In my quest for local flowers, flower deliveries, and all things with petals, I’ve been making a weekly trip to the local farmer’s market near the Pioneer Museum in downtown Colorado Springs. Surrounded by sculptures, local art booths, and bakers all vying for the title of yummiest cookies in town, I indulge in some color from Ellen’s Flowers, my favorite small grower. Fortunately, along with those cookies I mentioned, I made a new discovery Wednesday while strolling through the market with a pug on leash and my nose buried in a bouquet – I spotted a small table with a tiny umbrella, a large cooler, and a Mom with four children, selling home grown, farm fresh eggs.
She juggled one child in diapers and three others under the age of 7 who were scampering about being helpful, while explaining to those who stopped by: One dozen large eggs from her “old gals” or one dozen small eggs for a discount from the “youngsters just learning.” Perched on the edge of a folding chair with a big cooler at her feet, she carefully counted out bills and change and assured the lady next to me she had plenty more eggs in her car if these ran out. I suspect this small business is a way she has found to make ends meet, while doing something she loves. When we were growing up on a farm in East Texas, my Mother found ways to set aside money each month for school clothes and extra expenses, saving back a bit from the grocery budget so we wouldn’t have to wear only second hand clothes. It wasn’t until decades later that I realized how carefully she watched every penny so we would never go without.
My sisters and I never went hungry, never wore rags to school, and, though we rarely had new clothes, we never seemed to have time to worry about the lack of them. We were rich because we had one another, and a Mother who loved us absolutely and unconditionally. I understand now that not only was she the shield that protected us from many of life’s cruelties, she was also the bridge that helped us recognize and achieve our dreams. The art supplies she bought for me, the county fair entries she made sure I submitted, and the emails she sent off to national artists she saw interviewed on television are just a few of the examples. These emails began with the words “My daughter the artist” – and often elicited wonderful responses from some rather famous artists who thought my Mom was worthy of acknowledgment.
Maybe it’s not until we are much older that we realize how big the space is in each Mother’s heart for love and consideration for each of her children, big enough to share their dreams, and sometimes even to help make them come true. All I know is that the moment I saw that young Mom under a tiny umbrella counting out her egg money, I knew I was seeing a type of love undiminished by time or generations. How many artists today would there be, were it not for the love, determination, hard work and encouragement of our Moms?
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