I often think of days as unfolding like flowers. When I awaken it is still a tight bud. I get ready and walk my dogs and the petals begin to unfurl. There are birds as we walk. The hawk warns me away from atop the tree on my left, the woodpecker, rapping insistently, unseen, on a tree on my right.

I am standing in a wide field, with birds all around. The petals are opening up, spreading to the sunlight. A butterfly gently taps my arm, and then withdraws. The dogs ramble.

We give titles to some of these days, and bow down, to mothers, to fathers, to patriotism, to memory.

This day has been designated for mothers, and I am torn. My mother is long gone. My children are grown, living their own full lives. They called me today, and I’m glad. Any day I talk to them is a good day,

If I were honest, I would rather be celebrated on their birthdays, or on mine. Today feels arbitrary. It has no relation to me, to the flowers that brighten my life, to the hours that slowly tick by, each bright in its own way, each special, each full of potential.

I have no interest in being feted today. I want to know that I am loved every day and want to know that I am capable of love every day. I want to remember that my mother gave me gifts both good and bad, as I have probably done to my own daughters.

It is early afternoon and I have helped bury a beloved husband, father, and grandfather. All four of his children and their spouses were there, holding their grieving mother closely. The flower that is today is fully open and wilting a bit in the heat. I hurry home to turn on the fan and bask in coolness.

It is evening, though not yet cool. Summer is nearly here. The petals of the flower that was today are shut tight, holding their secrets close. Night beckons. Mother’s Day has faded away.