Thursday, May 05, 2011

Three Beautiful Things Thursday

Driving through Andalusia nearly two years ago on a scorching hot summer day we passed a sunflower field eviscerated by the sun; heads down, leaves gone, their little bodies brown instead of the brilliant yellow I love. Every last sunflower dead. Except one. One sunflower in a sea of thousands, alive and bright, its head up and facing the world despite the odds.

The next month two lines told me life might change forever. It was the might of my topsy turvy pregnancy that filled me with worry. I won't pretend I achieved any sort of zen, it was 280 days of worry because nothing is certain until it is. But this picture? The memory of this sunflower, centered me. It gave me a measure of peace. It was my symbol for hope. Each time I saw it I thought of my own little sunflower growing inside me, remembering that with Him all things are possible.

 Waleed turns one Saturday. Time no longer meanders as it did when I was pregnant, instead I've boarded a bullet train and it shows no sign of slowing. And this past week I began feeling a bit melancholy until my friend Saba called, asking to meet up before Waleed's birthday. I brought you something, she said when I saw her today, and pulled out a gift-bag. No need for gifts, I began with a smile and a protest until I looked inside:
A dozen hand-made sunflower cupcakes with the ladybugs that land on my son each chance they get. They're for you, she said with a smile. It's mother's day weekend and you're a great mother.  I stared at these sunflowers. Here, not to center me. Not to stave off fear. But sunflower cupcakes from a dear friend. I tried to explain to her what this gift meant to me, but the words got stuck in my throat. How can I articulate what it means to look at these sweet sunflowers for a child I called Sunflower until they placed him in my arms? It's when I realized: I've come full circle. My dream came true.

As gifts from friends afar perch themselves on my doorstep and I hold these cupcakes made with love from a dear friend, I feel the melancholy vanish like powder in a stream. My son is growing up yes, but my son is growing up. I'm so lucky to see him bloom before my eyes. [And Saba  needs to start a cupcake shop, or a baking blog, don't you agree?]

This was my three beautiful things Thursday but I'm sure you counted well more than three. Hope you had a beautiful Thursday too.

20 comments:

Leslie said...

Beautiful indeed. (I have a special place in my heart for sunflowers, too.) Happy Mother's Day and best wishes for this next year with Waleed.

Aisha said...

There's just something about those flowers aren't there Leslie?? Thanks for your comment and your kind words! :)

Anonymous said...

I <3 this

Banshee said...

<3

I'm misty eyed reading this...very beautiful :)

kmina said...

Oh, that is just incredible! The cupcakes are lovely.
Happy birthday to Waleed tomorrow! How time flies...


BTW, I nominated you for two awards. Go pick them up on my blog, when you have the time.

Sprogblogger said...

A gorgeous post. - and lovely yummy-looking, (but almost too pretty to eat!) cupcakes!

Aisha said...

Anon, Banshee, thank you so much :))

Kmina, thanks for the birthday wishes! Thanks for the awards! Will check them out! Am going to be buckling under the weight of many guests coming in to town so it might be at the end of the weekend, but thank you :)))

Susan, thank you :) And yes, too pretty to eat is righT!

Anonymous said...

cute!!!

Tracy said...

I almost started crying so I can only imagine how you felt. I second Saba's sweet sentiment - what a good friend to make such a symbolic gift - cupcakes, sunflowers and ladybugs all at once :)

Happy birthday, Waleed ... he is a lucky boy to be born to you as much as you are a lucky mother.

Anonymous said...

Wow... I am speechless. What a beautiful post! I knew sunflowers held special meaning for you, but I had no idea how much! Thanks for letting be a part of this special time for you :). Do you think I should have added a mint flavor to the green icing?

Love, Saba

Ashley Graham said...

Those are gorgeous cupcakes! And what a heart-warming story for Mother's Day. You nearly brought tears to my eyes, Aisha! I'm so glad your pregnancy turned out to be a positive experience rather than a negative one, and that your son is alive and well today! Happy Mother's Day!

P.S. What a great friend you have in that person! Don't ever lose her! =)

Cecily said...

this, this right here, is my favorite Mother's Day post this year. Love.

Aisha said...

Anon, thanks :)

Tracy, its so perfect isn't it? Thank you so much for reminding me he's luckyt o have to me too. That gave me a big smile on my face. Happy Mother's day to you too!

Saba, Aw thanks so much for making them!!! And as for mint flavoring, um, that would require me to eat them, and um, they're kind of tooooo pretty to touch, lol!! I will let ou know once we bring up the nerve to bite in :)

Ashley, Aren't they beautiful?? Thanks so much for your kind words about the post, and yes I'm lucky to have a friend like Saba. Definitely want to hang on to that friendship :)

Cecily, I am SO honored that you loved my post. As a long time reader of your post it means the world. Thanks for your comment and kind words :)

Anonymous said...

awww. That did make me cry. I had a really crappy day and that brightened it right up. Such love from your friend. Happy Mothers day!

rickshawdiaries said...

What a moving post. And what a beautiful friend you have in Saba.

Let the sunflower petals in your heart unfold and follow the sun - it's shining blessings down on you every minute.

Love you, mama!

Aisha said...

Thanks Anon! I'm sorry your'e having a crappy day, if my post did anything to lift your spirits, I'm glad! Thanks for your comment.

Baraka, thanks so much, she is a beautiful friend ahamdullilah. Love you too!!!!!

Anonymous said...

What beautiful cup cakes...
And yeah, happy mothers day!
Cheers,
A.

Fruitful Fusion said...

I LOVED this post!!!

Aisha said...

A, thank you so much. I got an e-mail that made me bawl. From you :) Will reply to it when I get the first opportunity! Love!

Fruitful, thank you :)))

em said...

this is a beautiful and touching post. i'm all smiles and warm, hopeful feelings after reading it :-)

i wanted to share this poem by mary oliver with you:

BY THE WILD-HAIRED CORN

I don’t know
if the sunflowers
are angels always,
but surely sometimes.

Who, even in heaven,
wouldn’t want to wear,
for awhile,
such a seed-face

and brave spine,
a coat of leaves
with so many pockets—
and who wouldn’t want

to stand, for a summer day,
in the hot fields,
in the lonely country
of the wild-haired corn?

This much I know,
when I see the bright
stars of their faces,
when I’m strolling nearby,

I grow soft in my speech,
and soft in my thoughts,
and I remember how everything will be everything else,
by and by.

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