May 9, 2010

The mother was standing at the side of a country road on the highlands of Madagascar, her baby snuggled on her back. She was selling wild flowers and a few oranges, tomatoes, rice and this special kind of spinach they grow there, “brèdes” (a French name I found no translation for).I stopped and asked to buy the flowers and some tomatoes. I never tasted again such sweet tomatoes. The lady was shy, her baby curious and serious. They both looked so  beautiful and in harmony, I asked her could I take a picture, please. The taxidriver translated this for me, she agreed with a half smile. Then a rapid conversation went on between the mother and the driver. I was to give the picture to her later. She never had had a picture of her and her baby. I did drive to this area again some weeks later,  stopped in the curve and climbed a steep earth track to a hamlet of red houses. They were  of the same colour of the soil, as if they had grown out of it. By the time I arrived,  I was surrounded with children who screamed of excitement and brought mothers out of their homes. The shy lady was there, she embraced me gently and looked,  and looked again at the picture, hardly believing it was her and her baby ! Emotion and laughter and… more demands for pictures 😉

I took more pictures (with my precious Nikkormat!) and for some unfortunate reason, they were lost at the photographer’s in town. The mother and her child is the only one I still have of this episode. The village I went to looked very much like this one. This tapestry (cross-stitching with local wool on the lining of a well-worn carpet I was going to throw away !)  is a unique gift I received from a dear friend as I left Madagascar.

So, these are my thoughts and good wishes for all mothers today, we celebrate their special day. Happy Mother’s Day to each and everyone of you ! A loving thought also for all mothers who will not celebrate with us but who stay in our heart forever.

Des mots d’enfants, kids sayingsand others’ who were kids too 🙂

“When mom is tired, why do I have to go to bed “?

“For the others, my mom may not be the most beautiful, but when one looks at her with My eyes, she is the prettiest”.

“A mother who tucks you in bed leaves behind a scent of sleep”
(Jean Gastaldi)

“Mothers always forgive; this is why they were born”.
(Alexandre Dumas)

“A mother’s love is like air : so obvious that one does not even notice it. Until one misses it”.
(Pam Brown)

17 Responses to “Mothers”

  1. giiid said

    This is a beautiful post, Isa, I was touched by almost everything you wrote. I was so glad to know that you came back to give the woman her first portrait. Such different conditions we are living under, around the world…
    You must have been quite a globetrotter back then,- maybe you still are?
    I am so glad to read about your wish for every mother, also those who are missing in our daily life.
    Hopefully you have had a happy mothers day!

    • Thank you for your warm comments, giiid. I am glad to hear you enjoyed this post. Yes, I did travel quite a lot back then, not as much now but my memory is full of such moments that I may share now and then.

  2. Gerry said

    Such perfect images for mothers day, Isa. As I drop by my favorite blog neighbors today I’m astonished at the range of memories the day evokes. Maybe that’s the best reason for any holiday–to give us a starting place for our precious stories. Thank you for sharing yours.

    • Hello Gerry, Mothers’ Day like other holiday has become a bit too “commercial” over here but as you rightly say it might be the time for reflecting on what those special days evoke to us ? thank you for stopping by.

  3. What an amazing story, Isa! How long ago was this? What an impact you had on that mother and, in essence, that village. Such lovely sentiments and photos, reminding us all just how lucky we are.

    Blessings! 🙂

    • Thanks for your comments, Tracy. This was about 20 years ago and yet those moments are still vivid in my memory, the real joy of this mother touched me deeply. Her astonishment as her eyes went from her child to the picture and back… Just wonderful !

  4. iniyaal said

    Nice of you to search the mother and give her the photo. Btw, the picture looks quiant and sweet. A peaceful smile with an innocent baby slung on her back. It is a good picture to bring out the essence of mother’s day.

  5. it says so much of you that you honored her by returning with the photo. Thank you for sharing this lovely post and photograph. I hope your day was wonderful.

    • Hello Tammy ! Bringing back the picture to this mother was the least I could do. I am shy photographing people and she accepted so simply and naturally that I just had to give her a gift. My day was wonderful ! We celebrated it with the whole family, three generations around a delicious meal 🙂

  6. truels said

    Your story about the mother is a good illustration of the different worlds we live on this planet. I have never been to Africa (yet – hope I will some day), but visiting many other poor countries around the world I have been overwhelmed by the smiles, hospitality and friendship among the people I met.
    When did you visit Africa?

    • truels, I really hope you will be able to go to Africa some day and see other aspects of this wonderful continent as the media too often show us. Hospitality, smiles and friendship are well chosen words for all I experienced. I lived in Africa for several years, Central Africa and Madagascar.

  7. ancientcloth said

    What a lovely tribute to mothers and what a beautiful picture of the mother and her child. How special that you were able to give the mother a picture of her and her child. 🙂

  8. Kathy said

    Coming to this late, Isa, but this really is a wonderful story. What a lovely woman and child. How special that you gave her the photo and came back and that a sense of relationship developed from your encounter. I hope you had a good Mother’s Day, as well…

  9. Deanna said

    I loved reading this post. I’m so glad you went back to give her the special image though sorry the others got lost : – (

  10. pearlz said

    Such a beautiful story and post, I hope you will be back to blog again soon. It’s very special when people agree to be photographed like this.

  11. Thanks Deanna and pearlz, sorry for the delay in replying to your warm comments. This particular photo brings back lots of memories of people, places, experiences and this sweet lady is certainly one I cherish.

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