Island Blog – To Watch a Butterfly

I am learning, through the days, to pause and have cause for thought, for notice. It does not come easy. My old ma always berated me for being too fast, as did my mother in law. I get them now. My own daughters-in-law times 4 #luckyme all flow like snakes, rivers, moonbeams as I sit at the table and wonder what just happened. So, when I wander, and that’s the way I do things now, through my morning, my afternoon, my walks, I fight this fury about being suddenly slow. Or slower. It crept up on me. I am less certain of my feet and where they land. I have the same flipping feet so it does bug me as I move towards an upcline or a downcline and hesitate. This hesitate thing also bugs me. I did so not invite it in. However, ageing is ageing and nobody likes it. The key, I tell myself, being overly interested in keys, is not to fight it; to challenge but not to fight. That never works, I recall telling my sons as they encountered bullies at school. The key is, I told them, wisely, and far away from their personal engagement in the pain of what they were going through, is not to fight. This makes you the wise one and it also frees you. If you don’t pay attention to this big threat then it will lose interest in you. Now I have to deploy all those wise words in order to face down myself. Hmmmmm.

I watch my hands as I sew, feel the ache in my sewing thumb. I don’t like it. I try to unscrew the lid of a jar and I can move it not. I don’t like that either. Lifting something heavy oofs me. Ditto. Ok, so what, I say to myself as I check the rainbow sunlight scorching my inner carpet? Actually I resent the so-what-ness in me. I know, I know, it, she, is a goodly voice, a sounding bell, a call to arms but I could just wish her gone for a week or two. Sometimes, in my past, I have actually done that, gone away, to Treshnish, to a remote cottage in the wild thinking to avoid her, that ‘hallo, face up’ person inside me; with amazing views, long wild walks, no routine pressure, my best friend beside me. It worked for the time we were there. In fairyland. But, as I wrote in my song, I always have to come home again. It is me going home to me. Dammit. There is no escape, people and it really disses me off.

Right so. I walk today. Although the grass is holding fist in refusal, the higher buds are more trusting. The leaves think me of emeralds, so precious are they. Against the blue of this cold sunshine sky, they marvel. The sun, I tell them, is doing his best but he is fighting for the dominance he will hold once Siberia goes back to Siberia. White pepper coloured buds ping out from later trees, the shy ones. The willows are keen, a catkin cloud, fussing with bumble bees gathering pollen and, hopefully, nectar. It is cold for these wee creatures. Cold and a half. Lambs don’t spring. they just bump against their mama’s milk bags and how wise they are. The sunshine is short lived, life giving, but retreating to the long hold of Jack Frost and his icy fingers.

On my return, I follow a butterfly, a peacock. Rust red, blue eyes, white flutter. She sucks on my dandelions. From one, to the next. Food, I think. Survival. My dandelions will live on. No strimming for me. Precious food in a culture of tidy gardens, pulling out essential cover, brambles, nettles, weeds. All such a mistake.

All I want to do is to watch a butterfly.

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