Updated: Apr 21, 2020
It was a time when family was a warm lagoon you could swim in, at ease, supported by warmth and fluidity, able to glide and move gracefully within an element to which you naturally belonged.
It was a time when beauty was all around you, trees circling the lagoon, lily pads, the sparkle of sun on water.
It was a time when fingers loved whatever they touched. It was a time of curious lips and tongues. It was a time of crawling and creeping and seeing the world from the underside of tables and chairs.
It was a time when going to bed meant snuggling close, warmth, the sound of your mother’s voice. When the bedtime story was another world, and you could enter and explore and be free and wild within that world, without ever leaving the warmth of your mother’s body and voice.
It was a time when heaven was in the eyes and laughter of those close at hand. When goodnight songs and back rubs lulled you into a sleep sweeter than lullabies.
It was a time when kisses were warm and real and felt. It was a time when eyes met. When hugs were electric. When laughter knew no borders.
It was a time when belonging was water in which you swam. It was a time when you didn’t know anything else.
It was a time when you could close your eyes and just float. Kittens purred. Seeds were planted and grew. Caterpillars became butterflies. Your mother’s face lit up when she saw you. You had the power to make her laugh simply by clapping your hands.
Nothing else mattered.
It was a time that may never have existed until it was lost – but then it became so very important to believe that it once did.
[River Malcolm, The Mother Poems, 2007]