The light streamed down the tops of the flowering trees, casting odd shadows on faces, arms, legs, the expression of eyes. We could all barely fit in the gazebo, some had to wait on the external wings until there was space. Yet, everyone seemed where they were supposed to be. A rain of pink petals came down, on heads, faces, hair, limbs, dinner plates. "Mother Goddess!" yelled Maria as a powerful wind blew over her body. Laughter bubbled up our spines, toes, ankles, all the way to the top of our heads. It was like being inside love. Chris climbs up high into the pink encrusted limbs, to sit like a tiny monkey among the beautiful branches. At this moment, we are all his mother, thrilled with joy to see him climb so high, yet full of trepidation and nerves that he may slip. "Careful up there," one or another of us call out to him at one time or another. Cherie cradles her new baby in her arms, breastfeeding him in a flurry of pink petals landing on her white breast, her copper hair. She gently smiles at her son, who blinks sleepily. If ever a scene embodied the beauty of motherhood, this would be the one I would choose.
I walk out for awhile to hug Linda, who has been through hell lately. She is weeping. But somehow I can see things will be good for her again someday. Whatever powers that be out there, they loved us all very much that night.
I look up into the tree and am moved by some emotion I cannot name. The dam in my heart breaks and the tears held back for years flow forward, all the joy, pain, love, anger and every possibility in between. Maria holds me as I cry, tells me about her new man, happy new beginnings that would occur that night. I smile and hold her close. I cannot contain my gratitude for all the beautiful spirits around me at this moment, all who speak my name with love and reach out to touch me as I pass.