Thursday, 27 May 2010

Summer Butterflies

"Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you" Nathaniel Hawthorne

I remember yearning endless days of summer, the smell of fresh cut grass and the promise of fun and adventure. A childhood summer should be so ideal, time off school and no pressure or grown up concerns. Why is it that I also remember a feeling of hollowness; looking around to find something that was missing?

I can remember loads of happy events, many of them centred on my French exchange. She was known as 'The Cabbage' so her beauty, vitality and intelligence may have come as a surprise. Boundaries and structure could not confine her, she egged me on to become the seditious spirit that I had never really dared to be. She had the most supreme generosity of spirit to almost convince me that I was the beauty and we bonded into a powerful team. But ultimately we were just visitors into each others worlds and that hollowness was never far away.

As I lay on the grass this weekend I sighed and tried to remember that feeling. Strangely I could not quite access that void that had been my constant companion. Is it growing up (or worse growing old)? Either way I don't care, between the birdsong, the garden and my wonderful family I have finally found contentment.

One thing that makes this even more poignant is that after a few years of distance The Cabbage is coming over to see us. Even though you could probably say about us both that we 'have a great future behind us', she is embarking on a new phase of her life with a new man and new career projects (when she finds a job). My one hope for this summer is that contentment is truly contagious.

1 comment:

  1. A lovely post. Summers connect people and time more than any other season I think. Im not sure why, but here is is shown again. I understood your phrase 'hollowness' and looking for something that was missing. I felt that a lot growing up in my small town in Minnesota. Im sure a lot of people could relate to this post!!


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