I sat down to meditate in the dark this morning.
Before I got settled in, I decided I wanted to sit with and hold my jade elephant, a 4 lb beauty that I had to purchase after I broke it’s tusk in the store. Though Mr. Elephant is not my initial choice, it’s grown on me over time.
Anyway, I shuffled over to my dresser, careful not to trip of everything conveniently sprawled in front of it, and in the dim dawn light, my eyes sought out Mr. Elephant.
He was not there.
I squinted and felt around for his smooth bulky weight.
I know I lose things relatively easily but I knew I didn’t lose him.
I opened the door and, as expected, my mom was already up.
“Mom, where’s the elephant?”
“… What?” There was hesitation, expressing guilt to me.
“The elephant. Where’s the elephant?”
I knew I didn’t have to elaborate. I could feel a sense of impatience rise.
“Oh… it’s over there.”
“Can I get it?”
“… You need it right now? Why? It’s bad…”
“Yes, please give it back.”
She got up and went outside to the balcony. I first stayed where I was, but I was curious where she had hidden it.
From the continuous rustling of plastic, it sounded like Mr. Elephant had been suffocating in plastic bags for I don’t know how long.
She handed it back to me and hesitatingly, she offered to wash it.
I took it into my hand and could feel even by initial touch, that it was thinly layered with dust and dirt.
“No, it’s fine. I’ll wash it.”
She offered again, timidly.
“No, I got it. Thanks.”
I could feel her guilt and worry intertwine, leaving her quiet and subdued.
Debating about certain things in the open, having a conversation about differences in beliefs, ideology, theology is one thing.
Secretly removing another’s possession is something else.
And yet, I felt nothing.
Anger would have been the normal course.
Anger and frustration at my desire and beliefs being disrespected.
Indignation for the lack of privacy and honor for me and my things.
And yet, I felt nothing.
In this vastness of nothing, I could see very clearly my mother’s love.
The love that struggled to embrace yet be true to herself.
The love that yearned for a beautiful, fulfilling, complete, whole life for me, though a life that looked good only to her.
And beyond that,
I could see how deep her love was.
So deep, so true, that the fear of anything outside of it was unbearable.
Unbearable enough to take Mr. Elephant and exile him.
Because that would give her some peace, some release, knowing she had done her part to protect me, my consciousness, faith, heart, and soul from evil, unworthy things.
I quietly washed Mr. E in the sink, dried him, and set him down.
She looked at me from under her hooded eyes, guilty and perhaps even ashamed.
She said, “Are you upset with me?”
“No, I’m not.”
And that was it.
I had nothing more to say.
Nothing to defend, nothing to protect, nothing to expound on, nothing to justify, nothing. more. to. say.
I didn’t feel closed to her.
I didn’t feel annoyed.
Didn’t feel anything.
Except the extent of her love, her mother’s love, faithful in her own way.
And I was grateful and I received.
As for Mr. E – I had no idea how long you were out there. My bad.