Motherless Daughters

Nature often offers metaphors more elegant than any we can manufacture. In the redwood ecosystem, all seeds are contained in pods called burls, tough brown clumps that grow where the mother tree’s trunk and root system meet. When the mother tree is logged, blown over, or destroyed by fire, the trauma stimulates the burls’ growth hormones. The seeds release, and trees sprout around her, creating the circle of daughters.

The daughter trees grow by absorbing the sunlight their mother cedes to them when she dies. And they get the moisture and nutrients they need from their mother’s root system, which remains intact, even after her leaves die. Although the daughters exist independently of their mother above ground, they continue to draw sustenance from her underneath.

I am fooling only myself when I say my mother exists now only in the photograph on my bulletin board or in the outlines of my hand or in the armful of memories I still hold tight. She lives on beneath everything I do. Her presence influenced who I was, and her absence influences who I am. Our lives are shaped as much by those who leave us as they are by those who stay.

Hope Edelman, an excerpt from her book, “Motherless Daughters: The Legacy of Loss”. Excerpt printed in “Modern Maturity” magazine, January/February 1995 issue.

hope edelman

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About jeneanecommonplacebook

What Is a Commonplace Book? A commonplace book is someone’s personal collection of quotes, witticisms, observances, poems, and even graffiti that have inspired them, made them laugh or touched them in some way. Many famous people throughout history have had commonplace books, such as Thomas Jefferson, John Milton, Mark Twain, Henry David Thoreau, and the scientist, Carl Linnaeus. I began my commonplace books while I was in junior high school in the early 1970’s and so I have almost 50 years of quotes about such a wide variety of topics told in ways more eloquent, wise or humorous than anything I could ever come up with. And it’s wonderful that in this type of blog, I can also include some of my favorite artists and their artwork as well. I'm almost 60 years old with a daughter, 3 granddaughters, and a kitty-cat. I live in beautiful Bay City, MI. I have 2 associate degrees with additional college credits and hopefully I will be able to complete my goal of obtaining my Bachelor's Degree in Accounting. (Life keeps getting in the way). I enjoy literature, horse racing, baseball, NFL football, The Olympics, astronomy, history (particularly Irish), art, old movies, Downton Abbey, The Good Wife, Unit One, science, The Beatles, Frank Sinatra, U2, The Doors, oh and so much more! I have very eclectic and prolific interests. If you would like to check out my personal writings, please go to jeneanebehmeswritings.wordpress.com
This entry was posted in commonplace book, daughters, death, Hope Edelman, influence, Jeneane Behme, loss, memories, mothers, quotes, redwood ecosystem and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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