There was a ferocious thunderstorm here last night and I am still trying to get over the mad panic that engulfed me. I fear lightening more than most things in life and it certainly didn’t help back in my early twenties cowering under the stairs with a girl who lived in a flat beneath mine to hear that her father had been struck dead by lightening.
My own father did his utmost to try and de-sensitize me. He loved storms and would stand by a window watching the flashes over the sea. I was half alright when he was there to hide behind but only barely …..
Anyway, the storm has passed, as they tend to, and I went in search of a quote to celebrate. This is the one that caught my eye:
Joy weathers any storm; Happiness rides the waves.
It’s Mother’s anniversary today – eleven years on.
She adored poppies and this one was in her garden.
She gave us an undying love for nature which I see as one of the most precious gifts any parent can give a child.
Long before anyone was talking about mindfulness, she had us engrossed in our little plots in the garden, lost in the joy of bird-watching, merged with the moods of the sea, enraptured by fleeting rainbows….
Yes, she ensured that her presence would live on through natural beauty and it is a presence that never fails to make me smile.
There is no point denying it. This week feels very raw … still … It is the week during which my Mother had her final stroke eleven years ago, just 45 minutes or so after being told that Father was dying downstairs in the Emergency Department of the same hospital she was in.
It was the stuff of absolute nightmares to witness. I don’t think of the final week of Mother’s life all that often but come May 24th, it hits me every time from the depths of memory. Dad wasn’t dying, as it turned out, and it still plays on my mind how she felt she could die, given that she wouldn’t be leaving him alone.
They were extremely close and it would have been fitting for the two of them to have gone together but, for me, it was a blessing to have Dad around for another 16 months. He was sad, he certainly was, but being him, I think he knew he was doing his fatherly thing by being there to share the sadness with me and to bring me right into his life and share memories which are now a great source of solace and joy.
The sun is beating down, just as it did that last week of Mother’s life. I am drawn to the garden where I want to tend my precious plants and introduce new growth. I am also drawn to the sea, the sea that Mother and I soaked in, in every sense, all our lives.
I know that this sense of ‘that week’ will subside again when we get to June. In the meantime, I think of people who have been unfortunate enough to have to go through both parents dying within days of each other from Covid. Their hearts must be shattered. I just hope they have the possibility of being able to come to a time when memories will not be about the dying week but of shared times of joy.
Now, to the garden to inspect the progress of the new seedlings and the blooming of ‘Happy Dream’ rose as well as the blue geraniums …..
This time last year I was in a tizz-wizz about the choice of nesting place of the swans that live on one of my favourite walking places – The Anne Valley. They were close to the pathway on a little island but in full view of the world. I really questioned their judgement and held my breath every day until I saw that the nest remained undisturbed and the brood grew up strong and healthy.
I wonder if they read my mind because this year the nest is much more hidden and seems to me to be in a more sensible location.
But really I’m now coming to the conclusion that I should never try and second guess Mother Nature but should learn from her long experience and ways of doing things.
So, for now I am just luxuriating in watching the swans keep their nest in good repair by adding rushes and twigs to the magnificently engineered site.
In good time, the eggs will hatch and a new family will be introduced to us all….