This print currently hangs in a tiny passage-way space on the second floor of the old victorian farmhouse where my folks live in Ohio. It used to hang on the wall of the room I slept in when I visited my grandparents at this very same house when I was a girl. The girl in the image was me. (Or so I imagined.) The dog was a dog I never had, but always wanted. A real gentle Lassie dog, loyal and watchful. The view out the window behind the sleeping girl shows bundled corn stalks in the nighttime field. All is in order and well in that victorian farm world. Super sentimental. But I loved it then and now it for all the comfort it gave me. As a kid, sleeping alone sometimes upstairs in that creakly old farmhouse, this image on the wall provided protection and assurance and I knew then it had hung over my mother's bed as a child and even her mother's bed a generation before that. The picture had a reputation for soothing nightmares and keeping the monsters away.
A consciousness of gentleness, of protection, and a well-ordered, good night's sleep is part of the legacy I'm grateful to have recieved from my fore-mothers. This quiet gift of grace is a given from mothers and fathers many places all over the globe. In other locations, it is not. I do not take the gift of my birth luck for granted. Tonight, in my now -familiar mid- life state of insommnia, I'm celebrating this aspect of motherhood. A toolbox of lullabyes, backrubs, poems before sleep and even pictures to fall asleep and wake up to that remind me that I'm watched over and all is well. Happy Belated Mother's Day!
BLR for the Poplar Grove Muse