In the Time of the Skylark – Hope (4)


16 April 2020

My Dearest Boy,

I once heard a writer tell how she overcame procrastination.  She explained that she sat at her desk, picked up her pen and wrote the words “Once Upon a Time”.  In the same way, if I unroll my yoga mat I’m likely to practise yoga and if I step outside the door I may well walk for miles – so, when I write the words “My Dearest Boy” my letter will begin.

Today I stopped for a while and just listened.  I became aware that the sound I could hear was the sound of the world when my own Nana was young.  Only then there were more birds.  I hope we learn from this time.

I still often walk early and think of things I wish to share with you.  I’m told you can count up to 15 now.  Yesterday I saw a field of uncountable daisies – they would make the longest daisy chain in the world.  There is a hidden footpath to the west of the village with banks of primroses, violets and wood anemones.  We may not be able to travel far but I am discovering hidden treasures close to home. To walk into rather than just through is such a blessing. It feels right to examine the local and particular as our world becomes smaller.  The removal of many things has been like an act of pilgrimage – a stripping away.  It is good.

Back in the village the rainbows and teddy bears in the windows have been joined by Easter Eggs and rabbits.  There are many religious festivals at this time about history, meditation, resurrection and hope.  All themes so pertinent to this time of the skylark.

I have also gardened a lot this week.  Let me show you the lilac.  You will have to imagine me burying my head deep in the flowers and slowly and intently taking a breath.

At first the clean, citrusy smell makes me  picture a garden I may have read about many moons ago.  It is clean and innocent, hopeful and fresh.  Then upon a second and third breath the very greenness of the leaves seems to take on a scent itself.  It reminds me of a lightly perfumed soap in a vanity basin below a window with blue chequered blinds.  My breathing settles into a rhythm and I notice almonds and sweetness.  It fills me with melancholy for I know not what; beautiful and eventually a little cloying.

But ….. look!  Not just at those tiny parma-violet pop-bubble blooms.  But look at the sky , my dearest boy.  Look!  that blue – it almost smells of those powder paint blues I would mix up as a trusted school monitor.  That blue, I have not seen since those innocent days.  The lack of aeroplanes, less pollution, the stillness of the air, it seems to make every experience deeper and more authentic.  And Nature, my dearest boy is all.

I hope I am using this gift of a Spring, this gift of pause, this gifted time of healing wisely.  I am in love with this world.  I know that you are too.

I miss you,

Nana xxxx

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Philippa says:

    Thanks again Jackie, for sharing these letters to your treasured grandson (& beautiful photographs of primroses & lilacs, so reminiscent for me of walks in springtime England). Here in NZ we are also hearing many more birds singing!


    1. Jackie says:

      Thank you, Philippa. It surely is a beautiful time of year in England.


  2. Anne Jones says:

    So beautiful and thoughtful.


    1. Jackie says:

      Thank you, Anne


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