The last few weeks have been pretty roller coaster like in terms of emotions. Difference between a real ride on a roller coaster though has been the depths and length of the “dips” and the tortoise paced dragging out from them up an incline like the rise to the top of Everest!
Of course the universal “we’re all in this together” COVID19 has been a big part of it. “Big” of course in terms of the restrictions and inconvenience of them. Big but not gargantuan in contrast to the majority of those living in India, South America and even the home of the free and the land of the brave. The use of military language by “Our Leader” (he’s not my leader!) reminiscent of “We will fight them on the beaches” from another (dare I say it?) war monger who condemned our ANZACS to the slaughter of Gallipoli so long ago is far from helpful too.
The refusal by politicians to put people before profit stressing the absolute need for opening up the economy and slamming any of their kind who might be demonstrating an opposing method of management fits perfectly with the right winged nut jobs who control our media. I watched none of it for three days. Talk about a purge!
Instead I was here! At least 40 shades of green. Bird calls. I wake to bird calls every day. Magpies and sometimes a kookaburra. But there were other birds I did not recognise. There were geese that took their morning exercise up the road every morning. Should anything or anyone approach them they honked their “get out of here NOW!” message which reverberated , so free of the noise pollution of the city!
I played the piano and I sang in the Chapel. I know singing is not allowed but no-one else was there and the acoustic of the space fed back to me the voice I imagine I have!
I walked! Looking down as always because of my fear of falling. Not looking for cracks that might trip me but at the beginnings of the evidence the spring has arrived. In the middle of what appears to be uncontrollable chaos, can always be found a tiny bit of magnificence! So fragile. So exquisite! Even as I write this, two days home and feeling again the gearing up of all the stuff that nearly pushed me over, I look at that image and I take a deep breath!m
There is so much more to mull over. However the most wonderful, life giving, joy filled, indeed glee filled, spirit lifting experience was over brunch that started at around 10.30 and went till 3.40 on my final day!
Here we are! “Two Marys” and a Louie! They are my cousins. “Mary in the middle” is the daughter of my Mother’s youngest sister. “Mary on the right” ( as if!) is the daughter of my Mother’s oldest brother Frank.
Between them my Mother’s family provided me with 15 cousins. In my childhood and for every big occasion in the family post childhood they were there. When we gathered there were at least three cousins who were around my age. Mum and her siblings seemed to have their reproductive rhythms well in time with each other. It was not until the year before the birth of our third child that the first maternal cousin arrived for my two ( at the time) kids. That is not to suggest that we did not have enormous family gatherings around the table at Mum and Dad’s place where my older two children were feted, loved and encouraged. Life callings for four of my siblings meant a dedication to an institution other than marriage. In total, my children have 5 maternal cousins.
Recently I have reflected that our four children, the first three in particular, suffered from some kind of generational dysphoria! My Uncles and Aunties were their Uncles and Aunties in their eyes! My siblings were rarely, if ever given the title of “Uncle” by any of them. Once the status of my siblings was upgraded to Great Aunt or Great Uncle the titles were not embraced at all! Rejected completely. The idea of me being “Grandma” perhaps resurrected some difficult memories of our Grandma who came to live with us on my 9th birthday in 1960!
Being with my cousins Mary reminded me how much my sons and daughters have missed. Here we are – Grandmothers all. All our parents have gone – but our mothers and fathers are there in that picture! Eyes, shape of the faces, noses, smiles. I met my Aunties and Uncles again in their stories and their gestures. We laughed. We connected so well because age catches up with you and a six year age difference between a 12 year old and an 18 year old is nothing when you are you are in your eighth decade!
So much for our children and theirs to look forward to!
So much more I could write. I am so thankful to my cousins Mary!
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