There are times when I wonder about what I have written on this blog. About all the events that passed over the years. The cows in the field, my mother on her death bed, picking blackberries, lighting candles for dinner, chicken casseroles with wine and stained aprons, moussaka and H and small dog and loss of siblings and endless countless other inconsequentials of life that matttered to me at the time and how they were all somehow celebrated by people from all around the globe on Red Room. How lovely and how perfect to have voices return what you write. And now the colours of my life can turn muted in seemingly an instant and there are days when I look back on the bog walks and the stacks of turf and the planting of seeds and the careful touch with tendrils of peas and I want to strip myself down and return to that place. But I cannot. Change comes and change means adapting to what life presents itself at this time.
My son leaves home soon. College. Trinity College to be precise. Hallowed halls. Cobblestones. The Book of Kells. Dorms. Heady stuff by all accounts.
I mourn it. I mourn losing him. Not really losing him but allowing him to fly. It means an end to what I wrote about. About the unity. The nest. Soon he will be off in the big city, far from the bog where he used to play. I can see him now, a blond boy in striped overalls playing with bamboo sticks down by the pond. Me at the sink washing potatoes, all the time watchful of the glint of his hair in the passing sunlight, fearful that he might fall into the water. Watch the pond, I would shout from the open window and nothing only an imagination gone wild in nature was what I witnessed in response.
Change is everywhere. I changed too this past Summer with my job and my baking and going to work and making wholewheat pastry and pea and potato curry and carrot cake and coffee cake and frosting and roulade and god knows what else. And I never thought to look back. Back over my shoulder to see what I had left behind. And then the other day, on my day off, my youngest son said to me, Mom, I like it when you're home. And I stopped then. I felt a pang. I wanted to say remember the day we drove to the bog and on the way home we saw the pheasant crossing the road and we stopped the jeep in the middle of the road and we were so thrilled with the colours of the bird and the grace of movement. Remember? I wanted to say that. But I could not. I choked on that. I choked on all that has gone before. On the necessary redefinition of a family. The pure reality of it all. The movement of time. The silent tears in the dark of the night.
There will be one less place at our table from now on and that makes me sad. There will be less of a spirit that called me here to this house and still, more of a new energy. I see my son when he was ten. He was learning to windsurf. I watched him from the shore as he slowly made his way across the small bay with a clumsy attempt to maintain balance. But sure enough he managed to form some sort of a course and my eyes followed him until he blended in with all the other kids in black wetsuits. Maybe it was then that I let him go. Released him from my clutch as he sailed out into the ocean where the winds can be cruel at times yet can be wonderfully benevolent too, that is if you happen to be lucky enough to survive.