Annual Mother's Day Zinnia Garden
Each May family members gather here at the farm to plant a zinnia garden in memory of my mom Irene Stewart Whisenant. Mom loved zinnias and nurtured a few plants in the small patch of yard between the neighbor's fence and her driveway. While my sister, daughter and grandgirls aim to plant on Mother's Day, experience has taught us that Mother Nature has her own calendar. Now we align with nature's calendar, taking into consideration weather conditions and soil temperature, and follow her lead, planting rows of tiny seeds.
My mother was a colorful character. A woman I couldn't fully appreciate growing up or growing older until my Qigong teacher Grand Master Nan Lu helped me connect to the wisdom of my lineage.
Coming Full Circle: For the past many months at Tao of Morning Qigong class, Master Lu has been teaching us the power of the circle. Under his guidance and during my personal daily practice, I've made thousands. Right arm. Left arm. Clockwise. Counterclockwise. As I've circled back to my childhood memories of Mom, and memories of growing up with Irene ~ "don't ever call me Mommy" ~ I began see past her quirks, sarcasm and addictions. She was a strong, independent woman. As a single mother she raised us three kids, instilled a work ethic and nurtured my creativity with gifts of a camera, paint by number canvases, a dairy, potholder looms and loops. For sure she was strict about table manners ~ "You never know when you'll be invited to the White House" (LOL) ~ keep those elbows off the table. For sure I couldn't wait to get out of the house. Off to college and I didn't look back. Until I started making circles in my Qigong practice.
Each vibrant zinnia bloom inspires me to connect to Mom's colorful personality. I wish she hadn't died so young, and that I could tell her to her face that I love her and honor all she did for us kids. Plus I want to thank her for having a boyfriend who loved to garden. Hear that, Waltie? I know your energy is reflected in this flower garden, too. And as Master Lu has suggested, it's not too late to let them know.