It seems like yesterday I foraged for wild garlic in the Fairy Woods. Now I couldn’t get there if I tried, not with the bracken man high and laden with ticks. But I did go before the bracken woke up and the woodland floor was a carpet of gentle white flowers and strong green leaves. Now, the big jar of pesto in my fridge is almost empty for another year. It thinks me of how quickly Time and her inhabitants pass. When children grow they do so whilst, it seems to me, we are not watching. From a little girl or boy to a strapping, strongly independent individual in moments. The catch of their sweet and awkward 5 year old selves to this girl who decides what she wears of a Tuesday school morning and it is SO NOT THAT! From the boy who played with toy boats in a puddle to a the lad who can ride his bike no-hands and way too fast. Gone times. But I saw them, I watched them, I noticed and there’s the key, right there in my hand, and yours. Those of us who remember no television, no social media, no media in fact, no streaming, no downloading and a finger dial telephone knew of a different world, a very different time. We can smile at our memories, laugh at the puzzlement on the faces of our grandchildren or we can hanker for the old. Don’t do that. It’s boring.
Today, on Father’s Day I celebrate my sons and my son-in-law. There is no big daddy here now and even though such a day meant little to Himself and for many years, I remember. I remember him at Tapselteerie, strong and with no thought of any sort of demise and I smile at my rememberings. I was there, oh lucky me, I was there. I saw. Adventures, meltdowns, angst and hilarity, all of it and more. What a privilege to be able to remember and to have been there because I know our shared life was way more bonkers than many others. We were wild, spontaneous and sometimes reckless but we really really lived. I don’t ever remember feeling bored. There just wasn’t time.
This afternoon I walked my grandgirls and the Poppy dog down to the shore in a rare burst of warm sunshine. We skipped in and out of the water, played word games, watched duck fly in, a heron land, oystercatchers twirtle overhead, a sea-eagle surf the sky. Conversation can fly too and I sat on a rock listening to the sisterly interaction. I began. I go to the shop and in my basket I put……..Oh, I know this game, they cried. Good I said. Play. Ok, I’m first! No, I’m first. No, you’re always first. What is so important about being first, I said from my rock seat, genuinely interested because I get it but never questioned it till now. They both rolled their eyes, unified once more. Gaga! they said. First is best. Ok……well I will go third. Why? they asked, mystified. Well, because that way I can hear all your mistakes and learn. Long pause. You go first Gaga. Ha! So I put sausages in my basket and the next one put in a Rainbow Dragon with a Big Heart. The Redhead’s turn. She went through the list and added Candy Floss. Of course, says Big Sister, you always choose candy floss or other boring things! Quick as a flash the Redhead is back. Candy Floss, she announces importantly is not boring. Besides, it tastes like clouds.
And that was that.