The Quaker Burial Ground and the New Born Lamb
17.59pm ( woke up at 8am up at 8.30am)
Sitting outside by the river. It is warm. The laundry is drying on the line that fills the yard and my view. I see vests and pants and socks and trousers, and the sky is filled with blue. Its warm enough to be sitting outside with just a thin jumper on.
The river flows.
Patrick is cooking dinner, my hot cross buns are rising, balanced on top of the laundry where the sun shines brightest.
Went for a walk with Syd to the pub, spilt most of a cider down my trousers. Nice to spend time with him alone as he is away tomorrow with his dad. I hate the parting and I hate our time feeling pressurised by his parting. Time together is so precious. He is a delight to spend time with, he listens and he tells me kindly if he disagrees with what I say and he offers me advice, good advice. Teenagers are amazing. So astute. So clever. So aware of the complexities of life. I need to listen to him.
The sap is rising, the buds are budding, the rabbits are out and the birds loud with song. The fields are turning from yellow ochre to emerald. The blossom so pretty, pink cherry, white bramble, sweet smelling. Bumble bees and red admirals find nectar in the heather.
Asgarth Falls, a joyous family gathering on the banks of the river between rock and tangled tree root. The river flows. The children dip their sticks into the waters brown depth and watch when one breaks free and floats down stream. Naoise shows me all the rabbit holes and imagines the families that live within.
There is far too much picnic food on the rug. There are far too many nice sweet things to eat. There is plenty of conversation and smiles and hugs and love all around. Mum and dad rest a while on a picnic bench, they are getting old now, and they feel the cold easily and life is heavy when you are always in an upright position.
We all run up the bank and roll and throw and chuck eggs down the hill that is full of rabbit burrows. There are eggs decorated with colour and pattern. There are on lookers staring a ghast. Its a family tradition to hard boil eggs then roll them until they crack. The children love the game up and down and up and down the bank with egg after egg after egg. Fetch. Throw. Fetch. Throw.
When we are done the smiles have been cast forward and the eggs litter the bank. The eggs will be eaten by fox, badger, crow.
We go to look at Grannies old house. I sit on the bench at the far end of the graveyard. Syd and Naoise scrap and squabble over a ball. I talk to Patrick and my cousin. I climb up onto the wall and sit a while, Naoise holds his hands up to join me.
I used to crawl around the perimeter of the wall. What a great performance that would make. Perhaps I should try to do it once more, as an adult, film my action.
I listen to the rooks in the rookery. I remember the sound that they made when I would wake on a sunny morning in the back bedroom. All is peaceful and quiet and the view is a delight. I remember scree running with my brother and sisters up on the hills in the far distance, I remember fishing in the river, bringing back cray fish in plastic beach buckets to show grannie. I remember collecting firewood. I remember being here and being free and being happy, and my big sister checking that I had put on a clean pair of knickers each day. I remember the gallery of drawings in the hall way, cousins I knew, cousins I did not, but all the lines that I admired, and asking questions about who each cousin was, where they lived and what they did and who their parents were. I remember fetching slabs of butter and glass pint bottles of milk from the stone cold of the pantry.
We watch a new lamb being born. Just here by the wall that I climbed as a child, and the place that I would dream, and dream and wish a summer away. I’d like to go inside the house that is filled with so many memories, perhaps I could. Perhaps I could watch my grannie open a tin with one arm, place a lemon cake in the oven, stoke the coals, fetch embassy blue ten pack cigarettes from the local shop, eat kendal mint cake, and chocolate and chew gum, or run through the fields and meet my auntie in the next village where she would buy me a coke with ice and two straws to sup with.
The farmer caught the ewe with his crook, helped gently pull the lamb out, and pushed the small quivering body towards its mother.
There is a wall. I need to climb over, and this is it.
The oven buzzer has sounded but I have continued to write a little longer. The river flows and the laundry gently moves in the breeze, soon the swallows will return.