Saturday, 24 September 2011

A Thousand Heartbeats.

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.

12 comments:

gz said...

(o)

Martin said...

Lovely words, as ever, Ciara. Our own House Martins are gearing up for their long journey. Yesterday, in the sunshine, the air was full of beautiful chaos as they wheeled and dipped for us.

Sorayonn said...

Beautiful words which made me think of friends long past and raise a glass to them and our shared days.

jodi said...

Oh, what a magical and ecstatic and beautiful post you have weaved together here! I love the photos and all yours words about time circling in and then disappearing.

ladybug-zen said...

stunning piece of narration, Ciara. an incredible journey. beautiful! i enjoyed that so very much. thank you :)

Amanda said...

Shall we call September the month of the swallow? I just posted about the swallows across the pond: http://mmmmmama.blogspot.com/2011/09/chorus-of-swallows_25.html. Lovely glimpse into your extended tribe....

Kerry O'Gorman said...

Isn't life incredibly ironic how things pretty much stay the same, only the faces and names change...births, weddings, funerals, life changing events that will repeat long after we're gone. Beautiful words and captured moments once again.

O'Daly John said...

Excellent Ciara !!

Hoola Tallulah said...

I just stumbled upon your blog, and I am so very glad I did. What a beautiful post and such moving photos x

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Ciara said...

Thank you all for your warm and sweet comments. And hello to you newcomers too! You are very welcome here. :-)

C x

Liz said...

Ciara you have left tears in my eyes and a warmth in my heart. Lovely.