Sunday, May 04, 2014

April Moon 14; Day 14 Comfort


What feelings does this word evoke? What sorts of memories does it recall? Which of your senses start to tingle? How would you represent what this word means to you? 

Comfort: anything that makes you feel better about your immediate circumstances, be they physical, emotional, mental. Comfort is what mamas do to their children when they're crying or have an owie, even when the child is also an adult. Unless your mama was a real piece of work, we long for our mothers when we are sad, hurt, sick, alone. Even when mama really can't do much, just hearing the soft 'there, there,' has a calming effect -- and while friends and loved ones can help, nothing substitutes for your mama.

These days I have to imagine my mama's words, her arms around me, and yes, I can vividly remember the last time: it was not long before she died, and she was so fragile and tiny, sitting in her lift  recliner in the nursing home. I sat on the floor in front of her and put my head in her lap and my arms reaching around her hips, and she stroked my hair and just loved on me. I don't remember what ... or even if ... I had said, but I knew I needed that. We both knew her time was coming to a close.

When I call my angels to me to help me through a rough situation, I think one of them must be my mother. They don't have faces or distinguishable features or voices, really, but there is a presence that is very real, and it is comforting and strengthening. I feel softness -- feathers, perhaps? -- near me, but calm strength mostly.

Certain foods can be comfort too -- tuna noodle casserole or biscuits and honey are completely comfort food to me. Mashed potatoes (which I almost never fix) is another, and tapioca pudding. Some days just the smell of coffee and bacon and toast in the kitchen evokes those childhood days when I would wake to those smells and find my daddy cooking breakfast in the kitchen while Mother was getting ready for the day.

Taking naps wrapped in a favorite afghan is a comforting feeling, especially on Sunday afternoons, the window shades pulled and the room darkened, and add in two sleepy cats and a loving spouse, and it doesn't get much better.

We all need something to comfort us sometimes, no matter our age. And we should not feel self-conscious about asking for what we need, doing for ourselves what will help us. This is a long journey, if we are blessed, and we do need to pay attention to what our mind and body is telling us that we need.

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