Well, the grandbaby came, and is growing fast, surrounded by love. The wedding came and went, with all the anxiety behind us now, leaving behind memories of love.
Womad was a wonderful experience once again. It amazes me that each time I go it is a totally different experience, yet always joyous. This time I went with my two middle sons and their friends, and without my husband who didn't want to go this time. I was very nervous about that, feared I would spend most of the time alone - which I don't cope with very well - but the 'kids' (aged 17 - 20) included me all the time, gave no sign of wanting rid of me. In fact, if I wandered off on my own they would text me to tell me where they were and ask me to join them. I got to spend some time one on one with each of my two boys as well, which was wonderful, especially in the case of #3 who has moved to Wellington to live.
Just four weeks later, #3 was back up for a week for his 21st birthday party - how did he get so old? And now #4, my 'baby' just got his full driver's license and is two weeks away from turning 18!
#4 has been working full time, temporarily, for nearly four months, though he is now back to just casual work. It has been a lonely time for me after 27 years of always having my children around. Although I have a million things to do, I am finding it very difficult to adjust to having no one around. Living out in the country makes it harder in that I can't escape this isolation easily (especially since I let the van registration and WOF go till the last minute, and then discovered that the guy who does it for me is off work for several weeks after an operation!) On top of that, despite enjoying learning to dance, my pleasure was somewhat diminished by a young friend of #4 son saying how old women shouldn't be dancing, that it was horrible having to dance with people who can't move properly (he didn't have his own partner for the class and was assigned a partner about my age.) He hastened to (over) correct, saying he didn't mean me, but it did hit me hard in the guts. Am I being a foolish old woman to think I can learn to dance in my late fifties? Is it time to throw away the dancing shoes and settle for slippers?
(At least I had 'old women's fun' knitting and felting these slippers myself!)
I am reminded of some lines in my favourite poem when I was in my last year of school: T.S. Elliot's "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" -
"I grow old...I grow old... I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.
Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach? I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.
I do not think that they will sing to me."
But damn! I'm not ready just yet to give up on hearing the mermaids sing to me! Is it really too late to turn my face from the waiting dark earth, rather towards the sun?