Years ago I would walk slightly behind my mothers’ legs. Her grey tweed skirt covered her knees. My little hand in hers, she would often knee down to my height and show me various vegetation.
She loved to walk and when my legs got tired she would scoop me up in her arms carrying me home. Often I would drift off to sleep with the fragrance of her skin in my nostrils, the silkiness of her hair in my hand and the caress of her hand on my hair.
Now at 60 years of age I walk slightly behind my mothers’ mid 80 legs. I have to look down her body to make sure that her shoes firmly land on the pavement. We do not hold hands but my arm automatically extends itself behind her back when she crosses the road or when she becomes slightly unsteady on her feet. I align my pace to hers making sure that I never walk to fast for her. Always, when we return home , she takes herself upstairs and has a sleep.
During the walks, like when I was young, she smells , touches and shows me the vegetation. She speaks about a time during the war when this flower was used for that purpose and how it helped the soldiers. She reteaches me games that she played as a child with different sorts of vegetation present in my neighborhood ; vegetation present for her during her childhood.