Look! Look up! The Swallows! Oh!
Yes, this is how our very lovely weekend finished up. And what a magical end to a curious and surprising few days.
A weekend that found us as though in a lovely dance back through time, a gentle trip that took us beyond the normal, everyday, expected places we find ourselves. That brought us into a beautiful, abandoned house I have passed countless times and never before entered, now (but briefly) filled with art and people who's paths I have not crossed in years. An evocative mix of faces, of familiar poses, standing together, talking, in rooms of art, as though time had stood still.
And then, in no time we were winding our way through the darkness, on a lonely road up and down mountains for more miles than I guessed it would be, to an olde pub in a wild place, and dear faces that time and distance have stolen from our everyday life.
And there, once again, as though we had found a little door to peek through time, we gathered around us those dear ones who meant so much, who were our Everyday, and yet who's lives now exist like kites on very long twine, somewhere in another world, in the mist and clouds between us. Still I hold tight, unable to let go. And oh! the sweetness of those short hours, sitting across from one another at last, with so much, and sometimes, too much, to say.
And then today, a day when summer came back to fetch her hat, and we took ourselves out into the garden and welcomed some visitors who hold the weekend's title of the Very Much Oldest Friends of the whole few days. People from my earliest years of childhood, some of whom I would walk past on the street for lack of knowing, yet are still connected, thanks to our Mothers.
For our Mothers first met one another all those decades ago when we were the babies and toddlers of the group, and they the new, young mothers.
They still meet up, to this day!
So, we gathered.
And honestly, it really was a strange and poignant gathering, for this time I felt as though I was somehow in my own future, as though I suddenly roused and found I was no longer one of the children, but a mother, and I sat with these strangers, who I knew, somewhere in my bones, I knew. And our children ran around us, dashing through the sunlight, like memories behind my eyes.
And there across the table I watched my mother and her life-long friends, these five girlish Grandames, as they talked and laughed as only old friends do, and I thought of my own old friends, and I marvelled at the extraordinary power of friendship, and how time is rendered powerless by it.
And then, this evening, not long after everyone parted company, as the quiet descended around the house, we heard it, the sound of quivering feathers and calls to rally, the clear, sharp cries of a thousand swallows.
The air was filled.
A thousand tiny heartbeats, the rush of feathers, calling, calling to one another.
Getting ready to fly.