My Mom was “green” before being “green” was cool.
It was a warm spring day on the James River when my first grade class stopped swinging and “see-sawing” to sit by a pond. If the truth be known, the sitting was to let the mothers – chaperones on this field trip to Huntington Park – rest.
The sun sparkled off of huge white flowers perched on even larger green pads. I had never seen such large flowers floating in one place.
When the other children returned to their playing and the Moms hovered over them, I made my move! I snatched a green pad, a white flower and a tiny frog that was straddling both.
Since I was a novice thief, I did not have the foresight to figure out how I was going to hide this gigantic, soggy bloom. So I had to confess.
Once home, I “planted” my new blossom in a large tin bucket that overflowed with water. And I sat by to watch my one flower multiply into a million water lilies. Which it did not.
Several days later, I got a letter in the mail! It was the saddest letter ever written to “the little girl who plucked my baby out of the water” and was signed, “Mother Water Lily.” The letter reminded me that if “all little girls plucked water lilies out of the pond, there would be none for people to enjoy at the park.” Then MWL (Mother Water Lily) wrote of her aspirations for her “baby” to grow up to become a big water lily and I had snuffed out not only it’s life but her dreams in one fell swoop.
Momma had never heard the word “conservationist,” but she knew the word “parable”. Her letter was her unique way of telling me she had hopes and dreams for me. Looking back, I hope I did not disappoint her. Though I’m sure I did. Yet she still loved me.
I miss you, Momma.