December Recollections

22 12 2012

10994157-mistletoe-with-berries-and-tied-with-a-red-ribbon-with-bow-isolated-over-white-backgroundThe shortened days of winter cause me to look back.  My mother’s birthday was in December and there are so many memories that include her.

This year I’ve been thinking about mistletoe.  With the leaves off the trees this parasite of legend¹ is more visible.  In 1974 my parents were back in Fort Worth after their first aborted attempt at ashram life.  The simple, meditative life did not come easily to them.  I was living in a suburb of Philadelphia, 4 or 5 months pregnant, working for lawyers during the day, and at night a friend and I had a small business selling house plants at home parties — the green thumb version of Tupperware.

My mother was bored and had an idea.  She and my father went to one of the local parks and cut mistletoe from the oak trees, put it in a large florist box (about 4 feet long, 2 feet wide and 6 inches deep) and mailed me the mistletoe.  When it arrived, my business partner and I cut it into small pieces, put it in plastic bags, tied them with a colorful ribbon and sold them.  As I remember, we made a small amount of money, perhaps enough to cover the cost of the bags and ribbon, but probably not enough to cover the postage, but we made a lot of people happy.