A thousand times I’ve thought about this post; a hundred times I’ve tried to write it. I have had difficulty finding the words is the issue, my thoughts centering on an emotion I can’t seem to describe.
And then late last week as I was on a walk and listening to an audiobook, I was struck by a passage in the tiny read Seven Brief Lessons on Physics. (I know. I know!) I stopped to play it again and again. Cosmology was the general topic of that particular lesson, and as Theoretical Physicist Carlo Rovelli described the science of the heat of a black hole I thought: Yes. There it is, my emotion. Boundless, spaceless, absolutely incomprehensible. Rovelli is far more eloquent on the topic than I, but he writes of a black hole as a celestial formation with so much power it collapses in on itself and concentrates further and further and further until it has reached its strongest essence. Then, it begins to regenerate.
It is the closest I can come to describing the nature of the emotion I feel as the mother of a daughter who is suddenly grown and marrying her love this very weekend. Preparing has been, for both of us, a time of immense joy and celebration. And still there is so much more, such a grand surround that I simply did not expect. I feel my own mother with every moment, every choice, every laugh and worry and decision made. She is in and around and with me, more so than at any time since her death in 2013. I think of my own lovely wedding to Eliza’s dad all those years ago, how my mother was the force behind it all, how the love and gratitude I feel toward her now for all she did then holds its own boundlessness, its own spaceless energy. How marvelous it is, I realize, that in this life, the vision of a mother reshapes in her daughter with the distance and perspective of time. With space. Time and space.
As to my daughter. She is far more thoughtful and sophisticated and grounded than I was at her age, and I stand in awe of the grace and strength with which she has moved through the past few months. She has held hard to joy and to love while facing heartbreaking loss, something that has been too much for either of us to fully process, much less articulate. We will hold that for another day.
For now I’ll simply suggest there is a force equally as profound as quantum mechanics or the theory of relativity or the complex architecture of the universe. It is the throughline that connects mothers and daughters, generation to generation to generation.
It is the force, my friends, that holds this world together.
*The little book, which I highly recommend, is Seven Brief Lessons on Physics by Theoretical Physicist Carlo Rovelli