Mother’s Touch

Mother’s Day. Each year it rolls around, and each year I fail to find words.

I left home too young for my Mother’s liking. Living apart in more ways than geography, we can probably count on one hand the number of Mother’s Days we’ve spent together since then.

But as I look back, there are countless moments in between we’ve shared. Working, side-by-side, for the good of one or all the family.

My favourite memories are those with our hands in the dough, when as a child she taught me the almost lost art of baking bread.

A ritual she no doubt shared with her own mother, and so on, back through generations past…MothersTouchGen


We’re born looking up to you –
To Her.
We grow up
We out grow.
And as the kink in our gaze
Shifts gear
We see crossways and
Sideways and
Every other which way
Except the one
Where we see
Eye to eye. 

And yet we know
That underneath the
Not looking and the
Not seeing
Is the part where we join hands.
Her hands. 

There’s a story etched there
Silent as the years that pass
Deep as the affection flows.
A job worth doing is
Worth doing over and over
Like a well worked dough
Kneaded and needed
Less for what it is than
For what it represents.

Love is a doing word.
Passed through
Not down
One generation to the next.
Where would we be
Without our Mother’s touch?

Wishing all the mums out there a special day of pampering!

Do you have a favourite childhood memory of your mother’s hands?


  1. says

    Oh Alarna. What beautiful tender words. Sometimes we absorb more than we can ever imagine from our loved ones that aren’t close to us but whom we still hold dear. What a tribute to that. Your family pictures bring up the best of memories. Do you still make bread? 🙂

    • says

      Sadly, no, I don’t! I often wonder what it would be like to bake bread in my kitchen, though…we used to have a wood stove, so the experience was altogether different. My aunt has been handing me some of the history, recently, and I think I’ve stumbled onto Grandma’s old recipe. Maybe it’s time to give it a go? 🙂

  2. says

    Oh Alarna, such beautiful words… You, know, you brought back a memory of me and my mother deciding to do Lebanese pizzas and bread late at night when everyone was sleeping in the house. This is a moment I think I will never forget.

  3. sherinsk says

    nice mothers are special.alarna i don’t know whether i am disturbing you.i wrote a story today

  4. says

    Some moments and times, should never fade with age. Sometimes one misses and wonders, as the years race by in a storm. I’ve a tendency for damper, have never tried turning out bread, but plenty of other great foods though. 🙂 Top poem Alarna, passing knowledge on, a wonderful gift.

      • says

        Damper’s not all that difficult, have a try. Hot coals (hot rocks too, the ones that don’t explode) rather than a roaring campfire makes best for such cooking. If you ever get up this way on any new travels 🙂

  5. says

    Such a beautiful poem and thanks for sharing the lovely family photos. I remember my Mum trying to teach me to knit, but I was never any good!

  6. says

    Beautiful poem!!!

    I too haven’t lived near my mom for about 20 years now. Something she reminds me of frequently. I try to visit yearly and as I’ve gotten older, I’ve tried to make sure the time we do spend together is filled with all the precious moments we can squeeze in!

    • says

      There are many other days in the year to celebrate our mothers. The weird thing is, sometimes in hindsight, it’s the littlest things that make the best memories! I’m sure she knows she’s loved 🙂

  7. says

    I am definitely very thankful for my relationship with my mother — since our communication became more honest and I stopped worrying so much about the possibility of hurting her feelings, I’ve been able to experience genuine love for her in a way I didn’t think was possible when I was so guarded around her. It’s ironic how that has worked out.

  8. says

    What is damper?

    Your poem and memories hit home. I have five siblings, my Mom an extraordinary woman, but reserved. I was the L in the multitude, clamoring for attention. She died suddenly and unexpectedly in 2000, a story unfinished. Seventy years is a good life, and she did NOT want to end her days in a nursing home, but still it was hard. Anyway, one of favorite memories? Her teaching me to make bread. Thanks.

    What an honest and touching tribute to your Mom. Mother’s Day can be tricky, with all the happy Mother-Daughters running around, and media and advertisers pushing the occasion. It’s a relief to find a blog post sharing memories of things that were not perfect, but rich and complex, just like life.

    • says

      Such a lovely comment! Truly delighted to meet you 🙂

      Damper is a crude form of bread cooked around the campfire. I think it started out as flour mixed with water, salt and, if you’re lucky, baking soda. Something that sustained many the weary stockman back in Aussie settler times.

      So sad to hear about your Mum. Mine’s just turned 70, and I think it is an age where we only start to comprehend that our mothers aren’t going to be around forever. Not an age where we are ready to say goodbye. If you have that memory, it is a special one! I’m glad we share it 🙂

      Perhaps for some life is more straightforward. But my mother will attest to the fact it is always more complex with me! I was the y on the end of a modest family…asking why, why, why. Some things never change 🙂

  9. says

    I don’t even know what to say about that beautiful poem. I am speechless – which is so rare for me. 🙂 I just followed you on Twitter and am re-tweeting this one. 🙂

  10. says

    This was so moving, Alarna. I relate to living away from mom, but also having these experiences of coming together and working side by side. Her hands . . . I will have to think about that. For one thing, she told me I should start putting sunblock on them, which I probably should have started doing over a decade ago!

    • says

      Wise and practical words from your mother! In fact, you just reminded me of a memory involving my mum’s hands, my sister’s badly sunburnt legs, and a terrible car accident we had. She probably wouldn’t thank me for telling that story! 🙂

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