Seasonal Change

Things are blooming much later in Ireland this year after our everlasting winter, so my joy was even greater when my mock orange blossomed before I left my back garden for the summer.

The fragrance and the slightly bobbing white blooms remind me of the times I spent on a blanket underneath, with my babies on summer afternoons. Rather than a holiday-like time, that season was one of exhaustion, when I took any chance I could to try and rest, and lying under the mock orange listening to birdsong was one of my favourite ways.

I’ve been thinking too of the times under the cherry blossoms with a toddler and a six year old in the beauty of the Memorial Gardens, where I’d try and get another chance to sit down after the school collection. That mostly didn’t work, but I still remember the trees in all their glory, and us below, looking up and drinking in the spring joy.

And just as I see the white flowers appear – and know they will drift downwards soon – I feel the tug and tear of more passing seasons. Not long before I left for work one morning this week, my husband and I decided that he would drop our son to school rather than I would, as normal on a school/work day. I was out on the main road heading to town when it hit me that this was the last time I would have made that cycle through Drimnagh, Kilmainham and down to Islandbridge following another bike. Just like that, over. Okay, it has been 13 years, and that’s a lot of pedalling, but just like that, it’s done. We’ve turned a corner.

And in this earth-season of summer with all things colour and heady scent, we are also in a soul season of goodbyes. The mock orange greeted me one evening as I came in on my bike and I stood in front of it and breathed in; there had been more news that day of another goodbye. I don’t think I’ve ever cried into shrubbery before.

A friend said that losing someone you love means you lose a bit of your story, and it just is hard as your story gets a bit more frayed and fragmented. Beginnings, though wonderful, are often harder to see – you don’t necessarily know that the person you watch walk into a room will someday change the course of your plans  – but endings are often pretty clear.

Throughout the year I usually feel a little sad to see the end of summer, yet I welcome the evenings closing in as a time to bundle up, wear pjs as soon as I get home from work, and light candles. Christmas is over? But the evenings are slowly brightening and there are new plans to make. Spring of course gracefully bows to summer, and on we go.

In the same way, I know these other changes give way to newer, bright times but still, for just a few more minutes, I want to linger by the mock orange.



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