About 16 years ago, Maureen took the kids out one Saturday afternoon. I filled the bath, poured a glass of whisky, and was about to sink into the warmth when it occurred to me that multiple televisions were emitting sound around the house. I turned four off before ablutions could commence.
Now our residence is so quietly becalmed that the noise of our ‘dustbin lids’ is rather delightful with each return. Lauren and Josie came around for dinner Thursday night and filled out the place with their good cheer and ever-ready conversation. Rory will be back next weekend for three weeks, adding his own dynamic. In all cases, feelings and emotions are usually available for discussion, and various issues can be aired freely and without judgement.
In between we never quite fill the gaps left by their absence. On the plus side, Maureen and I have learned the deliciousness of silence with each other. On many occasions there is nothing new to say. That adds allure to other times.
But when all five of us are back together it makes M and I very happy. There is a feeling of having built something worthwhile.
It makes me feel for Eric, who sits alone with his thoughts for much of the time. His two ‘dustbin lids’ try to keep him buoyant and make sure his affairs run well but I don’t know how much longer he can operate solo as his short-term memory worsens. He turns 91 in January.
Such is the flow of time, as summed up by the great Byrds song :
To everything – turn, turn, turn
There is a season – turn, turn, turn
And a time to every purpose under heaven
A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep