Coffee with Mother Nature
Mother Nature is a tiny woman, small framed with delicate bones, rough weathered skin, stunning ocean-blue eyes and dark wild hair that flows over her shoulders like shimmering water cascading over jagged rocks.
We sit and sip our coffees and peer out over at the lake from the deck of my cottage.
We sit staring out for a few moments until I eventually ask, “How are you?” Her monotone response of “I’m fine” was far too quick.
From one woman to another, I knew she was not.
I glanced over the rim of my steaming coffee and said, “No, I mean truly, how are you?”
With a loud and exasperated sigh she plunked her coffee down on the arm of the chair causing the precious black liquid to ripple towards the edges and then rise above the edge of her mug and slide down the outside creating a ring where it sat. It was with such force that the water in the lake rippled from the edges of the shoreline out towards the middle of the lake where a buoy started to wobble as a result.
I put my cup down gently and stared directly into her eyes. “Go on then, tell me what’s on your mind..”
Mother Nature sucked in her breath so hard that the fallen leaves on the grass flew towards her. When she finally exhaled they spun around through the air then danced and tumbled back towards the lake, landing even further from where they rested earlier.
Her tiny frame slumped in the chair and her head bowed low, her hair
hiding her now sad face. A large tear fell from her eye, slid down her face, rolled off her chin and landed with a silent plop on her floral printed dress. It vanished as quickly as it had landed.
Her response so faint, I had to lean in to listen.
“I am so tired. I am so disappointed in people. I don’t feel respected. I don’t feel as though people listen. They take the beauty of my nature for granted. They mistreat my waters and my forests. I am; caretaker, nurturer, mother of all on this planet. Does no one understand? Do they not know how exhausting it is to grow a one single tree, let alone whole forests? How much energy it takes to encourage seeds to grow and blossom into their full potential? It takes so much time and love to coax the rain to fall in order to cleanse the earth and refresh the ground. It is exhausting to have to remind the seasons when it is their time to get ready to arrive and then again when it is time for their departure.” Her voice trailed off from the long list that was still on her lips.
She took a wobbly breath and continued…
“And then there is Father Time. He is forever knocking on my door wanting to propose. I continually refuse. I must keep him outside. If I were to let him in…I fear the relationship would be devastating to all man and womankind.”
This time her hesitation was so long that I was not sure if she was done. I glanced over with my eyes for fear any more movement would interrupt her train of thought.
I see her hair leaving their cascades on her shoulder and begin rising to form Medusa-
like tendrils towards the sky… then suddenly with a new found level of loudness she confessed…
“I get so riled up. I get more frustrated with each passing day and so overwhelmed that I lash out at who and what I love the most. My gentle winds turn into hurricane forced gales. Mild rain becomes downpours. The warm mid-day sun turns into a scorcher by late afternoon. Quiet falling snow turns into white-out squalls and slow rhythmic waves of water turn into tsunamis. My rage is to demonstrate that I should not be taken for granted and that they need to listen and learn. Perhaps, it’s a bit of an nudge to remind them, I am still here taking watch.”
Her snake-like hair starts to unwind and falls back down slowly to rest once again around her shoulders. Finding her quiet inner voice she continues…
“I am not sure people truly want to learn or listen. I suppose the older I get the less patience I have. However, my love is still as strong as when everything on earth was newly born saplings, scattered seeds and tiny buds. Forever their mother.”
Finally she looks towards me with a face full of guilt with her eyebrows raised slightly wondering what I thought of her words.
I smiled a warm and non-judgemental smile. Poured her another cup of steaming coffee and sat
back in my chair. We both turned our eyes towards the lake once more…
I heard her body exhale in relief and felt her whole body relax.
At that same moment the lake seemed to become more blue, the sky more vivid, the grass more green, and the flowers danced in their beds.
As I took another sip, and glanced at my friend, it was in that moment, I realized even Mother Nature needs to vent once in a while...women need to support women …and when that happens, it’s magical!
Barb Drummond - March 2022
Written in response to a writing prompt from: Kim Duke's gentle writing program.