It was a very grey holiday, there were some bits of bright blue sky and sunlight reflecting on the freshly fallen snow but the background theme and feeling was a dreary dismal dullness of the darkness felt too long, and the sludge and slush of snow left to linger after a cold and brilliant winter.
We went to Leith -one of my dad’s favourite songs is sunshine on Leith by the Proclaimers and I wrote about it once in They Sing For Him. So we took a winter trip to see the sunshine in Leith. It is a suburb of Edinburgh on the coast and this is what mesmerised me most, the fact that it was on the coast. I had been to Edinburgh several times to the Castle and the sights and never really thought of it as being coastal. The architecture was grey and mesmerising, It was like waking up in a different time and a different place, a truly dystopian setting. It had its own unique beauty.
I took a short break from writing as it was important to regroup, reflect and re-energise. I return now for the onset of spring hopefully refreshed and rejuvenated.
It seems as if the world has gone mad in recent months, and I am not sure that at 51 my life has followed the path that seemed inevitable or appropriate. I do know that at 51 in the UK wisdom and experience count for very little in the current cut and thrust of an austere economic climate. I find myself overqualified and overlooked for less complex jobs and career options and “too expensive” in my own line of work. We were led to believe that if we worked hard and demonstrated dedication loyalty and good work ethic it would lead to justified rewards this appears not to be the case after the age of 50.
Anyway enough whingeing. I must cart on. I must continue to believe that somewhere someone will give me a break and continue to be thankful for the understanding and support of my two current employers for giving me the opportunity to contribute in a productive and meaningful way.
I did need to take a break though, and I have done jigsaw puzzles, walked briskly, read a book, played scrabble and gone for a winter wander in our little caravan. I return to find the crocuses blossoming and the fresh scent of spring on the doorstep. Life continues to astound in its ability to restore order through and after chaos. There is a natural order that somehow continues to exist, first there are the snowdrops, then the daffodils and crocuses, soon it will be the cherry blossom and the tulips.
Handwriting didn’t come easily to me, my words tumbled out across the page as fast as my thoughts would carry them but with no time for neatness clarity or punctuation. Laborious lessons trying to perfect a precise clear-cut style between the lines, the endless lines, my sister’s handwriting remains the same as it was in those joined up lessons at school. Mine still resembles ducklings charging towards some azure blue lake with all the joy of momentum, joy and not a care in the world for how it looks to the rest of the world.
Her last letter, heaven only knows why she posted the parcels so early for Christmas, perhaps she knew. Her last act of love. She died on the Sunday half a world away and by Friday I held her last letter in my hand. Her writing cut through the void, the years the tears, the fears.
This is for d’Verse meeting at the bar, where we were asked to consider silence. This sunflower was in my garden in NZ, planted as a seed by my husband to cheer me up in Spring/summer 2014 when I was unable to tend the garden following major surgery. I could see it from the bedroom window.
This is for the first quadrille of the year at d’Verse. The leap was last year and I am hoping that this year we will be able to get a stronger foothold on this side…regroup consolidate…build…grow….heal….With love to you this New Year. Namaste.
Memories frozen in time
Sun melts through the pain.
I wrote the Haiku on Friday- mum’s birthday and what surprised me most is that this is the first year that I haven’t spent the day in tears, in fact I didn’t cry at all. I am not sure if this is some miraculous part of healing or because we are now at least home. All the other years I had to cope with both the feelings of loss and the separation by distance.
The snowy theme continued throughout the weekend and we set off on Saturday to visit Hays Garden Centre and in search of snow for Emily. We killed a few ghosts in Hays, it was a place I visited with mum one summer. We then drove up through Ambleside and snaked off to go up Kirkstone Pass to the third highest Pub in England, the highest inhabited building in Cumbria. As we drove past the chocolate box houses, with the gentle snowflakes falling, Mull of Kintyre was playing on the radio, and I was transported instantly back to Christmas past, as a youngster at Christmas celebrations with mum and dad and their friends and drunken antics and singing and I could hear mum’s laughter echoing through my head. The memory was so strong and this was when the tears were shed. The sense of both happiness and loss was overwhelming.