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May 20, 2022

Letter to my dearest Sun

Dearest Sun,

The other day I recalled my mother’s vague words that the day I was born the sun shone big and bright.

- “A dazzling sun in the centre of the sky that was the most beautiful of all the month of May,” she recalled.
That day, on May 27, while wandering in her garden with her taut, round belly, she had to lean on her old spade as she absorbed the violent signal that I was finally emerging from her abdomen.
- “I remember,” said Mom, “when you knocked to come out, I raised my head to the sky to pray and the blinding sun stared right back at me.”

I checked in the 1947 Beauchemin Almanac. That morning, dear Sun, you rose at 4:18 a.m. and waited 12 long hours. The time required to come closer to the Earth and tilt your orb towards the large first floor window of our home. Admit it! You saw us between the curtains, dear Sun. Mom who was crying out as she pushed me into this world, and the neighbour who was pulling my head with both arms. Having forgotten everything when I left my mother’s water, I let out a terrified cry as I met this world for the very first time. Perhaps you heard me?

I cried for many long minutes until the woman with red hands plunged my small body in a large basin of warm water. She washed me, dried me and wrapped me in pieces of rough material. She must have doubted that your powerful warmth would be sufficient. I nonetheless settled down and slept a bit until soft pink flesh slipped between my tiny lips. Greedily I began to nurse, my body feeling the urgent need to reconnect with the familiar smells of the being that had carried me.
“You nursed for such a long time,” explained my mom, “that I had to reassure your brother that you weren’t going to drain me of all my blood.”

That Tuesday, dear Sun, you set at 7:35 p.m. You had begun to linger past dinner, amusing yourself as you coloured the three dozen villages strung over the Gaspé Peninsula like rosary beads with your warm rays. Remember, dear Sun. Forty years later I was also present at your birth in October 1987, when I traced your form for the very first time on a small white card. The instigator was a regular customer who, wanting to do something nice for me, insisted on printing some business cards for free.

When you appeared in one go at the tips of my fingers, full, round and bright, I immediately sensed a miracle. As if a divine hand had itself shaped your beautiful, luminous yellow head, your knowing eyelids and your big, happy smile. You and the angels knew then what was in store for us. You knew that you would become a great brand and I, your humble mom, would serve you tirelessly until my energy was spent.

With time, dear Sun, I learned that most miracles happen right before our unseeing eyes. We attribute these events to some guardian angel, pure luck, to merit or a reward for our efforts. As I explained to my 25-year-old grandson, Zacharie, the other day, I have always believed that the forces of the universe are capable of providing us with everything we need; so much so, that I have never lost hope. You dear Sun, must have heard me talking to that small voice inside of me hundreds of times over the years. A voice that grew louder as the business expanded. Goodness knows why! It seemed that the more I listened to it, the more it inhabited my thoughts. The more I trusted it, the greater the space it filled in my heart and mind.

I even baptized this voice with a lovely name: Providence. For a woman who earned her living selling food, the word meant an “inexhaustible source of provisions.” With Providence as my ally, I was certain I would never lack anything. And because my belief was iron-clad, I ended up achieving my goal each time. Truth is, I have never lacked anything during all these years of hard work, challenging projects and lifetime aspirations.

Today, having reached the three-quarter mark in calendar years, I am still amazed by the many miracles the morning brings each day: eyes that can still read and admire each detail of Mother Nature, who accompanies me on my daily walks. Strong, straight and solid bones. Good health, the creativity of a worker bee and an almost insatiable appetite for life.

Mom chose the day well, since, in this world, I and my Sun, have developed an unbreakable bond. And I am certain that when the time comes, I will leave for the beyond swaddled in its warmth!