While my pretty one sleeps

I’m reposting the love letter I wrote for my mother on this eleventh anniversary of her birth into heaven. She’s the brightest star in my firmament, and my love for her is endless as the sky.

My Path with Stars Bestrewn

0020_Momma A portrait of Momma, painted in 1960 by Shirley Heysinger.

When I was a child, Momma used to sing to me. As sunset petaled the evening sky, she’d gather me in her arms and rock me in my small bedroom with its dormer window and sing Tennyson’s “Sweet and Low” before tucking me into bed. Nestled close to her heart, I loved to feel her calmly inhale before she’d croon the familiar words:

Sweet and low, sweet and low,
Wind of the western sea,
Low, low, breathe and blow,
Wind of the western sea!
Over the rolling waters go,
Come from the dying moon and blow,
Blow him again to me;
While my little one, while my pretty one sleeps.

Music and poetry were my nighttime coverlet, and my gentle mother filled my waking hours with beauty. When I was small, she’d recite for me the poetry of Robert Louis Stevenson…

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2 thoughts on “While my pretty one sleeps

  1. i read this just before i tumbled into bed, and it blanketed me, and lulled me, as if a lullaby. i heard your mother’s soft breathing, felt my head resting against the soft bosom. i imagined “the faraway place” in your mama’s eyes. and i was washed over in the gift of gifts your mama gave you: a lifelong lens trained on the beautiful.

    you are so deeply your gentle mother’s daughter. bless you. heart and soul……

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