Saturday, May 7, 2011

My Mother and our Little Cottage in the Pennines

41. Mother’s Cottage
If I was a dutiful son or daughter to thee,
Oh, how warm would my nights still be.
For even in the harshest frost of winter,
I would watch the dying embers
And hear the crackling of fire,
Alone in a cottage,
Resting high in the Pennines.

There would I have lived,
In a house I have never been,

And there would I have died,
Atop a hill I have never climbed.

On Friday morning, after I dropped Mikhail off at school, I found myself at my regular table of my friendly neighbourhood mamak (Indian Muslim) restaurant for my morning milky tea. And as normal, the TV was showing our early morning tv show. As Mother's Day is coming this Sunday, the theme was about mothers. Oh, and how everyone blubbered. The female host spoke with difficulty about how she was a problem child, but her mother never gave up on her - and she blubbered. Then they opened the phone-lines to caller-ins, and everyone shared their mother-stories which one way or another showed how a mum never gives up on their most appalling children and are willing to sacrifice anything for the happiness of their kids. And of course they all blubbered like little babies. So sweetot.

I felt a little melancholic because my mum has passed on to pastures green, no doubt now tidying her little corner of the vast expanse of the Divine Consciousness which people call the HereAfter. She won't be around for me to kiss and hug, to say Happy Mother's Day, and perhaps take her out for lunch. For you see, when she was alive, being the sinner that I am, I took her for granted. And never imagining a life, nay a world absent of her lovely warm presence.

The poem above was written perhaps 1 or 2 years after her passing. It recollects a dream of mine in which she was absent. I dreamt I lived in a cottage in the Pennines (not too far from where I was studying in Leeds, West Yorkshire), and I can vividly remember walking out and hearing the gurgling of a little stream running behind the little cottage. I did not see my mother in my dream, but the place felt like home. So I knew she must be in the cottage somewhere, perhaps in the kitchen, cooking some delicious dinner for a family who misses her now in ways my heart finds impossible to describe.

Life is not long, and the most beautiful rose ebbs and diminishes as God calls her home. So while she is with you, do your best, sunshine. Do not be like me, who must now write little poems and riddles, casting them into the night sky and hoping that some kind angel will bring my message to her, wherever she may be in the Garden of God. May our Lord bless our mothers always.

Have a lovely Sabbath, pet.

Pax Taufiqa.

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