My Mother and The Windhover

Cecilia Wictor
My Mother and The Windhover

This year has been a remarkable journey for me, a roller-coaster of joys and sorrows of incredible magnitude.  My mother, Cecilia Lower Wictor (Cee Cee to almost everyone), passed away recently, at age 85.  As I did when my father passed, I'd like to tell you a little about my mom.  I'm grateful to her and my father for giving me life, and for the strengths they gave to me.  

Mom and I had a relationship filled with frequent and easy conversation, about all kinds of things and ideas, as long as it didn't become too personal.  (Mom wasn't too good at personal conversation - neither was my dad.)  But she was interested in art, music, poetry, and literature, and we never lacked for things to talk about.  For the last two decades of her life, Cee Cee mailed me a steady stream of articles and clippings from magazines and newspapers, accompanied usually by a little cartoon drawing of her own and an affectionate note.  One of the most treasured things she sent me was a collection of poems by the adventurous 19th century English poet Gerard Manley Hopkins.  

I always think of my mother when I read Hopkins.  She shared with him a common faith, a playful love of language, and a willingness to experience the wonder and awe of life.  Here's a selection from "The Windhover" that reminds me of her:  

I caught this morning morning’s minion, king-
dom of daylight’s dauphin, dapple-dawn-drawn Falcon, in his riding
Of the rolling level underneath him steady air, and striding
High there, how he rung upon the rein of a wimpling wing….
….My heart in hiding
Stirred for a bird,—the achieve of; the mastery of the thing!

Thanks, Cee Cee, for giving me your love of reading, of language, and so much else.   I've still got those poems by Gerard Manley Hopkins, and my many memories of you.  

Gerard Manley Hopkins, "The Windhover."
Ears and Eyes:  Things I'm Listening To and Reading:
Mark Hurst and Phil Terry, "Customers Included:  How To Transform Products,
  Companies, and the World - With a Single Step"
Rhiannon, "Vocal River:  The Skill and Spirit of Improvisation"
Bill Frisell, "Good Dog, Happy Man."
Gary Burton, "Guided Tour."