Monthly Archives: March 2017

Mother’s Day tulips

I have now managed over twenty five years of Mother’s Days without my own mother. The years get more, and sometimes I feel the missing more too. Today I felt it, but the weather has been beautifully sunny and I spent a happy hour in the garden gathering a watercolour bouquet of tulips, which were opening to the warmth of the sun.

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As I was contemplating the bursting flowers and new leaves on the trees, I was reminded of the words of a Philip Larkin spring poem I read a few days ago. Sometimes we think that the new life of spring is all a new birth, and an escape from the progression of time. But no, this wonderful fresh life is still marked by the passing of the years;

The recent buds relax and spread, Their greenness is a kind of grief.

Is it that they are born again, And we grow old? No, they die too.

Their yearly trick of looking new, Is written down in rings of grain.  (From “The Trees”) 

The message of this day to me as a mother is that the promise of fresh life and new beginnings is real, but the past is not forgotten. It is written in the wood, the grain of who I am. And being a mother is not a simple thing, a one off giving birth; there is a deeper, longer story being laid down. The passing of years, the aging process and the adding of “rings” to the grain, does not make the new beginnings any less wonderful.

And as a daughter, today I remember my mother. Her gift of life to me required effort on her part, and was the work of many years. It wrote lines in her life as well as mine. So here’s a bouquet of tulips to you, Mum! I have not seen you for so long, but the fresh flowers on this sunny Sunday remind me of your gift to me of being alive, and all the “rings” you wrote in my life.

Thank you.


Spring bling!

What better excuse than the spring equinox to post pictures of beautiful flowers. A walk around the garden reveals blossoms at every turn.

Shades of yellow daffodils and primroses, and hyacinths large and small.

Luscious pinks of camellias and hellebores, and the multi flowering stems of heathers and pieris.

What treasures!

“Forced” moments…

The weather forecaster describes it as unsettled. This morning heavy rain woke me at 5.30 a.m. pounding against the roof and windows. And then by the time I got up to make tea the sun was shining. Now it’s raining again… 

Yesterday I made brief foray round the garden while the sun was shining and uncovered some rhubarb. Protected by an old composting bin and “forced” to grow in the dark, the resulting colours are quite shocking! As the rain returned I was able to conjure up a bit of the Mediterranean by squeezing oranges to mix with the rhubarb. With the addition of a good deal of sugar, the resulting sweet pink jam/sauce tasted good on ice cream and yoghurt.

The art journaling course this week had an “on location” assignment – create a page with three elements  which captures the feeling of being in your own home. Not easy! Just following where ideas took me I produced a page. It took a bit of collaging to arrange, and size and scale weren’t straightforward, but a kind of linking narrative emerged. 
Life at home at this time of year can still feel a bit restricted and constrained, but it certainly has bright moments if I stop to notice them.