• Vol. 05
  • Chapter 07
Image by


Her hair was smoothly pinned back, pulled tight by her delicate fingers.

Her delicate fingers are something I remember to this day. The delicate fingers of a mother are rather curious, you see. They are, of course, delicate; but they also contain this unbounded power and strength.

Their finest touch can transform you from twilight to the citrine drip of sunset. You see, a mother's gentle touch gives strength, just as much as it is strength. The gentle press of her fingers against your back as she swaddles you in an embrace, or the familiar warmth of your hand in hers, that never seems to slacken, is akin to some kind of curious magic. Her single and omnipotent touch can silently slay your demons and calm the storm that brews over your churning oceans.

Her hair was smoothly pinned back. It always was when she was ‘mothering'. When she was bathing me in water that she had spent an hour alternating between two taps, just to ensure it was the perfect degree of warm, reminiscent of her comforting touch. Or when she was toiling away over steaming pots, carefully and prudently sprinkling vegetables with bitter cumin, heady turmeric and fervent cayenne pepper. Testing and tasting, ensuring that it would not burn me, but was still passionate enough to make me feel alive.

Her hair was loose; lustrous and beautiful, like a waterfall of oil, thick and shining. This was when she became herself. When for a few seldom hours she was not ‘mother’ but her own. And as it happened, she was more mother than she was ever her own.

Even now, when I visit her, her hair is smoothly pinned back. Her fingers are a little more delicate now and a little less strong. She grips on to me in the way that I used to cling to her.



Her touch, however, remains strong. Powerful. More so than ever. A mother's touch is like a wine. It only grows more potent with age. Even now, when her hands grip on to mine, she turns me from dusk to dawn. The waves in my mind calm to a gentle lull and my worries drift away, nothing more than a distant island that I cannot quite see.

Sometimes her hands will shake. They’ve become a little marred with graceful creases, as has her face. Her clothes are a little worn also, reds faded to rose, royal blues now nothing more than a soft spring sky. But her hair – it is always pristine. Smoothly pinned back, pulled tight by her delicate fingers. Age cannot tarnish a mother. Age cannot furrow or wrinkle her, nor wear her away with time.

A mother always is, always has and always will be exactly who you need her to be. She will always be waiting for you, with her hair smoothly pinned back, pulled tight by her delicate fingers. With her touch that can turn you to gold.