Monday, May 14, 2012

Greener Grass

Mother’s Day got me thinking about the mother I had, as opposed to the mother I wished I had. It got me thinking about both my parents, and a childhood I often wished I could re-write or revise like a story.

From my childhood in Jerusalem I remember Sabbath/Saturday mornings at my secular parents’ home as the day they slept late. When my mother got up she made “French toast,” back then a real oddity in Israel. Then my parents would put an opera on the turn-table, sit with the libretto, and with only a small break for lunch, get through all four or five LPs.

 I sometimes followed the story and music with them. My father would act it out and make it more vivid. Other times I would stare out the window, and see other families going to and returning from synagogue.

 Since I didn’t go to synagogue until I was much older, (and snuck by myself) those early images of families going to and returning from were a source of longing for the “normal” family I didn’t have. What happened in synagogue was shrouded in mystery for me.

Years later my best friend, whose parents did go to synagogue, told me that she envied me my intellectual and unconventional parents.

 I think the longing “for something” is universal, and so it manifests as wishing for what you don’t have.

The grass may be another color, not just greener. Any color but your own.

This Mothers' day I awoke to a new resolve to appreciate, if only for moments a day, the grass just as it grows where I am.


  1. Good advice for us all.... :)

  2. Good food for thought...personally I'd love to find some orange grass to roll around in. I don't know just sounds like it would be fun.

    1. If we are playing colors, I pick turquoise...

  3. I enjoyed reading this memory. Yes, there is always a longing, isn't there?

  4. That is such a lovely memory. My grandfather grew up in Jerusalem. I went there as a child but the place he grew up was bombed. But I know he had many great memories there. Happy Mother's Day!

  5. Very true! And that picture with the cows is priceless. :)

  6. Great post. I love your final sentence. Things can change on us so quickly, and we look back and wish we had appreciated what we had. I like the way you put it "if only for moments a day." Because that's really all it takes, isn't it, for us to realize how much we have to be grateful for. Then those few moments can change our attitude for the whole day.

  7. I love your post, Mirka. Thank you for reminding me to be aware and appreciate the good things I have. I'm sending hugs to the little girl in you who was longing for something different.
    Longing for something can sometimes be good, of course, if it provides the motivation to change something for the better. But that's where the prayer--"Lord, help me to change the things I can, to accept the things I can't, and to have the wisdom to know the difference"--is important.

  8. You're right -- the longing for something is universal, and by definition, we long for what we don't have.