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Lavender by Mercy Schaffert

Updated: Feb 18, 2022

The best gift I’ve received was attached to a bouquet of dried lavender stalks, tied with twine. The lavender appeared wild and lovely, like something that lived on the moors. The whole room smelled like it. Resting on my vanity, the bouquet looked very purply and nice. The true gift; however, was a note that read: “I love you, and I am proud of you. -Mom.” It was written on brown cardstock in her angular handwriting - encompassing sharp hills and valleys, somewhere between print and cursive. There were no doodles or fanciful language, just an awfully kind sentiment. And I was happy. My heart swelled and swelled and got so big that I was afraid there was no room left for my ribs. I ached at the bigness of it; the collision of elation and contentment, the realization that I was a loved and joyous thing. When one is properly suffused with joy, it spills out wherever it can. A toothy smile, a little dance, a way of walking that’s a bit floatier. Happiness is expressive.

The lavender browned and crumbled, but cardstock leads a long life, especially when lovingly cared for. My dear little note currently resides in a scrapbook among polaroids and playbills. I take it out and smile on days that are drab, days that I’m cross, and days filled with sunshine and birdsong. There’s no bad day to remember that your mom loves you enough to think of you whilst cutting lavender.

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