A beautiful season

It’s a beautiful season. The crocuses and snowdrops have emerged among the bright, triumphant narcissi, only to be succeeded in their turn by the bulging, generous bunches of pink, white and red blossom of flowering cherry trees and the docile, large-blossomed magnolia all weeping generous petals by suburban roadsides. The sky is blue and the sun is warming gradually.

The world of nature, though we have thoroughly lassoed it to our own purposes, always reminds us that as soon as one beauty fades, another comes out to delight us. Thus, we should not hanker after what has been, but look for what is now, in full blossom.  

Though heartbreak is never far away these days, it’s a lesson I do endeavour to listen to, and learn from.

Sorting through decades-worth of possessions, aware that the few things my mother still might lay claim to – she is now in a residential care home, and cares very much about that – are only the smallest fraction of what, until recently, she might have called her own, I am caught by grief: at the dispersal of her much-loved collection of books, sought over many years and studied carefully, their contents analysed and understood; her clothes, mostly of the everyday variety for comfort, though in a drawer I find some silk scarves, recalling more elegant days when a quick dress change was required for a sudden acte de presence at some function or other; her clay pots and keep-sakes, all carefully preserved, and each with a story that makes them meaningful.

And so I catch myself wondering at the nature of possession and ownership. Which must surely mean, to have an association with an object that makes it meaningful to self, in a unique way that it can never be to others. As soon as the association is lost, and unless a new association is made, (“I remember when Mum used to wear that dress…”) the objects of one’s affection can be passed on; and in some sense must be passed on, since not only are associations unique to each one of us, but each person, each successor must make their own memories in this life: no-one else can do that for us.

Let us hope that we can each make good memories.

Thanks for reading.

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