I have a strong affinity for old family photographs, particularly from times when I wasn't around or when I was too young to remember anything anyway. One frozen moment says a thousand different things. My particular favorite is a photograph of my mother holding me while I was still barely a year old. We're both looking up at something just out of right-hand side of the frame. Both of our faces are plastered with the most excited, joyful, wondrous smiles that light up the rest of the photograph.
We're staring at the living room fan, slowly spinning around and around, distributing a lazy, cool breeze around the room. My mom says I would stare at that fan for hours, hypnotized. She loved to hold me under the fan, watch my face, and rock back and forth while she sang "Horses" by Rickie Lee Jones.
I've thought about that picture and about that fan for most of my life. Tonight, I've come to the conclusion that this picture is a definitive representation of the strength, love, and natural dedication that my mother has shown in the twenty five years that she's been there for me. Of the countless times that I looked up at that fan, spinning in circles again and again, she never failed to match my enthusiasm and excitement for something others might consider so banal. She greeted that fan with the same wonder that my little baby brain did.
She has shown that same devotion and wonder and love in every other part of my life. Anytime I seek out a new goal, a new dream, a new chapter in life, she is standing there beside me, sometimes literally, sometimes spiritually, looking on in purely genuine wonder, excitement, and optimism, encouraging me to go on and push further. Life has gotten a lot more uncertain and dark since the days of watching spinning fan blades. A lot of times the idea of throwing in the towel is the most appealing thing I can think of, but my mother's unending encouragement keeps me going. Pure and completely real positivity is hard to find in this world. On this day, and in every day, I am utterly grateful for my mother keeping that ideal alive and shining bright.
Happy Mother's Day and here is to more years of spinning fan blades that never lose their allure.