Sarah and the Irises

Painted Iris

My grandmother Sarah came from a small shtetl in Lithuania or Poland.  She was born in 1887.  I’m not sure when she came to the United States but my father was born in 1905.  There were four children and he was the second youngest sibling.  At some time they moved to Baileyville a small town in eastern Maine.  It was know as Woodland because of the presence of a large paper mill.

So it was there that the story of my grandmother for me began.  The reason I mention the irises is because When I see them they remind me of my grandmother.  Irises are soft and beautiful and tough.  They return every spring pushing themselves up through late winter snows always reaching for the warmth of the sun and sharing their strength  with all.  That was my grandmother always enduring.  She was a pioneer of sorts coming to a strange land with her family, always maintaining her Jewish identity and yet unlike so many immigrants before her who settled in ghettos across America she became an integral part of the community she lived.

So I write about irises and Sarah beautiful and strong but tough and giving.