“Inside the Envelope”

This is the result of a 10-minute prompt writing this morning, so realize it is merely a quickly dashed off, unedited piece, written without regard to knowing where the pen would take me.

Inside the Envelope

Inside the envelope were photos of days gone by. A smorgasbord really. Photos her mother had gleaned from God knows where she pulled them from. Childhood images in black and white to jog her memory where time had lumped more and more data, spinning faster and faster, squeezing out the images of events and times that made her who she is today.

Oh, thank God for photos. And for whoever invented the camera. And for mothers who collect the captured moments of lives along the way of unfolding persons in the the making. And for mothers who make you roll your eyes when she delivers yet another box of ancient items from one’s past as she clears out the clutter from her house and, bit by bit, it finds its way into your own.

Instead of rolling my eyes and sighing another exasperated breath of “Where will I put this one?”, perhaps a shift occurs. Stark change in perspective. A growing up of sorts as I write these words at age 52: I have a mother! A caring, thoughtful, loving mother. She is alive! Alive and well, with all her marbles! A mother full of envelopes of images, boxes of touchstones to our past – her past, my past, my children’s past, her parents’ past. Clues to unravel the mystery of “Who Am I?”, from a generational point of view at least. The complex weaving of a life of moments lived – the daily stuff and the shiny moments captured by a camera, printed out on glossy paper, slightly curled with age, now shared with me, returned to me, in envelopes, piecemeal, from Mother’s house to mine.

Mom and me at Holden Beach 2011