Sunday, December 03, 2006

Milkweed Pods & Memories

Out of all the Christmas ornaments that come out every year, my favorite are the milkweed pods. I can remember Mom sending me down the road in Decembers past in search of the milkweed that grew in the ditches alongside our rural roads. Teardrop-shaped, grey, & rough on the outside when dry, they split into halves & inside is a child’s handful of uber-soft, silky threads, each with a tiny seed attached. In the way of nature, the wind will catch the threads, lofting the tiny seeds into the air so that they can go, spread, find fertile soil to propagate. The pods halves, clean & dry, make pretty little shells for small simple vignettes. I have several, the background of each half carefully painted, maybe a little lace or ribbon framing the edges, and a small tiny-tree ornament glued securely inside the frame of the pod. My most favorite of all is a rather odd, squat-shaped pod with the background painted green & a tiny bit of gold ribbon framing the edges. Inside, Mum glued a small bit of moss & on it, tiny legs folded underneath as it curls into its snug safe haven is a tiny baby deer. Every single time I look at it I get a soft sense of adoration & a strange sense of security. I couldn’t find it when I got the ornaments out this year – I don’t know if maybe the kids put it on the tree & I will find it when the season is over… or if I put it somewhere special for safe keeping & that box simply did not come down – but even it’s only in my memory, that one ornament does more for me in terms of heralding the season than any other bit of fancy to grace any wall, tree, or ground anywhere else.

For some reason, I don’t remember actually making any of these – perhaps I was too young the last time Mum made milkweed pod ornaments to actually help with the paint or the glue or the scissors, I’m not sure. But I wonder if, when Mum’s email today said that she was making milkweed pods, she was thinking of making a bit of fancy for each of the grandkids… carrying past into future, in her own special way. I hope so. I like the thought that someday B will find within her the same sense of being loved & loving from the same reminders that trigger those things for me. We do, after all, when our bodies wear out & we are gone from this world, go on in the minds and hearts of those who love us.


Anonymous Your sister said...

Yeah---the milkweed pods-I noticed them still there-in the ditch-when I was walking with Aunt Linda and feeling the deep sicking feeling of homesickness yet again. Georgia is just too dang far away I tell you!

Monday, December 11, 2006 11:38:00 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home