The mother –daughter relationship is known to be one of the most complex and often explosive of relationships. It can also be empowering and life affirming; a bond that can build bridges and lay the foundation for generations to come. How does a mother navigate the turbulent waters to arrive at a point of smooth sailing with her daughter? Does something magical have to happen for this to take place or does it occur in due course of the relationship?
As daughters ourselves, when do we learn to appreciate our own mothers? At what stage do we become friends? Are we able to use this experience to foster a loving, nurturing relationship with our daughters? It seems at times when we reach out in what we may perceive as a caring manner our daughters may perceive it to be invasive and critical. As I recall from my childhood, daughters can be critical and unmoving in their perspective. I remember an encounter with my mother when I wouldn’t budge on an issue. In exasperation she simply stated, “One day you will have a daughter just like you and then you will understand.” I certainly hope today that these are words with which she blessed my future.
What wondrous miracle is this,
the birth of a child,
a daughter in image of myself, a pure reflection of me?
You absorb me, enfold me; swim in the sea of my emotions.
Center of my being, you are my world and I am yours.
We dance together in joyful celebration of life.
You heed my words:
Dance my daughter, dance!
Twist and turn and take wondrous leaps.
But hush, the rhythm slows.
Your pace softens and you twirl away from me.
With scornful anger you confront me.
What mocking icicles coat your words!
We swirl and twirl in contorting rhythms;
Emotions forged in the darkness of our hearts.
Your dance becomes the dream that haunts me.
Your footsteps echo in the hollow ground as you glide away.
Cautiously I trace your footsteps, try to match the pace of your rhythm.
You pick up speed again in search of wings to soar away.
I tread softly now, sashaying between the seams of our complex relationship.
You pause and flex, with slow deliberate steps you return.
With graceful strides we tiptoe around each other;
Twists and turns that take us full circle into the womb of our wondrous beginning.
This then is our dance; a continuum with no beginning; no end.
..from Bridges to Memory 2007