As some of you know, my relationship with my mother in my current life has been a fraught one, but it seems to be on the mend of late.
Yesterday, while looking for a sofa in a store that sold both used furniture and antiques, she came across an 1929 edition of “A Child’s Garden of Verses” and showed it to me. She told me it was one of her favorite books as a child and opened it to a poem called “The Swing”:
How do you like to go up in a swing,
Up in the air so blue?
Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing
Ever a child can do!
Up in the air and over the wall,
Till I can see so wide,
River and trees and cattle and all
Over the countryside–
Till I look down on the garden green,
Down on the roof so brown–
Up in the air I go flying again,
Up in the air and down!
She read it aloud and I felt myself choking back tears though I never let her see it. I knew I had heard this before… I knew this wasn’t the first time I had a mother read that aloud to me though I know this wasn’t a book Mom read to me as a child. I had the most powerful sense that I had heard that poem as a child in the 1880s.
I looked up the date of the initial publication of “A Child’s Garden of Verses.” It was initially released under the name “Penny Whistles” in 1885.
I already had a similar sense about the song “Lavender’s Blue,” which I cried when I heard as a child in this life much to my mother’s confusion… she was the one who played that song too.
I now have the most eerie feeling that I have the same mother in this life and the fraught relationship we have has something to do with the first time I lost her… and I’m beside myself emotionally. She doesn’t remember and looks nothing like the fair-skinned, strawberry blonde woman I remember, and she thinks I’m a bit insane for even thinking I had lived in those days, but I don’t care… I’m just happy that I still have a chance to nurture that relationship and that we’ve opened a path to reconciliation after such a very long time.