what church and show tunes show me about my daughter

by rebecca on February 5, 2014

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I 70 mountains on the way out of debequeI’m listening to a mix CD my daughter made me as I drive through snowy mountains. The occasional barn makes its appearance, but mostly it is vast open space. White, rolling silence. I live in the Rockies and stones make themselves known underneath all the white. They peek out their faces to smile at the sun. Irrigation ditches invite a blanket of snow into secret pockets of the landscape while water tries to continue to flow, occasionally turning to ice, sometimes decorating barbed fences with glittering fairies.

rocks and snow on the way to Steamboat
I am stunned by the vastness of Colorado. Today I drive from Meeker to Steamboat Springs. Fewer than 10 houses dot the highway outside of the two small towns of Hayden and Craig along my way. The sun melts the fluffy snow that clings to pencil thin branches and tufts of it fall to the ground like the game of Jenga when the blocks come tumbling down. A bird takes flight and shakes a branch free. The air fills with flakes and the sun dances with them on the way down.

I pass a lone residence where the snow has melted in intricate patterns, first molding itself to the variegated pattern of the metal roofline, then beginning its slow surrender to gravity. Because of the multiple pitches and angles, all the snow has folded and pools in a corner pocket and begins to drip off the roof in one steady, if slightly frozen mass. It cascades toward the ground like a glacier inching its way, but still reflecting the roofline from where it came. I am entranced by the way the snow bends and folds over on itself, yet retains the integrity of the original pattern.

As I travel this wide expanse, I think what a pleasure it is to be known by a daughter. A reverent rendition of one of my favorite hymns “It is Well with my Soul,” is followed with an explosive show tune, “The Lady is a Tramp” Church and theatre. This filled my young life when music shaped me. Is church a big show, or is the show the holiest of places? I like this question far more than finding an answer.

share the road sign
I pass a sign whose photo tells me the story: be kind to other people on this road, they might be more vulnerable than you. I like these signs that lack words. Ireland, where my daughter is studying now, is filled with them. We laughed at them when we traveled there because they were so communicative.

Whole stories are told in single pictures.

That’s how the melted roofline felt to me. My daughter’s life has melted and folded into mine until sometimes I don’t know whose snow is whose. Yet I can recognize the pattern that is my daughter. She sees the pattern that is her mother enough to make me a mix CD with some of my favorite songs back to back. It is juxtaposition that makes my heart sing.

Singing. Taking photos. Sharing music with my kid. I feel grateful for the journey of motherhood and that I could let it penetrate me so deeply while she is so many miles away in Ireland and I am driving alone in a car with so much quiet white surrounding me.

I 70 mountains on the way out of debeque

I was inspired to write this because of my friend, Heather’s Just Write blog series. She asks people to write about what’s going on in their lives.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Yvette Francino February 10, 2014 at 4:38 am

Beautiful photos, writing, and thoughts as you describe a winter day and your special relationship with your daughter.

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rebecca February 11, 2014 at 1:48 pm

Thank you, Yvette! It’s wonderful to have a daughter, as you know.

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