A Mark on the World
By Shirley Bourget
“Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni! What is this you have scribbled on my kitchen wall?!”
“I am sorry Momma. It is a masterpiece! The hand of God giving life to Adam!”
“Well you better get it off of there before ‘The hand of Momma’ takes your life from you!”
Do you suppose the mother’s of our world’s prodigies ever had moments like this when their kids were growing up?
I am awaiting the arrival of my first grandchild – our daughter will bring her into the world sometime later this month. I have found myself thinking a lot about when my own “baby” was a child.
As a new mother I wondered what she would become and how she might leave her mark on the world. At times, I wondered if she would even make it to adulthood, she was a very imaginative little girl and seemed to always get into some kind of calamity every day! I guess most kids do. I can’t help but smile when I think of all the possibilities my granddaughter will have in store for her mother!
Anyway, I wonder if my granddaughter will have any particular talent (like her exceptionally spectacular grandmother), being as she will be a March baby. She will either be a Pieces (imaginative, sensitive, and compassionate) or an Aries (adventurous, active and outgoing). Either way, I think my daughter has her work cut out for her!
My birthday is also this month and so is my son-in-law’s. This got me to thinking about birthdays and about Zodiac signs and about why hot dogs come in packages of ten when hot dog buns come in packages of eight, but that last part will have to wait for another day’s investigation.
Michelangelo was a March baby. As a matter of fact, today marks his 537th birthday. He was born on March 6, 1475. This Italian Renaissance Sculptor, Painter, Poet and Engineer, was one of the greatest artists of all time. His works like the Pieta’, the Statue of David, his paintings on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel and his architectural work at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome are all proven legacy of his greatness.
Michelangelo was a person, just like you and I. His apprentice noted that he was moody and that he was also rude. He was credited for being “indifferent to food and drink, eating more out of necessity than pleasure”, no doubt evidence of his artistic nature. He was also “rough and uncouth, his domestic habits were incredibly squalid”. This helps me to not feel so bad when I barricade myself behind my writing desk and forget to feed my husband, myself, the houseplants and the family dog. (Do we still have a dog? I haven’t heard it lately…) I don’t have to be ashamed of the mountain of dishes and laundry everyone has to climb over just to get to the kitchen! (Where is the kitchen anyway, I seem to have forgotten how to get there). My point is, greatness demands our attention and we cannot ignore it!
I’m not sure what my granddaughter will do with her own life or what greatness she has in store for us. It doesn’t matter. She is part of a legacy.
I know my legacy on the world will not equal that of Michelangelo’s, but mine will hold no less beauty. When I look into that tiny face, she will be more beautiful to me than any other masterpiece.
My legacy is my daughter, my son, and now a granddaughter. These are my masterpieces. Oh, I have my writing, and even a few paintings that I have put together over the years, but these cannot compare. My legacy doesn’t hang from a ceiling or stand in a marble hall, or even lie between the pages of a book. It lives and breathes, loves and cries. It drips with beauty and inspires hope. My legacy is life and the world was immediately changed the day it touched the horizon! Please help me welcome the next chapter of greatness into the world! Elizabeth Lynn South, we cannot wait to meet you!