Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Thoughts On The Occasion Of My Sister's Birthday.

(Emma and I. 1976)

what moment
in some distant sheltered sea
where we met in darkness
in calmness
and fate 
took each by the hand
and led our faltering steps
to a leafy path
a passage not without stones
and waved us on our shy way
what moment
what blessed moment.


I am blessed to have a sister. Just one. A year and a half younger than I and 3000 miles away across the world. And even if we don't get to talk as often as I'd like, and even if we don't get to see each other as often as I'd like, there is no bond like that of a sister. 

A history. A shared story. Memories that we share. Those ones that barely need a word or two before the other knows exactly what you are thinking about, and eyes roll, wayward laughter bouncing and tripping over our hearts. 

And it is harder to talk about the hard times when our time to talk is so precious, and the everyday details get lost, the details that come together to weave your picture, the Whole. And so we float somewhere in the same world, but different parts, and though our hearts are touching and our hands are clasped, the distance is Real. 

And tonight I feel that 3000 miles...

Sunday, 18 April 2010

A Week Of Pictures.

A week of sunshine. And friends in abundance.
I hope you all had as wonderful a weekend as we did.

The Bear. 
He sometimes growls rather loudly.
But he gives the best Bear Hugs.

This is what I found in the garden.
'It's sunny,' she said. 'I just thought they'd look nice.'
My Only Girl.

He'll always find the sunniest spot.
And this week he was spoiled for choice!

Sometimes the simplest things are the funnest!

What is it about sunshine that inspires bunting?
At a little friends 1st Birthday Party.

I love when she PLAYS.
Proper make-believe.
Even though she is nearly twelve.

The Smallest.
His quiet murmurings drew me in.

At the party, he waited patiently for the 
'Troclate Stwawbewwy Butday Cake'.

The Eldest, with The Smallest.
My beating heart.

Tonight, as the sun went down they went back out into the garden with my camera.
Hilarious photos ensued. 
The Eldest took this of his sister.
I love it.

Volcano Sunset?
We have been having the most stunning evening skies.
I do wonder...

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Something Lovely: Missed Connections.

This afternoon I sat in the garden. A rare enough occupation in my busy week, but it was such a glorious, sunny day that I couldn't help but collapse into a deck chair for a short while and watch my two  tow-headed charges romp around in the sunshine.
I was listening to something that was so heart-stretchingly beautiful that I had to write a whole separate post about it here. And the combination of warm sunlight and such heavenly music was so heady that I found my mind drifting, dreaming, thinking about these wonderful illustrations by Sophie Blackall that were brought to my attention this morning by dear Nancy from the b in subtle. And I decided that it was time to reinstate my regular 'Something Lovely' post which had sadly lapsed somewhat.

Find these potential sweethearts here.

Sophie finds these lovely people on Missed Connection websites and turns her marvelous hand to capturing them on paper. You can see lots more over on her blog Missed Connections

What is it about these stories that I find so arresting? And often, in their short few lines, so moving? We all have these stories in our lives, and I often think about how chance has put us where we are, with the people we have in our lives. Chance.

Think about it. 

Find this perfect profile here.

To think, Jay, we would not be here together if...you hadn't gone to my friend's party. Or even before that, if your father hadn't taken a chance on a girl who might have let him down, and put her in the very place that you were. Does he know the part he played?

And what of all those dear connections we have made with those incredible, special people we know and love? The combination of our decisions and theirs bringing us to that magical point where we connect.

I could list so many friends, and wonder and shake my head in amazement. Right down to all you wonderful blogger friends. What are the chances any of us would have met 'in real life'?

Find this mysterious chap here.

And to what extent is it fate? Do we have any control over any of it? It is so heartening to think about all these millions of human connections being made, and missed, every day. 

So there is hope and love out there. And there is people like Sophie who breathe life into these little stories, and today as I sat in the sun I wasn't marveling at the beautiful view, or the gorgeous sunshine, but I was marveling at the human spirit, and the spiderweb of possibilities that we have all around and about us.
And the strength of the human heart. Because I do believe we hear one another's, beating through the daily traffic and toil, and I do believe if we remember to pause and listen to one another we just might be amazed.
And we just might fall in love.

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Keepsakes, Songs & Perfume.

The holidays move on, child-paced, savoured,
rushing by in slow-motion,
like a memory.

The household busy with comings and goings,
friends arriving, leaving, sharing this taste of summer,
bringing together this collection of moments which we add to our little hoard of gold.

This treasure.

And it is a sweetness that lingers in our mouths like a forgotten keepsake,
a memento that clings effortlessly to the tendrils of yesterday.
Carefully woven into the essence of who these little people will become.

A precious gift of the simplest kind.


Their story. 

Something to fold away tenderly into the leaves of the sum of who they are,
like a perfume or a song that enters the wide-eyed interior of childhood
and quietly entwines and knits and threads all these little fragments together.

And that lingering sweetness will remain,
those precious bonds that found their way to each other at the beginning of being,
will be unbreakable, and unshakeable,
because they cannot be untangled.

And this is the gift we give our children,

This blessing that is the power of friendship.

Saturday, 3 April 2010

Let The Hare Sit.

It's Easter weekend, and although we are not Christian we celebrate our own version of the Spring/Fertility Eostre festival. It's such a lovely time to celebrate the turning wheel of the year, and all the new life that is springing forth all around us. One of the favourite things we do is put up and Easter Tree, and even if this year's tree was late going up, it finally got done today at the eleventh hour!

This morning was a beautiful sunny, almost summery morning, the air was laden with a warm breeze, and the sea sounded in holiday mode, somehow that bit jauntier as it hushed over the stones on the beach.
But we were a bit slow getting up and out and by the time we started to assemble it the sky had grumbled down low on top of us and suddenly we had hailstones! It didn't deter them however and out they went in their pyjamas to fill the pot, shrieking and giggling like mad.

So even though we didn't do much egg blowing and painting like we did in previous years, the two little ones were delighted to do this much.

So I am curious. Do you celebrate Easter? And if so what family traditions do you practice? I do love to know what other families do on the occasion of a seasonal celebration.
I think it must be having four children, but I do find I create less time to do all the things we did when there was just the two older ones. And every year I promise myself I'll be more organised. And even if I'm not this year, next year they'll be that little bit older and I'll have more time(!).

So next year there will be more Easter baking, there will be Hot Cross Buns, and homemade chocolates, an Easter Egg hunt in our garden, because I am going to be super organised, right?
We will be having an Egg Hunt tomorrow, and possibly another one on Monday, and I hope to have some sweet pictures from that.

So a Happy Easter to you if you do celebrate! And do enjoy all that chocolate. In fact, have one for me!