I return to Northern Ireland. I carry the benefits of the holiday in Greece on my skin, in my mind, and in my body. I have my beauty treatment for the winter and the few extra pounds will sustain me in the colder days ahead. My mind and body are rested.
Our son Isaac welcomed us with a meal of cooked fish. He had fished it from the sea just an hour earlier. He had caught it when I rang to let him know we had landed into Belfast and were on our way home.
I am reminded of the story in the bible about Jesus preparing a meal of fish for his disciples.
“As soon as they were come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid there on,and bread.” KJV John 21 v 9.
Back in Ireland, warmth and freshness are in the air. Flowers in the garden are flourishing in the extra September sunshine. Purple Lupins give a welcome display at my back door. A light shower of rain fell. The beads of water glisten like diamonds. Nasturtium planted late must think it is spring. I love the deep green of the leaves and the orange, brown flowers.
I spent a while in the green house. Tomato plants that didn’t need must attention all summer, have become fruitful vines. I pruned back leaves to expose the fruit to the sun. The main stem can now send its energy to the ripening fruit.
Apples in the orchard are being painted red with the evening September sun. The fruit that has fallen to the ground has been chewed on by rabbits and pecked at by birds.
What a picture of God’s beauty and goodness.
You take care of the land and water it. You make it very fertile. The rivers of God are full of water. You soften the ground with rain and then you give it a good crop. You give the year a good harvest. Psalm 65 v 9-11
It is very hot today.
I am reminded of summer days walking to school.
I lived in the country.
I walked three miles to school.
I passed houses, lanes, hedgerows and fields.
Some fields had black and white cows grazing.
All my surroundings looked big to a small girl as I rushed to get there on time.
For the first half of the journey I walked alone.
Other children would join me as I got nearer the school.
My return from school was more leisurely.
On the hot days the tar blistered on the road surface.
My fingers tips turned black as I burst the bubbles.
At a crossroads a single lady lived.
She was grey haired but remained the same age to me.
She would speak to me as I passed.
I remember a lilac bush that blossomed in her garden in May.
It always was in full bloom on my birthday.
I loved the smell of the lilac, cone shaped flowers.
She would cut off a few branches to give to my mother.
Further along beside a bridge over a small river was a gooseberry bush.
I would always check to see if there was any fruit on the thorny branches.
I picked the bitter goose “gabs” as we called them, before the birds finished them off.
Over the hill lived a family with four children.
I met one of those children recently and she said she always remembered me smiling.
I had no cares in the world then.
Just past their house was a short lane with a house at the end of it.
I never met who lived there but I remember the flowers in the garden.
It was ablaze with colour; yellow, pale pinks, dark pinks, plum, blue and white, and purple.
The lupin flowers stood tall outlined against the sky.
This is my favourite childhood memory.
Down through the years I had not seen such a display.
I tried unsuccessfully to grow some lupins in my garden.
The green fly ate the unfurling flowers.
My husband planted a lilac tree for me at my last home. It did grow.
I was visiting with my daughter and family in the Wicklow hills this week.
It was our 43rd wedding anniversary.
At the bottom of her garden is an abundance of lupins of all colours growing tall and beautiful.
I noticed little red insects, with black dots on the flowers.
They are called lady birds.
I remember picking them in my palm to inspect them as a child.
Aha I thought.
These little insects eat greenfly!
That is why my daughter’s lupins are not wasted away with greenfly.
My daughter lives in the heart of the Wicklow hills away from farms that are sprayed with insecticide.
These little lady birds survive in the habitat there.
I was able to relive a childhood memory on my 43rd wedding anniversary in my daughter’s garden.
The in between years have had their sorrows.
Isaiah 51 v 11 says,
“Therefore the redeemed of The Lord shall return and come singing unto Zion,
and everlasting joy shall be upon their head.
I am being healed and restored by God.
Fifty years, on I am reminded of my walk to school on happy, sunny days.