(Mother’s Day Tribute)
I sometimes don’t recognise why
Then today it dawns on me that the aura of stability that I feel even while my world is buffeted in storm- forced winds
Is due to a cocoon-spun placenta that my Spider momma and her Lord have pulled around us like a blanket
Today, I thank you, mama for the vestiges of the Cobweb you weaved and never stopped weaving as you tried your earnest to protect and preserve the family. You made us your entire life. We got enviable mother foundation.
The Cobweb is aged now, and parts of it have tears and loose threads where we broke out in eagerness to go life hunting
Yes, there are gashes there which left the Web vulnerable for predators of the Spider Mama and The Family to slip in and wreak havoc.
But amazingly the strong parts still feel predictable and familiar, the web tresses have locked into steel chords
Chords mellowed by years of motherly sacrifice, tears, prayers, active loving, and gentle prodding. Paradoxically, the soft silky knitting used to welcome your babies as we emerged from your cocoon ages ago has not faded.
The power of your love is consistent, enduring and assuring.
I know you probably think we haven’t noticed you’ve never stopped patching that old Cobweb; preserved it like a promise that anticipates the home comings of your children.
But we see through an hourglass, proudly
That the greying shades in our strong Cobweb came from your once beautiful black curly crown.
That the imperfectly crocheted patterns match the crisscrossed etching in your skin and veins, each of which have their own documentary.
We peer through the shifting sands of time, and try to skirt the rising panic that that thief Time could soon snatch you from us
We know the price tag of being Spider momma has been high: your energy has waned, your spider limbs no longer strong, overactive monkeys swing around in your blood all too often, elevating your pressure, your heart flutters, the lamp in your eyes has grown dim.
Remarkably, yet, one thing has escaped the effects of time. Life’s whip hasn’t folded or even slightly curled your back. There is formidable spirit left in the bearing of my spider momma. Our God be praised.
Spider Momma, we now know your ever rotating appendages were never eight limbs, but two hands and two feet that God gave you to care for and nourish eight children. (At three score and fifteen, You still don’t potter about, you move faster than your grandchildren.) Our God be praised.
Your once Rosy cheeks are drawn taut from years of talking and chastising and admonishing, and encouraging, and smiling. Our God be praised.
Lord, you’ve preserved her coherent voice so she can speak and worship you: she speaks so we understand. God be praised.
The shadows around your pupil illustrate the years of darning torn uniforms and socks, and squinting against woodfire smoke to get dinner on the table for young ones crying and clutching your frock tail. God be praised.
Eight children and their children have leaned on your receding arm muscles and sipped from your mysterious calabash of anansi stories, memories, jokes, folk songs, hymns, and family devotions. God be praised.
Spider mama, thanks for giving us and our children a taste of family heritage you so love to share.
70 plus years of living, some memories are starting to dim.
70 plus years of nourishing, everyone has borrowed big chunks of your happiness, your health, and your soul
Yet, spider woman, you still feel a need to feed and nourish, wipe adult eyes, advise every time we call about our hurts and failings, “Never mind, u need to read your bible and pray, you nah pray”
You still groan less about your needs than you uplift us
You are our biggest cheerleader
Your petite frame seeming so much more formidable than the silhouette of the foes prowling the Web
Fearless in the big faith you stoicly subscribe to
You’ve weaved this hoary Family’s Cobweb into fine Jamaicanmama, love-branded tapestry
Fit to hang from our ceilings and corners
These Family Cobwebs will have Spider momma’s calabash of tales priceless to share among generations of Josephines and Joes not yet born
Your grand and great-grandchildren babies will swing from its hymn-strung chords
And will not fall when they wrap themselves in its prayed up hummocks
Thanks for another year of your love, prayers, laughter, Godtalks, chastising, home remedies and your presence
You are the spider momma I now see proudly
through the shifting sands of time in my hourglass.
Today, Spider Mama, your Web is proud to honour a special 6- decade, 9-star general Spider Mama. Happy Mother’s Day from all your children.
Copyright 2016 Karen Taylor. All rights reserved.