Musings of a party hostess after the fact.
All week my weather app was never far from my hand.
Showers, sun/cloud, showers. Such a threat hanging over us after last weeks perfect Saturday!
But somehow we managed to hide away from those portentous clouds and the day was perfect.
I wondered as I wandered,
at how thirteen years of celebrating Midsummer with our friends has seen a generation of children grow up before our very eyes.
Children who, only yesterday it seems, were freckled, gap-toothed scallywags with muddy knees and bruised foreheads, swinging out of the trees and running through the grass on some important mission. A gaggle of earnest explorers, commandeering one tent or another for late night rumpus or shadow plays on the wall.
And now they arrive, towering above me, nodding and smiling, standing and chatting with the adults, adults themselves I am amazed to find! And I turn a slow twirl in my garden, my grateful heart beating in my chest as my eyes find the latest gaggle racing away on piggy-backs into the gathering gloom, swords waving as they disappear shrieking into the meadow.
Each year has seen the return of old friends, and each year the arrival of some new. An opportunity to catch up, to reacquaint, and sometimes to discover new connections or rekindle old ones.
The setting sun graciously gave us a spectacular show as we gathered in the cooling air. We had the most generously splendid banquet-like spread in my kitchen, each family bringing the most beautiful food and cakes and such to share.
And this year there is a new flock of fledglings testing their wings, thrusting their way out of their smaller skins as the fearsom Teen-somness creeps in amongst them. And they prowl and preen throughout the night, their voices too loud, bodies wayward and clumsy. And oh how they make my heart squeeze!
And there was a fire.
There is something about a fire. Something is stirred deep inside as we sit around the fire together, passing the short hours of the night until the sky leans towards morning, the barest glimmer of light blooming low over the sea as the full moon slides behind the trees and up into the intense blue that heralds the arrival of the dawn.
Something that nourishes and reaffirms like a warm hand on your shoulder, that gentle squeeze, the friendly nod.
And even though part of my heart was pierced so painfully with memories of the one who always loved this night, and who will never sit around that fire with us again, his presence and his absence more real than ever, I sat and was grateful, for these people who in all their human ways are part of the fabric that is this life of mine.
And as we set off a fire lantern in his memory into the deepening sky, I said a silent thank you. A silent, grateful, thankful prayer. For all that we have been blessed with.
And the sun rose. And morning came.