own marks--and so the generations go! What a blessing to be a mother, with all the craziness, the constancy, the exhilaration, the worry, times of bewilderment and times of fascination, the bits of self-discovery that go along with the territory, all the pride and gratitude. 

Paul & I took a Architecture of Chicago Boat tour today (highly recommended!) with Jonah before hopping on our flights home. Our guide described the mind-boggling engineering feat of changing the direction of flow of the Chicago River in the beginning of last century to help improve water quality, among other things, for the city. For me, the direction of flow of love between us and our kids flows both ways now with some serious current and sustains us all.

Sometimes all the pomp & circumstance of a formal graduation seem longwinded or pretentious. But not this time. It feels like we are all graduating from one thing or another at any given moment: a recent challenge, a course of study, one phase of life evolving to the next, a job or relationship shift, an accomplishment ,big or small,  or simply a realization that shifts our focus or changes the course of our own rivers. I am wishing for myself, my family and all the people we know & love to be fully present and appreciative of life, every step of the way. 

Happy Mother’s Day and Happy Graduation!

Love & light,