On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of my mother’s death, I find myself longing to reconnect not only with my own mother but with the very idea of mother. Not just at home but in Cuba, where the maternal presence I long for takes the shape of Our Lady of Charity, patron saint and mother to an entire island.
There was a time when Sky and Earth were one. The world shaped like a gourd, its upper and lower halves still holding snugly to the other. One could simply lift one’s palm and brush the heavens. This was before Sky withdrew from Earth, the two worlds retreating to separate borders. On the one side aye, the tangible world of the living. On the other orin, the spiritual realm of gods and ancestors. Between them a scrim so thin one could almost still touch the other side.
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