Mother was a renegade, always wild and free even though she stayed and lived in a very structured framework. I learned from her that no one could ever steal my mind unless I was an accomplice. I saw her clean house, fix meals, and serve like a slave at times to the childish demands of immature parishioners; yet, all the while her heart and mind reigned free and regal as a queen. No one exacted service from her; no one levied the tax on her energies. She gave, always remaining master of herself and maintaining the privilege of choosing to give herself away. She knew bondage was first and always a slavery of the mind, and she determined always to choose whom she would call her Lord.
She knew that poverty could only be a condition of the spirit and had nothing to do with the possession of material things. She felt that when the soul was satisfied and the spirit nourished, a sort of confident opulence poured itself into one’s life. One became a creator, not a consumer, a contributor instead of a user. So although we never had much money, I was not aware of being poor. Indeed, I wasn’t poor. Mother clothed me extravagantly with her creativity, decorated our home with a designer’s flair, and filled our lives with activities that drew friends like flies. Our home pulsated with life, and of all good things, there was more than enough.
Excerpt from Hands Across the Seasons