Monthly Archives: April 2012

The teardrop shaped cake

She said she had been planning it since I was born
Beautiful, it was
It had strawberry icing and real rose petals
All around the outside
I asked her why she made it,
‘Why today?’
She smiled
Touched my cheek, gently. ‘Because you were ready.’
I looked at it for the longest time
Didn’t want to cut into it yet
‘Why is it shaped like that?’
‘Because its made with your tears.’
‘But won’t that make it taste bitter?’
She looked surprised. ‘Oh no. Not at all. This cake is made from all of your tears; those of pain, those of joy and those you simply needed to release in order to move on.’
She went on to tell me about all the tears she had collected from me over the years.
‘You didn’t cry much when you were born, but the next day, when your Mum cried, so did you. Those were the first tears I collected from you…
Then there were the all the childhood tears – from separation anxiety, to tantrums, to those of excitement. Each time I was there, collecting a teardrop or two.
Then as you grew, there were more tears; your first love – lots of happy tears from this as well as those you shed when it was over. Tears from friendships made and broken…
Tears from the mixed emotions when you left home, those of frustration when you were on the wrong path but hadn’t yet realised it…
Tears for those you lost…
And tears from all those ‘just perfect’ moments.’
She looked at me.
‘There were more of those than you remember, you know.’
And I knew
‘…and when you had your child and cried unashamed tears of joy, I collected those too. And many, many more since.’ She smiled at me as a tear rolled down her own wrinkled cheek
‘And now, my Heart, you are ready.’
I cut into the cake
So light and fluffy, it was like cutting air
As I brought it to my lips, a few rose petals escaped, gently floating down and landing just past my toes
I took a bite of cake, soft buttercream icing and fresh strawberry
I cried. She was right. I was ready.

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Blogsplash – My Most Beautiful Thing

Today I’m taking part in the My Most Beautiful Thing Blogsplash to celebrate beautiful things – inspired by Fiona Robyn’s new novel, The Most Beautiful Thing. Bloggers from all over the world are taking part and writing or posting pictures of their most beautiful things today.* I have read the book, and it really is beautiful. Fiona writes about the most raw of human emotions with such compassion and understanding. But don’t take my word for it. Read what other people have to say.

My Most Beautiful Thing

This picture is of one of three beautiful memory books my Mums’ closest friend made for me, my brother and my sister after our Mum passed away. It contains around 30 letters, poems and loving messages to our Mum, and some to us. To know that these people loved our Mum so much, enough to write such heartfelt messages in her memory and that her friend loved her enough to make these beautiful books to gift to us… Well, that’s a beautiful thing.

When I signed up to take part, I was going to say that this memory book is my Most Beautiful Thing. But then I thought: what about my son, his crazy laughter, the gentle rise and fall of his chest as he sleeps..?  What about the Christmas card my sister sent me years ago, that I kept for the poem she’d written inside..? And the gift that Mr B made for me one year – that’s right, he made it. It’s still my favourite just for this very fact. What about the lovely message a friend left when I was going through a tough time, that I saved for months cause it made me smile…? I could go on and on. The more I thought about it, the more beautiful things came to mind. I enjoyed counting my blessings for all the beautiful things that I have but became really hard to pick just one thing to write about. Then I realised that there’s a theme that holds all these things together… Well, not exactly a theme, but definitely something Most Beautiful. It’s Love.

So, although at first glance it might seem like I cheated by writing about so many beautiful things, in the end there is only ever one. My Mum used to say that we’re here for each other – to love, and be loved. Life is basically all about Love. And for me, a blog post entitled ‘My Most Beautiful Thing’ couldn’t have been about anything else.

*If you’d like to read other blogs about beautiful things, head over to the list of blogsplashers to find out who else has taken part.

Sitting with sadness

I am sad about something. What it is, isn’t important. Well, it is important to me but you don’t need to know what it is.

It’s not a big thing, not really. It’s to do with the changing nature of human relationships, love and friendship… That probably makes it sound bigger than it is, but its not. Not really. But like I said, it’s important to me.

I only realised today that it matters so much. I have been telling myself to forget it, its a minor thing, in a year’s time it will not be important, its silly to be sad about it, etc… But the more I push it away, the heavier it lands the next time it comes to mind.

So today I just decided to sit with my sadness, to allow myself to be upset about this small thing, to shed a tear even. And you know what? I feel better. It’s still bothers me a little, but its a lighter, less cumbersome emotion to carry. Now I can say ‘this too shall pass,’ and really believe it.

I think I need let go of conventions around what I should or shouldn’t get emotional about more often than I do, and just allow myself to sit with the sadness for a while.

Free Write Friday – Magic in the Backyard

So I’m a bit late to the party what with it being Monday already, but this Free Write Friday post is an entry into Kellie Elmore’s competition, which doesn’t close until Thursday. My entry came to me in the style of the blurb on the back of the book (I realise its a bit long). I know I’m not supposed to punctuate but it was automatic! I find it hard to switch that off but I  didn’t edit once I had finished.

Click on the book cover below for details of the competition and to find out more about Kellie.

Magic in the Backyard

Caitlin and Mike grew up together, spending most of their childhood summers playing in Mike’s backyard. They would take turns in the tire swing and talk about what they wanted to do when they grew up. Caitlin always used to tell Mike his backyard was special, different to hers somehow. When he asked what she meant, she couldnt explain, just said ‘its like that place in between dreams where unicorns are real and faeries really do live at the bottom of the garden. It’s a place where anything is possible.’ Mike wasn’t sure about that but Caitlin was very knowledgeable about these things. And she smelled like cupcakes.

Fast forward 25 years. Three children, two mortgages and one divorce later, Mike is back living at home with his parents. At 34! A successful author, after the success of his second novel, he thought he was set for life but there were no more advance cheques, just rejection letters, and the promised movie adaptation fell through. His wife didn’t understand why he didn’t just get a proper job.

Caitlin is now 33. A successful lawyer, she works long hours and loves her job but thinks there must be more to life than work. This summer, she decided to take a career break and rediscover her creative side. She paid for her parents to go on a cruise, and offered to look after their house while they’re away.

When Caitlin recieves news about a problem witg her parents’ ship, she and Mike are reunited once more. Unable to do anything but wait for updates and hope for the best, they try to tap into the magic of Mike’s backyard once more. This time, they discover just how right Caitlin was all those years ago.

Expect the unexpected from Kellie Elmore’s latest novel – Unicorns, runaway children, a pet lizard and a magic tire swing all feature in the most exciting read of this Spring.

Mothering Mushroom

This post is a blatant plug for my new parenting blog and contains more links to it than is really necessary…

You may remember I had a baby last spring… I talked about him a few times but not too much, as I didn’t want this to become a ‘mummy’ blog. Well, now that he’s older I have decided that I do want to write more about him and about the experience of being a parent, so I have started a new blog, Mothering Mushroom for this purpose.

So, if you’re interested in the baby/toddler/parenting stuff, you might want to check it out. If not, thats ok. I will still post here regularly. Either way, see you back here soon!

This leaf

This small stone was inspired by a challenge from Kaspalita at Writing Our Way Home, about the art of selection. It began as a poem about the park in the spring, then I remembered Kaspalita’s challenge and decided to forget the poem and just focus on one small part, writing whatever came to mind. Here’s the result:

This leaf

This leaf shines a brilliant green, reflecting the mid morning sun. It has a scar down its left side that leads to a dry patch – brown/grey and flaky. It looks like it would turn to dust if the wind picks up. Its so vibrant, so alive at its root but the life seems to drain away at the tip.