To a woman I know

FeminineMotherGodIt was gone. And all she could do was brood over the space where the tree once stood. It was a weeping mulberry, her morus alba. Silly really; how could she think after all the years the aging tree would remain? Still, its absence shook her. The best part of her childhood seemed cocooned within the canopy of this broadleaf. And its disappearance left her keening after dislocated memories.

She stood blinking. Sleep had been erratic and she awoke with a certain gloom at the plexus of her soul. Her prayer seemed stillborn and fell to the floor. Work would wait. She needed to dispel this dark decree, find footing beyond creedal comfort. And now, as if on autopilot, she was here, hoping to recall and reclaim the sanctuary and freedom she had known high under the cover of a mulberry. She re-imaged the tree as best she could: Queenly, majestic, strong. The dense crown had been a roof over her head, shelter from the heat and rain. The heavy screen of leaves had hidden her from the rage and vexing moods of her late step-father.

It flooded back now. The death of her mother, one year to the day, was a bitter loss. Her mother had brooked misfortune, but had found her path—found faith and resiliency. These, she knew, were her mother’s gifts to her.

Kneeling on the soft mat of leaves she now saw what had been unseen. A meek, yet bright, mulberry shoot. She remembered a Latin word her mother taught her; reviresco—to become green again. It was an allusion to a Psalm which her mother would paraphrase with a sparkle and a wink: "In old age I still produce fruit; I’m always green and full of sap."

She smiled, breathed, and walked back to her car.


  1. Wow. I just got the chills. A beautiful piece as always Stephen. And may we all experience reviresco as spring enters our hearts and our physical surroundings.

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