Despite feeling raw in my still fresh mourning of my mother’s passing, yesterday, I spotted something uncommonly soothing and strangely inspiring. I felt blessed to capture such a rare sight; an obvious totem. A bizarre beacon, I decided it was a sign because it seemed a fitting gesture from my mother, who always urged me to look beyond the ordinary and appreciate the unique, pervasive and beautiful quality of life itself.
In the several inches of almost ice-rock snow piled high in spots untouched by snow plows or children’s sleds, something outside of my living room / home office window glinted in the late afternoon sun, catching my eye.
It was an icicle.
Sure, in a season like this, we anticipate seeing a plethora of these strong and silent figures. And I expected many more on the eve of yet another winter storm, the likes of which have ravaged the weary Eastern seaboard this year.
But this snow icon was different. It was Dr. Seussian in stature, because this icicle had grown upside down – rather, right side up – ignoring gravity, theories of relativity, or common reason.
It hadn’t adhered itself to anything nor been coaxed by drain pipe nor tree limb to follow any sort of typical growth direction.
On the contrary, this stoic statue brazenly protruded amidst a pile of snow just outside my “magic” window. I call it that because when the late afternoon sun dances through a feng shui crystal and dream catcher, it paints magical rainbow shadows across the ceiling and down the walls in my living room/office.
And today, just beyond my magic window, isolated yet confident, and from no discernible or understandable source, there it stood.
Knowing my mother the way I did – do (it will never feel right to use the past tense when referring to her), I know she influenced this – somehow.
You see what mattered most to Mama was that we, her offspring and those who love her most, carry on. And not just carry on, but do so as the unique individuals each of us has made our soul’s agreement to be.
Mama’s legacy was inspiring others to live their life fully and completely; to not settle, to follow their passion. Where her shyness at times didn’t allow her to stand on many a soap box, she strongly cheered her children and grandchildren on when we did.
Mama was not always able to manifest the dreams she had envisioned for herself. She always wanted to travel more, not be so damned claustrophobic and like many writers (myself included) be better published. But regardless of her perceived or real limitations, Mama was at least stalwart in her approach to life. She nudged throughout my years, and offered at the end of hers: “Shira keep singing. You have a beautiful singing gift.”
And truthfully, I had come up with so many reasons that singing for the sake of singing had been pushed to the side. The need to earn a living as an entrepreneur, a voice over artist, actor, writer, speaker, wellness advocate, spiritual counselor . . . yup, pretty much everything had put my being a chanteuse on the back burner.
Was that Mama’s message in the oddly frozen object, or was she just reviewing the basics? Because it can also be said that in fact, the career I’ve built is based on my core essence – using my voice – albeit across varied genre.
Maybe my voice is that icicle – growing up uniquely, boldly, in a different from expected way. And that’s what is so surprisingly activating about it – still even for me.
I appreciate the concept Mama, that no matter how an icicle grows it’s still built from the same fundamental elements. Whether it shows up as rain, ocean or dew, water is water and so it must flow, be formed into something and ultimately offered back up to Source.
As as true for each snowflake, it is my job to show up in the world, exceptionally, uncommonly and articulately different from any other.
So thank you for the crazy upside down icicle Mama. I think now that I’ve written this blog I will reflect further on it; use it as you taught me, to write a poem, or perhaps as inspiration for lyrics of a new song.