I keep a laminated copy of my mother’s obituary clipped inside the visor of my car. Whenever the sun is in my eyes I pull the visor down and her beautiful face shines on me.
There hasn’t been a lot of sun lately. Apparently it’s been winter for a while now but I have been trying hard to ignore it. I tell people that the lack of sunshine doesn’t bother me, that I am perpetually sunny on the inside. Which is pretty much a line of bullshit.
But the other morning, bright winter light blinded me unexpectedly and I groped for the visor and there she was, my mom, and I felt the familiar emotion that moves through me in this two inch wide three dimensional ovalish funnel that runs from between my eyes to just below my collar bone where my lungs and heart swell uncomfortably from the heaviness.
Sunshine creates such goddamn pressure to feel shit.
I remember years ago, I must have been around 19, finding my mom out in the yard frantically planting hundreds upon hundreds of daffodil bulbs in the sunshine. She would not talk to me or even look up from her mission. I found out much later that she was convinced she was dying from ovarian cancer. She had the worrisome little suckers yanked out but it turned out that they were not functioning because they were filled with small little pieces of teeth and hair possibly from a baby that didn’t come into the world.
My little sister probably ate her twin and spit out the teeth and hair. This is just MY thinking though. There is no proof. And it’s probably not scientifically possible.
But I digress.
She planted and planted for hours, on her knees, hunched over in the sunshine. And when she was done, she returned to earth, content and smiling, face streaked with dirty sweat lines, her quest to put a mark on the world before she died accomplished.
Which she eventually did.
Die that is.
But not before she planted a hell of a lot more metaphoric bulbs.
I drive by the house at Diamond Lake every so often. Someone else lives there now but the daffodils are still there and they have multiplied gloriously, blooming every spring, a field of yellow vibrant testimony that a person’s life can indeed and in fact has a responsibility to make itself eternally KNOWN in the world.
Sunshine creates such pressure to recognize and be accountable to this.
Yes. The sun feels great on my face. The warmth soothes and mends and sends yummy, much needed vitamin D to my bloodstream.
But it also whispers painful love songs to my heart, which after a long dark winter, doesn’t want to come into the light.
But the sun is a persistent lover: “Oh H! I am here! Wake up and tell your shit! I will brighten the dark view you have held onto for a while now and help you see again how fucking cool everything around you is. Because H! You’ve got daffodils to plant.”
If this blog site were one that had advertisements, this post would be brought to you by the makers of the light therapy products used to treat seasonal depression therapy (SAD). You’re welcome people who make that stuff.