A Simple Woman

time to eat blog

(Bluebird cuisine)

A friend of mine once called me “a simple person.”  Now, at first I took slight umbrage at that remark.  I’m a little sensitive about the fact that I didn’t go to college and that I lack the sophistication of some of my more worldly friends. But after I thought about it, I realized that he intended it as a compliment.  What he meant was that I’m easily pleased and find a child-like delight in simple and seemingly ordinary things. 

My Mama was like that.  I’ve watched the bluebirds for several weeks now as they nested in the house that Blue Ridge Blue Collar Man built.  And I watched as they cared for those perfect blue eggs and the perfect speckled chicks that hatched from them. I watched as Mama and Papa Bluebird  made endless trips back and forth to feed those hungry babies, their beaks full of fat caterpillars and grubs.  I even got to see two of the chicks when they fledged.  The whole time, I was thinking, Mama would have loved this.

Time for lunch blog

Mama used to spend hours watching the bluebirds from her wheelchair at the window.  She would clap her hands with glee as she watched the bluebird babies and their antics and laugh at the way the fat babies puffed out their chests to look bigger.  By that time, her speech was slurred from the effects of ALS, but I could still understand her as she talked to the baby bluebirds:  Look at you, Mr. Big Stuff.  Yeah, you puff those feathers out! Look at you fly!  Go, baby, go!

Yes, Mama was a simple woman.  And I feel so very blessed that she passed that infinite capacity for joy on to me.  It’s a precious gift indeed she gave me, in this world where so little is simple anymore.  I think about her a lot this time of year and feel anew the ache of loss and regret and sorrow that she never got to know my children and they never knew her.  Mama would be so pleased to see the bluebird pop-ups that Ariel made for me or to hear Benjamin play the music he composed based on the song of the wood thrush.  I like to think that I’ve passed on the gift of being simple to them.   They, too, have that infinite capacity to be awed, that endless capacity for joy.


(Ariel’s bluebird pop-up)

I still miss Mama.  I guess I’ll never stop missing her until the day we are reunited in the better and sweeter life hereafter.  So, if you are celebrating this Mother’s Day with your mom by your side, give her an extra hug for those of us who can’t hug our mamas, whatever the reason.   Take pleasure in her warm touch and the feel of her arms around you, in the crinkles in the corner of her eyes as she smiles at you, and in the way she still reaches up to straighten your collar or smooth your hair.  Because it’s those simple things you’ll remember, those small gestures of affection, those funny little idiosyncrasies that maybe embarrassed you as a teenager.  That’s what you’ll remember.

So…Happy Mother’s Day.  May you know love and happiness.  And may we all know the pleasure of small joys and the contentment and delight of being simple. 

just fledged blog

(Baby bluebird, newly fledged)


20 Responses to “A Simple Woman”

  1. Pat Says:

    This is so lovely, Beth. I hope we’ll be able to enjoy some bluebirds when we finally make it down there.

  2. Beau Says:

    That is wonderfully written, and shared. My mom will be 80 this year, and shares the same delight in Bluebirds… as do I. More importantly I think we share that same endless capacity to find joy in life that you described so well. I think it’s a beautiful gift, one I my son will find in his own life.

  3. eemilla Says:

    I like how our bits of our culture are rejecting the negative connotations of “simple” by slowing down and enjoying food grown with love and good stewardship as well as the other bounties of nature (like dancing bluebirds). Going to hippie music festivals is the best vacation my husband and I can take. Dancing and grooving to the music without worrying about how silly we might look is so great, and then in the morning the birds and light wake you up.

    Happy Mother’s Day to you, and thank you!

  4. clairz Says:

    Beth, this was lovely, as was the post “Mama.” As someone said in the comments for that post, you have an ability to take your readers through a wide range of emotions in a short time.

    This made me think so much about my own mother, gone these 12 years now. I’ve been fixing to write about her and it may be time.

    Ariel’s bluebird pop-up is exquisite! Might you do a post or two (or more) on more of her work?

    Thank you for everything you gift us with through this blog. Have a wonderful Mother’s Day.

  5. Judy Says:

    I think being a simple person and enjoying the simple things in life is one of the best presents anyone could pass on to their children. I got it from my mother, too, Beth and I hope my children got it from me. Just like the old saying about the best things in life being free. My mother has been gone for a long time. My children only saw her a few times and did not really ever know her. I wish you a wonderful Mother’s Day.

  6. june Says:

    Lovely…and moving post Beth. Happy Mothers Day to you…

  7. june Says:

    I meant to ask how far away your bluebird boxes are from your house. Ours are along the fence line and I can never get a close-up shot like these.

  8. blueridgebluecollargirl Says:

    Hi, June. I would say the house is around 25 feet from our front porch. I must confess that this was intentional, so we could sit on our porch and watch the bluebirds! And also so I could take pictures with my point-and-shoot. 🙂 They must not mind our presence too much since we had bluebirds move in the day after we put it up. And they chose it over one we put out in the field much further away. They raised two broods last year and one so far this year.

  9. Sharon Says:

    How lucky you are, Beth, to have had such a mother and to be able to love her so straightforwardly.

  10. Debi Kelly Van Cleave Says:

    Beth, what a beautiful story. And a beautiful mom. I went to the other post about her, “Mama” and I just love that picture of her bending with the camera. I take it that child is you? Your mom died when she was my mother’s age right now–64. But you were so young when you lost her. You’ve got me crying here!


  11. Clara Melvin Says:

    I think being “a simple person” is one of the greatest compliments. I’m right there with you! You Mom must have been a wonderful person and I think you are a chip from her shoulder. You really touched my heart with this post!

  12. jayne Says:

    How very sweet, your memories of your mom. Oh, I’d say she’s there each day as those bluebirds feed, smiling down at the woman and mother you’ve become. :c)

  13. colleen Says:

    I found a tiny blue egg that a baby bird cracked out of. Do you know what kind of egg it might be? Thanks for reminding me to think deeply about my mother.

  14. blueridgebluecollargirl Says:

    Hi, Colleen. I can’t say I know a lot about bird eggs, but I do know that Eastern bluebirds and American robins have blue eggs. And I think that mockingbirds have blue eggs with brown spots. I found part of one today.

  15. Ariel Says:

    What a beautiful baby bluebird! I wish I’d known your mama, but I do feel like I know her through you, and through your sweet, easily-joyed nature. I had a simple, wonderful moment the other day. I was reading a book, eating a Cadbury Cream egg, and watching the shadows of birds, swaying trees, and the window screen billow across my pages, and I thought, “This is such a glorious, perfect little moment of my life. It makes my heart sing!” And I thought of you, and how you might be having a moment like that at the same time.

    Happy Mother’s Day, Mommy. I love your simplicities, your complexities, and everything about you in between. You are the best mommy in the entire world, and I love you dearly and truly.

  16. CountryDew Says:

    Lovely and touching post, Beth. Great shots, too! I am so glad you have bluebirds in your life.

  17. Betsy Says:

    Hi Beth, Well I guess I’m a ‘simple Woman’ also—since I love watching the bluebirds. You have some great pictures of yours. Aren’t they just precious????? Mine should be born about Thursday…. Can’t wait!!!!

    Hope you are having a great week. You all ought to go to Ocean Isle sometime.. It’s truly wonderful!!!!


  18. wesleyjeanne Says:

    I am late in commenting (you know why), but I just wanted to say how you’ve made me cry with your beautiful, beautiful (as always) post.

    I so love your writing, my friend, and I love your “capacity for joy”.

    Oh and Ariel made me cry all over!

  19. Benjamin Says:

    Mommy–I love you and your outlook on life. What hollow joy do we have if we can’t appreciate the simple moments with all the people in our lives and the little gifts that God gives us, the things he sets before our blind eyes, so bright that even the blindest might finally see. Thank you for giving us the simple joys in life and partaking of them with us!

    Ariel–I had a similar moment eating chocolate raisins and reading a good book. Food is great!

  20. Tree Says:

    My grandmother adored flowers, birds, and butterflies. She passed away several years ago, but each time I see a butterfly I have to say, “Hi Memaw!”

    May the memory of your mother live as long as there are bluebirds.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s