Wednesday, October 26, 2005



Does the music played by my Grandmother still circle old Earth; dissipating with time to become part of the hum I still hear when I lie in peace on the verandah?  Do the gentle inland autumn days in the mountains still breathe in her music, drifting through windows long since submerged under water?  Do the soft, frost-rimmed stars still resonate with the joy of her youth, her dreams and her love, as she sits softly stroking the notes into life eternal?  

To have known her; to have seen into her eyes; to have this memory of her to give to my daughters; would it make my life richer and theirs?  I think so.

My own Mother when alive remembered so little of the young mother who, generations ago, bent over the toddler and said, to "Put your shoes on Margaret, my dear!" That’s all her words recorded.  But there's the music, handwritten in books, whose delicate language sings to my ear, of a soul for whom beauty was much more important than waxing the floor, and sifting the flour.
Now I have no doubt she did these things, in the high heat of summer, I have no doubt she cleaned chamber pots, broke horses, killed and then stuffed dead chooks with her hands. But there is no doubt in me that when her heart was stirring, those same hands stroked the music that still hums in my head.

How different as she than I and my sisters and daughters? A few years and time are all that separate us all? Would we, could we have been friends in a time that is nowhere on earth? Is there so much between us that would make us seem strangers?  My Mother, her daughter. My daughters, her shoot into the future, where her music will still circle the globe of our living Her sense of beauty still pulls us in complete understanding.

The fey-faced bride with her large eyes still looks out of her youth at me from browning photos, and fading dreams of my Mother. The stories I gleaned from my Mother and Aunty see my Grandmother still young and moving like perfume through my own aging life. And yet she is older than this century and those still living around me. How much of her lives in me, in mine and on into the future? Where does she live now?

In the dear eyes of my Mother, my daughters and my sisters, she lives in the beauty, the fun and the laughter. She lives in the twinkle, the eyeshine and the surprise. She lives in the wind, and the sky and the starlight. Those who have loved, and been loved are never lost to old earth. Somewhere she lurks, still childlike, behind doors. Poking her tongue out at the years that are weighing the rest of us down. But I’d have rather I had known her, and she having the life with us.

There is music in the hum I hear in the autumn air. It sounds like bells on water, on sunlight in cool places - up high in the mountains. Its there in the night stars, its there by the fire. Its there inside my heart, the music played by my Grandmother, Vera.



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