A mother’s words are very powerful. They have the power to destroy a living thing, or they have the capability of building incredible structures in our souls.

Last weekend, I was in my funny, reckless mood. I could see the frisson of concern in my mother’s eyes. “You are not that young now, Jac,” she said quietly over breakfast. “You need to learn how to see inner beauty, because that’s what that is important, that really matters.”

I tossed my head and rebuffed her words. My father said nothing but listened intently.

Later, when we were in the garden, my mother pointed at this patch of her garden. The tall bush with orangey flowers looked unfamiliar, whereas the heather had always been there all year round.

“That one took three years to take root,” my mum said. “But look at it now!”

I knew she was going to relate it back about seeing inner beauty, and so trying to be clever, I preempted her, “The tiny purple flowers are more beautiful to me,” I said with a grin.

“Is it?” My mum asked quizzically. “You said that, Jac, because you are not looking carefully. You like purple more than orange, you like cute rather than flamboyant, you like this rather than that.”

She beckoned me to come closer. “You remember what I said about inner beauty, Jac? Look closer. Look beyond the size and colour. They have bell-shaped flowers. They’re both heathers. And that is the essence of what I would like you to see.”

I was mulling over this when my dad quietly plucked a spray of orange heather for me. “For you, my darling,” he said. “I began to see your mother’s beauty only much later.” I think about how happy they are in their later years and it melts my heart. I wish for the same.

And so, I pressed those flowers between the pages of my diary, and today, looking at these flowers, beginning to lose their fresh beauty, I think I am beginning to ‘get’ what my ma was trying to teach me. Love is what that’s beyond sight, it’s in the heart ❤ ❤ ❤ and yes, I do owe my parents a lot for always trying to build something beautiful in my soul.