The world, it seems, is softly sleeping. The thin hours of the morning, and all is dark, except for the tiniest of lights in our living room. Snuggled under a duvet in the sofa is Jessica. She has woken cryin every twenty minutes or so, been into our bed, into her bed, back and forwards, and finally asked to come downstairs.
I’ve made her a little snugly nest, and settled down to watch over her. There has been tea and toast even though it is 3:00am. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but is sitting slightly uneasily in my tummy now.
We buried my Dad’s ashes today. So much has happened and changed since I was here last. I never meant to be away so long. I was just tired one night, then the next, and the next. Suddenly it seemed hard to come back.
I’ve written many a post in my head,formed the words, but they have just quietly drifted away. I’ve come to realise that for me, at least, blogging is cyclical with fallow periods and fruitful ones. As we enter the autumn days of harvest, I hope and feel that words will blossom here again.
That toddler of 19 months I wrote of in January is now 28 months! She chatters away to me, is so full of life and light, and although she has her moments, generally she is a delight. She is all bouncing blond curls, in constant motion. She loves to snuggle with a book, to run and to climb, and just recently has taken to softly singing nursery rhymes to herself.
That baby niece of mine I posted about in January is perfectly delicious, with the biggest eyes like melted chocolate, and at the weekend made it halfway up the stairs at Grandma’s house in the blink of an eye.
Grandma’s house is now just that. Not Grandma and Grandad’s anymore. It has been the strangest time. Dad’s dementia and Parkinson’s were getting worse, and he seemed to give up on life,whilst draining it out of my poor Mum. Social services arranged for respite care so she could have a desperately needed break. He never came home. He went into hospital after refusing to get out if bed, or eat, or drink. Days passed. The consultant, the kindest man,said sadly he had tried everything and could do no more. The hospital phoned to say come. We did. And waited. Hours stretched and melted and collapsed into each other. In the end, there was the silence of time pausing and passing, then a last breath, and away.
Jessica collected so many conkers from the church car park today. We buried Dad’s ashes in his parent’s grave. It seemed fitting that the should be together again. It is a beautiful place, where he grew up. A little country village in full autumn bloom. I love that Jessica adores acorns and conkers and leaves and sticks. She absorbs so much. She can count to ten in words, and two and three in actual things, knows her colours, but best of all is developing an appreciation for autumn, for buttons and ribbons, for the little lovely things in life.
I visited Alexandra Palace this weekend just past, for the Knitting and Stitching Show. I listened to a talk by Jan Beany and Jean Littlejohn, two wonderful embroiderer artists. One of them said she is asked sometimes why she has creates a piece – her work is beautiful and interpretative but not practical – and she replied ‘because I can, and because I want to’. Wise words to think on there. They shared so much of their creative process, from the original idea to visits and excursions, their sketchbooks, rough designs, and the finished piece. It has given me a lot to think about.
We have a new branch of Foyles bookshop opened in town. The most glorious thing is you can smell it before you can see it! I thought perhaps at first I was imagining it, but several other people have remarked upon it. That unmistakeable scent of book.
I think perhaps, I need more tea.