March 16 … was feeling depressed. I note the date, realizing it is the anniversary of my mother passing away. No wonder. I am sure that my two sisters are experiencing this too. We mourn her absence in different ways that are meaningful and special to each of us. I remember her by lighting a candle near her photograph, put a flower from my garden in a vase and light an incense stick. For many years I relived the moment when I heard of her passing suddenly in India … I was in the U.S.A. In more recent years I recount the close and happy times, our last conversation and the times we laughed and joked together.
At one time each of our umbilical cords, my sisters’ and mine, were connected at different periods to the lady who carried us for a total of twenty-seven months between the three of us. At each birth these cords were physically cut but remain connected yet to her and to each other. We shared the same womb at different times and left it through the same place to enter the world. We three know the same space, the quiet and hush of sloshing fluid which sustained us for nine months. These cords have been stressed and tight sometimes but the tension collapses over and over again to bring us even closer. That is what she would have wanted and we feel each time that we have not failed her faith in us.
We miss her but lately I found solace in a beautiful passage in a book “Nothing Special” by Charlotte Joko Beck. The essence of our mother lives on.
“We are rather like whirlpools in the river of life.
In flowing forward, a river or stream may hit rocks, branches, or irregularities in the ground, causing whirlpools to spring up spontaneously here and there. Water entering one whirlpool quickly passes through and rejoins the river, eventually joining another whirlpool and moving on. Though for short periods it seems to be distinguishable as a separate event, the water in the whirlpools is just the river itself. The stability of a whirlpool is only temporary. The energy of the river of life forms living things—a human being, a cat or dog, trees and plants—then what held the whirlpool in place is itself altered, and the whirlpool is swept away, reentering the larger flow. The energy that was a particular whirlpool fades out and the water passes on, perhaps to be caught again and turned for a moment into another whirlpool.