Woods and woodland gardens near the sea played a huge part in the long lives of both my parents and I suppose it’s only natural that they feel like a natural habitat to me.
When I was out in my beloved Mount Congreve last Sunday morning, a host of happy memories came flooding back through the sheer abundance of colour, texture, growth, fadings, promises …..
Fleeting images of Mother with that serene look she always had when wandering in woods and among flowers that brought her back to the farm of her youth in Co. Meath. How often she would quote these lines from George Byron:
There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
Dad’s deep appreciation of colour and how he introduced me to art from a very early age with visits to the National Gallery of Ireland. Over the subsequent years, we always found reason to meet in the National Gallery, even when it made no logistical sense. His happy tears when I gave him a book about Impressionism on his 90th birthday ~ just ten days after Mother had died on May 31st 2009.
And that pink-lilac skirt that I wore so endlessly when I was twelve or thirteen. It made me feel so grown-up with all its tresses. It was the skirt that I sported when we went to visit my brother in boarding school in the Summer term. I had such hopes of making a lasting impression on all his friends as I flounced out of the back of the Vauxhall Viva …..
And Mount Congreve waits ….. I am so looking forward to seeing the clematis flowing majestically from the tallest trees imaginable; and soaking up even more of the carpet of bluebells that grow even more beautiful with each passing Spring …..