Robin Time

I seemed to spend a lot of time in the woods during my blogging break and every single time I went out there, I found that there was a robin waiting for me ~ perched on a branch overlooking the little wooden bridge and full of welcome.

Robin
Feathered Friend

Robins never fail to stop me in my tracks. I can’t just walk passed them and go about my business.

They take me to all sorts of places and this is just a tiny part of  a long list:

#1.Emily Dickinson’s lines:

“If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain;
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain.”
― Emily Dickinson

#2. Robin Williams and, especially Dead Poets Society which speaks volumes about what education should really be about and the role that an inspirational and creative teacher can have.

#3. Robin Hood and long hours playing ‘Maid Marian’ to my big Bro’s Robin Hood when we were kids. There are many lessons to be learned from Robin Hood about equality and what it means.

#4. Reading poetry with my father in the last months of his life through the Spring of 2010 and especially this stanza from Thomas Hood’s, I Remember, I Remember:

I remember, I remember,
The roses, red and white,
The vi’lets, and the lily-cups,
Those flowers made of light!
The lilacs where the robin built,
And where my brother set
The laburnum on his birthday,—
The tree is living yet!

Dad and I shared a love of robins and some of my happiest memories are watching him from the kitchen window while he was doing the garden but being distracted by a ‘pet’ robin who used to come and eat out of his hand or perch on his shoulder.

***

I’ve been doing a bit of reading about robins and it seems like they are quite solitary in their own way, especially when it comes to other birds, but just look at how sociable they are when it comes to humans. Maybe I see a touch of the robin in myself (inherited from Dad) ~ leaning into nature and feeling incredibly at peace with a tiny bird and not so much the ‘madding’ crowd.

I’d love to hear where robins bring you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Magnolia Magic

Magnolias seem to come and go in a flurry of petals. They always have me wondering where to look  – upwards as they reach for the sky with their big blooms or downwards where they leave a gentle carpet of  velvety pink and white.

I hope you like this selection from precious Mount Congreve Gardens which are just a few miles out the road in Tramore.

Dear Mother …

January 29th, 2017

Dear Mother,

January 29th will never mean anything else to me except your birthday. It’s far more significant than May 31st ~ the day you died in 2009.

It felt ‘your birthdayish’ from the minute I opened the front door early this morning to bring Stan for a walk. The birds were chirping in the Monkey Puzzle and the snowdrops in the garden seemed to have multiplied a hundred-fold since yesterday.

It was Men’s Final Day at the Australian Open so I planked myself down in front of the fire and the television from 8.30am until around 12.30 and savoured every single rally in a brilliant match between Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal. Federer won in five sets and  would you believe Rod Laver presented him with the cup.

I was thinking that you’d have been listening to it on the Radio if you were here  and  got to thinking then how it was you who got me into tennis in the first place and how it was your father who got you into it. I wonder who introduced him to it?

The game was played in the best possible spirit and Kipling’s If kept coming to mind. Roger even said in his speech that he would have been quite happy to share the tournament with Rafa. You don’t hear that very often and needless to say it had me balling, probably like half the people watching. So much for Dad’s ‘killer instinct,’ for today anyway.

I can’t imagine what on earth it would have been like to grow up in a house where sport wasn’t on the agenda or dogs,  gardening,  your trifle, poetry, the sea,  rules about ‘no sweets before lunch,’  diaries, crosswords, slogans,  horses, everyday phonecalls when we never ran out of stuff to say … never, ever, ever …

Harry and I went out to the beach in the afternoon with the dogs and we drew a huge heart in the sand and wrote in it with an old stick – the kind you always managed to find when the situation demanded. We agreed that writing in the sand is much nicer than going to a grave. I’d never given the’no grave’  bit any thought when you were adamant about cremation. It’s not an issue, you’ll be glad to hear, because we always seem to go to places you loved ~ or should I say ‘beaches you loved’ on special days like your birthday. Must be that every day is special cos we’re at the beach every day!

I came across a poem the other day that I thought you’d like and then I wondered if you knew it as it was written by a woman who lived from 1918-2001, not too different from your 1921-2009.  Anyway here it is:

Peace
At the ship’s bow. It was my eye that drew
the perfect circle of blue meeting blue.
No land was visible. There was no sail,
no cloud to show the mighty world in scale,
no sky and ocean, by my gaze defined,
were drawn within the compass of my mind
under a temperate sun. The engine’s sound
sank to a heartbeat. Stillness all around.
Only the perfect circle and the mast.
That moment knew no future and no past.

(Amy Witting)

It’s strange not getting you a present or even picking your little bouquet of snowdrops. Remember that year we were in Tenerife for your birthday and I got you the post card with the flamenco dancer with the real skirt and wrote it in terrible Spanish from our phrase book?

Well, there’s a touch of that today. I have a photo of a robin that seems to have been waiting for today. I hope you like him. Imagine him singing Happy Birthday; much more melodious than me ~ that’s for sure.

robin

Lots of love,

Jean xxx

 

Crossings and Connections

if

    there

               is

                    no

                          bridge

                                        please

                                                       use

                                                               my

                                                                      stile

stile

Petrified to Stanity

Hi Everyone,

I don’t think I will ever get over the wibble-wobbles that I  got yesterday when the big storm was on. I was a silly, silly, stupid puppy to say that I wanted to go when Jean said: Hey are you coming to see the waves?’

I didn’t recognise any of the beaches that we went to cos the waves were big as houses and, anyway, there were big blobs of white salty stuff blowing into my eyes so I couldn’t see properly.

I was all of a dither when I was asked the same question again this morning. I didn’t want  a repeat that awful feeling in my tum-tum just looking at the sea turning itself all upside down but I decided to give it a go mainly cos I’d heard the birds chirping out in the garden.

I could hardly believe my eyes when I saw that the sand had come back and the sea was kinda back to normal but I still didn’t trust it.

Here’s how it was when we went to the shore:

kilfar-2
Kilfarrasy Beach

That foamy stuff looked like whipped cream to me ~ and I love whipped cream ~ but I  strongly suspected that it would be salty and not sugary. I was right, for once!

The skyscraper waves were more like big dog kennel size and the sky was kinda smiling as well. It looked like paintings that Jean is always looking at by someone whose name I can’t remember.

kilfar1
The Smiling Sky

 

So, I was able to relax and get stuck into chewing some chunks of seaweed. Very tasty they are just in case you ever want to give them a try.

Today.JPG
Happy in my ‘Comfort Zone, ‘ Thank You.

So all’s well again … and I hope it is for you too, if it was in a wobble.

Love,

Puppy Stan

 

P.S. The lesson from all this is: Stay well away from the mad seas when there’s a big storm and know that calm will come back even if that looks impossible.