An Exceptional Day

I really was there clinging to every transient moment just like that bee; desperate to suck every last drop from the day. And, it was an exceptional day.

A bee shouldn’t be able to fly and it certainly shouldn’t be able to hang off a delicate butter-yellow flower with petals as thin as silk. But I found this one yesterday evening, clinging to this little cup while it swayed in the breeze, determined to suck up every drop of nectar,

There was nothing particularly special about yesterday, but it was an exceptional day; the weather was balmy, we ate supper out in the garden, and my sons made me laugh till I was helpless with tears.

They are these gorgeous human beings, whose company I love. They are taller than me now, and have done more to shape who I am than I imagined when they were born.

I know it is the best job in the world, and I am so happy I’ve made an effort to be here every day with them. But, I wonder if I really spent enough time in those moments with them? Was I there, really there, or was I busy getting stuff done?

We looked out at the garden together as we ate and drank and joked. We remembered the hours sat in the tree on a plank of wood lodged between branches that we imagined actually was a tree house. We shook our head at the memories of the pirates that fought the seas from the climbing-frame. And I sighed over the plants that had to die at the hands of little dinosaur-hunters.

I remember my father building a tent from plant canes and sarongs with them when they were 2 and 6, and I served a picnic. I wish I could remember what the sandwiches and apples tasted like, I wish I could remember what we talked about, and I really wish I could remember going in to look at them sleeping that night.

Now they are old enough to watch the same movies I like, they are always showing me their favorite links on the Internet. They are not afraid of disagreeing with me; they call me out when I’m unfair. They think for themselves in utterly surprising ways, they are funnier than I am, and sometimes, just sometimes, I need them more than they need me now.

Yesterday, looking at them, I couldn’t believe how fast it has gone.

I know it’s the refrain of all parents but it doesn’t make it less true. I hope I can always taste the burnt chorizo from the first barbeque they cooked. I hope I will always remember the facial expressions as they bounced off each other in banter. I hope I can hear exactly what their voices sounded like saying, “I love you” as they went to sleep.

Already those memories are fading, but I really was there clinging to every transient moment just like that bee; desperate to suck every last drop from the day. And, it was an exceptional day.

Emotional Batesian Mimicry

We often take on an emotional Batesian mimicry to survive in a “hostile” environment, taking on a behaviour we believe helps us survive, or even progress.

Thoughts While Walking In My Back Garden

I’ve been locked to my computer screen, writing and putting together the Walking With Angels Photobook so I’ve been venturing out only into my back garden for fresh air. Which has become a fascinating journey in itself, as I take pictures I can’t help thinking about their meaning, it’s a daily exercise almost; lessons learnt while in my neglected garden, so to speak.

I found this stunning hoverfly yesterday, with the most extraordinary bronze coloured head, absolutely mesmerising. The hoverfly looks like a wasp but is in fact a less villainess fly, however its Batesian mimicry of a more dangerous insect offers it protection. English naturalist Henry Walter Bates, after his work in the rain forests of Brazil, noticed harmless species mimicked a dangerous one to avoid predation.

Which got me thinking that we often take on an emotional Batesian mimicry to survive in a “hostile” environment, taking on a behaviour we believe helps us survive, or even progress.

The metaphor can’t be taken too far, but we do become like the company we keep. However we have more choice than a garden fly…

 

Aureate Beauty of a Peony

The peony does not know how beautiful it is, and most of us do not know how beautiful we are either, and yet I can see the sensual, tumescent, vivid beauty of the peony easily.

Thoughts While Walking in My Garden

The peony outside my window is so beautiful sometimes when I look at it I am forced to stop and wonder at the power it has to be so beautiful.

It does not know how beautiful it is, and most of us do not know how beautiful we are either, and yet I can see the sensual, tumescent, vivid, excessively elaborate and florid beauty of the peony easily.

Peony HeartSAMSUNG CSC

The Aureate Beauty of a Peony

The Immortal Eye In A Water Drop

For all its prickly, coarse-haired, common inelegance the sow thistle cradles a single drop of water so tenderly, as though it holds an immortal eye into the inner galaxies of oceans and the secrets of life itself.

Thoughts While Walking in My Back Garden

I’ve just been out in my back garden between squally showers and found this pearl. For all its prickly, coarse-haired, common inelegance, the sow thistle cradles a single drop of water so tenderly; as though it holds an immortal eye into the inner galaxies of oceans, and the secrets of life itself.

Oh to hold every moment with such wonder, and search it for the stories of the universe.