Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year. Daylight hours here in Saskatoon = 7 hours 43 minutes. In other years my mother would be making glutinous rice ball soup. She made two kinds – one with a sweet sauce and one with a savory soup of vegetables, meat and spices. I prefer the latter. It’s a process. It’s another thing she has given up with advancing age and declining health. I have made the effort once. It turned out not bad. I should make it every year as the Chinese do celebrate Winter Solstice. It would have been a comforting thing on a gloomy day. I would be carrying on my mother’s tradition. I can still do it on another day.

More and more, I find myself becoming my mother. I hear her voice and laugh in mine. Sometimes when I am moving, I feel as I am her. Maybe those traits were always in me but I’m just recognizing and acknowledging them now. I don’t know any young woman who would want to be their mother. I remember having many mother/daughter disagreements and fights. I was reading books like My Mother/Myself by Nancy Friday. I wish I still have that copy but I’ve tossed it thinking I’m done. I was wrong. A daughter is never done with mother/daughter relationships. Great that I found it in the library system and have requested it. It will be interesting reading from my now vantage point.

We have no more fiery encounters. We have both mellowed and respect each other’s abilities and individual rights. She can no more order me around than I could order her. Equals at last. She still like to tell me that I am sloppy and bad tempered like my father. Also that she can still clean better than me. That is true. But she’s also said that my sticky rice was pretty good and that I am making pretty good art.

It’s all good at this stage in our lives. Those difficult days of struggling to make a living are behind us. We have reached Gold Mountain at last. We have climbed its slippery slopes and reached the Promised Land. We are living our best parts. Happy Winter Solstice!


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