Family and Relationships
One summer day many years ago, on the grass outside the back door to a large white house that had seen better days, a handsome woman sat cross-legged, taking peas from a colander beside her and shelling them into an enameled bowl on her lap. At her skirts, a girl of five or six played with a porcelain doll. After a bit, the child leaned the doll over the bowl of shelled peas and whispered in her ear, “You see, Peggy? That’s how we get peas ready to cook.”
Why you askin me did anyting unusual hoppen that day? I told five people already, an’ I know they told you beka I saw you talkin to em. An’ people say I slow. They all detectives. They tell me you a lady pros-e-cu-tor. That some kinda police lawyer lady, they tell me. So I know you know. But I tell you what you wahn tu know. Yeah, someting unusual hoppened. I had a baby. My first born. An’ I killed it. Now you say you gonna charge me wid a crime. But you see, that baby wasna good ting. It was evil. So you see, I had no choice. It was just the next ting tu do.
Selfish is one thing my mother never was. Beyond belief, she was not selfish! I never saw her put herself first, never heard her say, “This is what I want” or “What about me?” Everything revolved first around our father, and then around us, the kids, from where we lived to how each hour of the day was spent.
Life is filled with suffering, but it is also filled with many wonders like the blue sky, the sunshine, the eyes of a baby. To suffer is not enough. We also need to be in touch with the wonders of life. They are within us and all around us, everywhere, any time. Does it require a special effort to enjoy the blue sky? Do we have to practice to be able to enjoy it? No, we just enjoy it. We don’t need to travel to China in order to enjoy the sky.
April had been chilly and stormy this year, so on the first day that truly felt like spring, I was happy to go outdoors in the gentle sunshine to work in my garden. After a long winter under my low, dark roof, it lightened me to see young leaves arching in airy layers overhead. I often paused in my digging to look up through them to the newborn blue sky beyond.