To be loved be her. To hear her say ‘my love’, ‘my dear’— is a thread that weaves us then and still, my middle aged heart warmed as well as if I was a child.

I look like my mother, young pictures of her sitting on docks and by pine trees, I see myself there, in those places I haven’t been. She is smiling, surrounded by friends and soaked in the adventure of someone who knows where she is headed, to places she hasn’t been.

This morning in our weekly call, I asked her if the reason she is so healthy and strong is because of the way she lives, unbeholden to anyone else’s whims or worries, her path each day not charted by stars or planets, horoscopes or how-tos, but one foot in front of the other of where she chooses to walk.

She knows she loves flowers, longer spring days and snowdrops under melting snow, she does not question that she likes tea in the afternoons, cross stitch and ladies lunches. She has long lost the unhelpful habit of trying too hard, reaching too far and questioning why she loves what she loves.

A couple of weeks ago my mother told me that this time of year, there is two and half more minutes of sunlight each day, that adds up each week, the shifting of this planet toward lighter days more palpable, more seen, pointing toward more snowdrops under faster melting snow.

This time of life for me is two and half more minutes of light each day, and it is adding up toward lighter days, the trying less is more palpable, the reaching less is more seen, and it is all pointing toward a life of loving what I love, wherever I choose to walk.

To be loved by her is to say back to her, ‘my love, my dear, thank you.’

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