My youngest son arrives home despondent after a big loss in his rugby game. It was important to him. He wanted to follow in his brother's footsteps in a triumph last year and so dinner is spent discussing the game, the tactics, the other supporters, the derogatory remarks he had to endure, the sense of loss, the lack of achievement....
I tell him that loss is good. It motivates. It ensures success in the long run. But he appears uninspired. Even the chicken tacos I've made and the homemade salsa do not have the usual appeal for him. I soothe myself. I think time will heal. Time will reveal all to him.
I think about the garden then. How I ventured outdoors in the midst of January to clear about the debris when there is bound to be more - bound to be more storms and bound to be more rot. How the rot is never really cleared away but dealt with. That is what we do. Isn't it? Try to remove as much as we can to make way for the next batch that falls in our way.
Still we endeavour to do as best we can. I am looking for clarity. I go to the old wall behind the trees and pull at the rotting lillies. They come away easily in my hands. I glance the new growth way beneath, peeking out, smiling at me if I want to see it that way. The lavender is another story. Careful with that. Still the scent carries me to the south of France and a patio where I eat fish baked in lemons and herbs, drink wine that if velvet could have a taste would be velvet. My feet are bare. No they are not. I wear boots and heavy socks and on my head a silly hat I grabbed from the porch and even though there is sunlight I must follow it - must be clever. I weed the wild patch but then leave it for the rockery on the small hillock of garden where the light might remain a little longer. I must never take the light for granted. I must beg it to remain but it never does. It moves along, creeps south again as if it never came here at all and all I am left with are shadows, cool and blue black and I think about my son, and his loss and I think of the lesson he learns. A hard slap on the face that if accepted cools into resolution, to try to win again, to pick up the debris and look for the new growth, the fresh chance of something that might come, that is always a possibility.