My mother was a tomboy from the get-go. This is her in her makeshift tent as a child. Don't you just love her beautiful, thick braids?
My mother is and always was the purest kind of individual. She has never faltered from her chosen path. She is utterly unequivocal. Doesn't matter in the least to her what others think of her, she is who she is who she Popeye.
I love that about her, and it makes me so very proud.
I, her biological daughter, am not such an unequivocal being - which is perhaps why I am able to admire her so deeply for what she is. I am much more mercurial - a shape-shifter in some ways. My personality is split almost equally between the girlie and the tomboy. I love to wear a ballgown and a paper crown only slightly less than I love to sleep under the stars in the desert. My collection of impractical clothing rivals my collection of camping gear.
So it is with delight that I watch my adoptive daughter, at 21 months, emulate (without knowing it) my own mother. The Q is utterly unequivocal. She is 100% tomboy. She is totally fearless, and, like Popeye, she is who she is who she is.
That makes me happy. And it feels right. Like our family has come full circle.
This is my mother today...almost literally. This photo was taken a few days ago, in southern Utah. She is currently on one of her biannual solo road trips in the desert southwest, painting plein air, and collecting material for her next season of work in the studio.

One of the many things that my mother has taught me over the years, and perhaps topping the list of the things for which I am grateful to her, is that life gets better as it goes on.
In our society, for some time now, we have been taught to worship youth and dread aging. What is there, in that case, to look forward to? I don't know about the rest of you, but for my part youth did not treat me so awfully well. I had good and studious teenage years, but my twenties were fraught with untethered angst, misguided behavior, and self-inflicted misery. Sure, my skin was lovely and my body lithe, but was I able to enjoy it? Not at all.
Fortunately, from one era of my life to the next, my mother has reassured me time and again that life continues to improve. The body may fail in certain ways, but the mind grows more agile, more grounded, and more joyous. Maybe it's a self-fulfilling prophecy, but I have found this to be absolutely (and blessedly) true.
Thank you, mum.
This is a coyote that my mother photographed last week while camping in the legendary Canyonlands south of Moab, Utah. For the record, I love coyotes, and I do not consider them a threat to society. Just had to say that, since I have lived near and among them for much of my life. Give the coyote a break, people. They are a beautiful, graceful and gentle animal. If you have never heard them sing at night while you're half asleep, you have missed out on one of the greatest joys in this world.


Tina said...

what a beautiful post! Such a lovely way to honor your mother and your gorgeous daughter.

your blog awes me. it is (and you are) so special.

(sorry deleted my previous message because of typos.eek.)

Geisslein said...

I always love your personal posts about your big feelings for your lovies (sorry for my bad english, I hope you understand, what I mean).By the way:I don´t want to be younger then I am today...everything is right and like it should be - great life! Wish you a great start in the new week! geisslein

Lorna said...

I love the sentiment in your posts, the way you find beauty in people and things. Your mother sounds like a very good role model and guide and counselor and you are lucky to have her.

About growing older: I never gave it much thought until I actually *became* older, and began experiencing a body wear-down. Although I like where my mind is now, I miss my agility and stamina of my younger years.


Sabine, La Marquise des anges said...

how touching and beautiful ... I absoltulety love your photos, and I enjoy every single word of your beautiful writing.

Yoli said...

I love coyotes, actually everything that is wild, feral and misunderstood. Lovely post. Your Mom is an original, your pride in her shows. She is an amazing woman.

Evelyne said...

Comme les autres je trouve tes pensées très belles, ta mère est une femme belle et libre, une artiste...l'an passé j'ai fait un travail biographique avec une cosmobiographe !!! C'était passionnant de relier les années de ma vie avec la place des planètes, les rencontres marquantes...j'ai beaucoup avancé...

MODsquad said...

Love that picture of your mom! Beautiful!

Happy Week!

Tina Tarnoff said...

Your mother is amazing. As are you! I've also always loved coyotes, but have yet to hear their song. xox

jen laceda said...

What a great ode to your mother. Maia, you may not even realize it, that even if you are the girly one and your mom is the tomboy, that you have already come full circle long time ago. With each pen stroke that you create, with each snap of the camera, with every step you travel and with each breath you are your mother's daughter. And with Q, you have welcomed her to your circle and when it feels right like that, you know you've done something very, very, very good!