My mom believed deeply, heavily in symbols. Everything had an extra layer of meaning Nothing was quite what it appeared to be. A fork falling to the ground meant a man was coming by; forget that I am extremely clumsy. A cloudy sky was ominous. Ominous about one’s dreams coming true and not so much about a coming storm.
While on a recent road trip through West Virginia, a place my mother dreamed of going to because of the John Denver song, I looked up in the sly and snapped this photo. I knew it meant we were about to hit a storm on our trip, but it also symbolized my mother’s hand on my shoulder. The sky looked beautiful, haunting and intriguing. The sky looked like it had something to say. It also looked like my mom was watching me, traveling along besides me.
I have taken my mom’s love of symbols a bit further. Well, I took it an academic, geeky route. When I walk my son to school we talk about indicators. I ask him what does the waving flag up ahead indicate to him. Of course, to him it means there is wind and thus there may be inside recess. Overall, that is not a bad understanding of community mapping. That is a discussion for another day. There will come a time when I ask him to explain what an itchy palm means; which of course is an indicator that money will be coming in. But I will start with telling him about the clouds and grandma.
The clouds chauffeur her gently
My shoulder tender