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May 11, 2014

Mothers & Daughters: 3 Generations of Love. ~ Clare Smith

William Shattuck

I feel lucky to occupy the space between my mother and daughter, where I gratefully sit in the middle of three generations.

I am intensely aware of the sweetness and the magic of this moment. I know it to be precious.

My mother’s rapid aging and frail body reminds me that time is of the greatest value while my daughter, a 20-something, is growing in strength and vitality, a wonder to behold.

I am the observer, the one in the middle, the lover of these souls.

We are, each of us, sojourners finding our way through life.

I have watched my daughter grow from her tiny form (was it all that long ago?) to a beautiful and bright, strong and lovely woman. She is all knowing sometimes, as 20-somethings often are.

The world will become more “gray” as she ages.

She will learn that certainty is fleeting and that the only constant is change. Last week, she and I meditated together at a venerable meditation center. I loved sitting with her and feeling our spiritual bond.

It filled my heart completely, as we shared time on our mats.

She is my soul daughter and friend, the one I laugh and hike and travel with. Her adulthood has brought us to a place of deeper and more meaningful conversations and understanding; I am so blessed to know this love.

And, at once, she is gone again, far away to live her own life, just as it is meant to be.

My mother, now climbing precariously through her 80s, has always been my great inspiration.

Progressive and open hearted, she taught me about acceptance and non-judgment. She has been my model of an independent, courageous, caring woman.

Even now, when she has tough decisions, including where she will live at the tender, dependent stage she is entering, she is the essence of strength.

While not the strong matriarch she once was, but a weaker more vulnerable version, she has given up most of her possessions, without regret, to move to smaller quarters. She has given up driving too.

But, she has taken on studying contemplative religion and learning more about vegetarian eating. She calls her friends every day, especially sick ones, and sings to them, like a Broadway diva, to brighten their days. I remember as a child, cuddling with my mom, loving her so much, I wanted to breathe when she breathed, in and out, matching her breaths.

Maybe that was my earliest meditation.

I am aware of the juxtaposition my mother and daughter, who are the center of my universe.

I know, I am blessed to walk with them as we journey onward. As I hold them through the turbulence of life, they hold me.

We are female energy: strong and gentle, intuitive and resilient. Like a sacred dance, we move together, sharing our lives, knowledge and our bond, which was formed beyond time and space, to be enjoyed during the moments we share on this worldly plane.

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Apprentice Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock / Editor: Catherine Monkman

Photo: William Shattuck

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