from the social media files
of children's author and educator
Barbara Jean Hicks,
When holidays roll around, I usually share a poem that relates to it. Sunday is Mother's Day. Before I started looking for a piece for today's blog post, I read something written by my colleague and Facebook friend, children's author and illustrator Nina Laden, and it moved me so much that I decided I wanted to share it instead of a poem. I hope it moves you as it did me.
Nina lives in the great Pacific Northwest, which I am soon to call my permanent home. She is the author/illustrator of 15 picture books, including such great titles as The Night I Followed the Dog, Private I. Guana, When Pigasso Met Mootisse, Peek-A-Who?, Roberto the Insect Architect, An Ant's Day Off, and her most recent, Button Nose.
Nina's mother died when Nina was only 24. One of the things she left her daughter was a library of books, complete with handwritten notes. Recently Nina came across a letter her mom had written her and stuffed in a book of Walt Whitman's poetry. It's a wonderful love letter from a mom to her daughter, and Nina has kindly given me permission to share it. I hope you'll visit Nina's blog and read the entire post. It's lovely! And it's no wonder that Nina is a writer and artist.
I send you flowers- poems- & love- the sweetness- the beauty of life- and, all the eye can see- that is the fulfillment of living- to see- & to express it- & to become part of it- without doing- it is there- you do not have to "pick it"- "take it!"- "record it!"- it is there- it will always be there for you- as long as you are!- It is my gift to you- you wear it well, my beautiful daughter-
I never expected you- I have never expected anything- really in life- I did not anticipate who you would be- you are far more wondrous to me- then I could imagine- if I had imagined-
In time you will meet- what people can be- you have already- to a degree- in both directions-
You are magnificent- and I am fortunate- you couldn't be anyone else- never stop writing- a small poem will do- or, drawing- a small one will do- or, thinking- a small thought will do- but your's is yours- & no one can say it that way- it is your wonderment- the ugly- the cynic- will always draw the crowd- the ability to break down- to destroy appears to the many- to the big- to the popular- but the other grows in a corner- out of sight- small & very beautiful- all encompassing with the heart & mind!
The softness of a petal of a flower- you are! Happy spring!