Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Valley (08/10/06)
Sitting together beneath the trees, as the sun lowered in the west, two hours seemed but a moment in time. Companionship, respect and mutual admiration between mother and son is a blessing God has given me.
We spoke of many things, being eagerly interested in each other’s thoughts, feelings, views and perspectives; not only about the present, but also about the past. I described childhood memories of my grandparents that he had never heard before. With a captive audience, I relived scenes of our family summer visits to their mountain retreat in Santa Cruz. It was a good feeling to tell him stories that link him to previous generations. Life with its triumphs and trials, it is important to understand, does not begin and end with a single individual. It is enhanced by the reflection of the lives that have gone before and will continue on after we are gone.
Somewhere in midlife, I began to look outward and beyond my own circumstances, and felt humbled by my meager hardships, compared to those of my mother’s childhood or my grandparents and great grandparents. Knowledge has a way of putting things in perspective. I want to pass this awareness on to my children and theirs. We are an extension of each other. We are not alone; we belong.
With me, Tony is a gifted communicator. He listens and receives and offers warm affirmation. He validates me as his mom, extinguishing shadows of inadequacy from the past. He knows I am genuinely interested in what matters to him. He considers my feelings before he speaks. I respect his deep sense of modesty and privacy, while establishing the boundaries that a mother must honor.
Then, as Tony outlined the details of his seventeen years’ worth of investment in his land, I was impressed with his tenacity, which I mistakenly labeled patience. His patience has been close to threadbare at times, not having received the mutual support and enthusiasm for his single-minded venture.
But now that a lovely home has been born on the tranquil hillside, it will soon be on the market to sell to a family who has not invested the blood, sweat and tears, or the financial burden that Tony has endured, to see his dream fulfilled. Yet, his goal has been accomplished.
Because of the seasons of life I have endured in the valley, I appreciate those special hours with my son on the hilltop. I rise above the shadows and live on in the sunshine of contentment.
To pause and reflect, love and accept, is the essence of the bond between mother and son.
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