September 23rd.

My Mother: Elsie Van Etten Hall Mosedale “Van” and me • Oct. 1970.

“Optimism is a strategy for making a better future. Because unless you believe that the future can be better, you are unlikely to step up and take responsibility for making it so. If you assume there is no hope, you guarantee there will be no hope.”


Today is my mother’s birthday. She would have been 73 years old. I think she probably liked Noam Chomsky, although I can’t say for sure. Today, I spent some time wondering what my mother, and her life, would have been like at age 73.

I imagine…

  • She would live in a place surrounded by nature. A simple home with glass jars on the kitchen counter. She would make the best cup of tea.
  • She would let her hair grow long and gray. Elegant and beautiful at 73.
  • She would live nearby, yet not too close. Her home would be a place of connection, relaxation, comfort, and open ended creativity.
  • She would laugh, a lot. Because why not laugh more, especially at 73.
  • She would have saved all the old things from my childhood that I never knew I wanted, but cherish even more in my adulthood.
  • She would tell stories of her life, and mine. She would be the memory keeper.
  • She would give good strong hugs. Just long enough for proper absorption.

This imaginary list is about my mother. But, really, it is about me at 73.

What do you imagine your life will be like?