The internet mourned the loss of Nora Ephron last week, while I was still silent. Judging by this article by Tom Hanks she was a woman after my own heart. I am positive I would have liked her, had we ever met in real life. And, like Joanna, I was particularly moved by the last clause:
“For a wrap gift, she would send you a note saying something like, “A man is going to come to your house to plant an orange tree — or apple or pomegranate or whatever — and you will eat its fruit for the rest of your days.” Rita and I chose orange, and the fruit has been lovely, sweet and abundant, just as Nora promised — a constant and perfect reminder of the woman we loved so much.” To me, that sounds like the most beautiful gift ever.
Apart from the one I received in May, on behalf of baby boy. When I went to visit her in Sweden she gave my unborn baby a magnolia tree that I helped her plant in her beautiful garden. For baby boy to admire and tend to and grow alongside. Magnolia, because that was my very favorite flower when we had just moved to Sweden and I realised that trees actually flower. Like, for real. Up until then I hadn’t really given this much thought, had just read about flowering apple trees and cherry blossoms in books – Astrid Lindgren’s, for example – and moved on without reflection. See, in Iceland, we don’t really have a lot of trees. And very, very few that flower. That first spring in Sweden I just about died from happiness and felt like Pippi and Lotta and Emil and Mio all rolled up into one. Now baby boy has a tree of his very own.
That’s my mom. My very own Miss Ephron.
Picture from here.
P.s. Another fun thing is what we found as we were digging a hole for the tree: an old green and yellow toy car. It suddenly came into view, at the bottom of the hole, covered with soil but in perfect condition. I wander how it came to be there. (And, because I like to think about such things, whether something or someone directed us towards that very spot in my mother’s big garden. It felt like a sign. Of what, I’m not sure.) We scrubbed the car as clean as possible and now it awaits baby’s arrival in my mom’s house.