Today is my mom, (Christine Wickstrom’s) birthday, so before I get all poetic on your asses, let us take a moment:
Here’s to another trip around the sun with the woman who loved, fed, raised, and let me survive my teenage-hood. You’re a spiritual whirlwind, a passionate crusader, the raucous laughter I hear in my own voice, and the sturdy rock on which I was built. Also, sorry for using the word ‘asses’ up there…and again just now. Have a lovely day, take naps, eat good food, enjoy the sunshine and the new dawn of spring. I love you to the moon and back again.
And now, this:
Old Soul They used to say, over coffee cups behind her turned back that she was an old soul Even at six when she struggled to sit pious in pews too hard for anything but retribution Or dreamed beside lazy rivers in tall, cool grass feet barefoot and setting roots in worship of the bigger gods An old soul, she thought, was used, misused, tarnished and dented worn thin like soles on the bottom of shoes She thought her soul looked like beaten leather unfairly pocketed and scarred with use Everyone else got a new one right out of the box the day they were born the 'new soul' smell still clinging smooth, shiny, glowing with kinetic possibility But what choice did she have? Old was far better than none. Six turned to sixteen and all the years blended in hues of decisions and roads taken the ones where she felt, memories walked beside her and footsteps recalled and every where felt like home in far off rooms of her old soul. Sixteen to thirty and on to forty and on, and on and her dented soul carried tears and laughter just as well as any other better Because new souls, she learned, were breakable and brittle they faltered in storms and dented at the slightest strike In the same span of years the glittering glow of the new was thin like a grocery store bag, plastic urban jellyfish, aimless and at the whim of every breeze that blew But old souls are stalwart souls They grounded roots feet in dirt and sturdy branches rising. Fingers tasting every flavor of life without being swayed to break. Old souls have lived it all before and are wise to the ways of errant breezes and the fickle affections of years. Old souls, she learned, came back loved and experienced once more, into only those vessels strong enough to carry them.