Daffodils, Past, And At Holehird Gardens

My picture today is another one for dreaming over for those who have the power to sit down here in their minds and spend a moment enjoying the spring flowers, the view and the fresh air.

Bench among daffodils facing towards distant mountains
Looking out from Holehird Gardens in the English Lake District

In England it is Mothering Sunday and we’ve been urged not to go out and visit our mothers, especially those who are older and self-isolating.

My mum loves to go out and be social – she is vibrant and still actively contributing to her community at the age of 84. When the news broke advising her to stop going out I wondered how she would take it, fearing she would be very unhappy confined at home.

Statistically she is in some danger and she’s fully aware of that. Seeing her calm face on Skype I understand more of the reality of what she lived through as a child during the last world war. Carried down to try to sleep in an air raid shelter her dad had dug in the garden. Sharing a few sausages as the meat ration for a family (she’s going to say “It was a sausage and a half”). Did they have soap then or plenty of toilet paper? I’ve never asked her.

Today, she is head governor of her local nursery (rated ‘outstanding’) and chair of a neighbouring town’s choral society. Shortly after the instructions went out, I interrupted her in the middle of helping to sort out the society’s obligations caused by their cancelling a concert that had been due to take place the day before.

Fussing, I reminded her not to sit in one place for too long, so far as she could. She said she’d been busy, so hadn’t had chance to sit down for long so far that day (it was nearly lunch time).

She really is a marvel.

As we talked, she gave me a wartime soap bar tip and I’m passing it along here: as soon as you get soap home, remove its packaging and leave it to dry out in the cupboard. It will harden as it dries and that will make it last longer when it’s time to use it.

I’m sharing this picture today because when Mum and I have visited Holehird Garden where it was taken, she has spent some time sitting in this seat, waiting for me to finish running around taking ‘one more’ picture.

And because as children, decades ago on this day, we lined up at church to receive our allocation of daffodil buds from a bucket to give to our mothers. I can still feel the stems clutched limp in my hand as we walked home down the hill, acutely aware of them as treasure.

This year I’m sending virtual daffodils. I love you, Mum. Keep safe!

I know she’ll be happy to share this post, especially with mums and children who can’t be together for any reason.

38 Replies to “Daffodils, Past, And At Holehird Gardens”

  1. A gift of virtual daffodils is a fine idea. Thank you for sharing about your mother, she sounds like a wonderful person. We are finding that skype and its ilk are not the same as face-to-face, but definitely more satisfying than isolation. My parents were also from the WWII generation, both are passed now. my dad was in the US navy, my Mom told a story about bursting into tears at the butcher shop because the butcher refused to believe that she was pregnant and so qualified for a larger ration. What kind of a nursery did your mother run – plants or children?

    1. I hope the butcher soon came to see the error of his ways. The nursery is for children, rather than plants. Skype takes a little getting used to but it does help bridge the gap better than a phone call.

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