Light and Shade by Turn but Love Always

Light and shade by turn but love always are the words engraved on the Temple at Mount Congreve Garden. As I read them this morning, they seemed to sum up every emotion I was feeling.

Today, May 24th, is my son’s nineteenth birthday; it also marks the last day I saw my late parents together as they sat in their porch at sundown in 2009; and it is the anniversary of the death of Ambrose Congreve who died, aged 104, in 2011.

Yes, life is full of light and shade; joy and sadness; and love is what we need to sustain and nurture us through the rough and the smooth.

Today, I feel especially grateful to Ambrose Congreve for creating a garden which brings such peace and allows for such connection and reflection. My parents adored Mount Congreve and it is a place in which I have shared many, many precious hours with my son.

Here are some of the key images that particularly captivated me in Mount Congreve today as they seemed to highlight themes around the seasonality of life, lives well spent, and, of course, love:







Author: socialbridge

I am a sociologist and writer from Ireland. I have worked as a social researcher for 30 years and have had a lifelong passion for writing. My main research interests relate to health care and sense of place.

8 thoughts on “Light and Shade by Turn but Love Always”

  1. Beautiful pictures and sentiments woven through this post, Jean. So beautifully expressed. As you experience the sadness associated with aging parents, you must find particular comfort and joy in your son. The year after I lost my mother, my son was born, and he was such a source of joy and he also made me feel more connected to my mother.

    1. Thanks for your kind words Naomi. I’m happy to say that I was fortunate enough to have both my parents alive for the first 14 years of our son’s life and they lived just down the road from us so he was very connected to them. Obviously, it was tough on him when they got frail and eventually died but places like Mount Congreve are wonderful in terms of bringing happy memories together in relation to the three generations.
      I agree, too, about the way in which having a baby (in this case our only one) draws one closer to one’s mother as there is so much that one only begins to understand at that point.

        1. Hi Sheryl, thanks for writing. Yes, I think there are some places that are far more conducive to such reflection than others and Mount Congreve, for me, is the ultimate.

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