My firstborn holds my fourth and all I can think is how much time gives us and how much it takes away.
I looked forward to autumn for ages, it seems, and now, suddenly, we have tipped over into frosts and bare trees. Is it any wonder, holding this tiny baby and reading this book to the nine-year-old, that I want to slow everything down? Time, itself, included?
Later, arms emptied by bedtime, I read “In Season.” Now I wonder, would I really see these two daughters, and in seeing, love them, if I weren’t prompted by the shifting season?
If the season were as endless as this poem’s tea-cup climate would I be content, like the tea-cup couple, to hold my family at arm’s length? To love them, but only in convenient ways?
The man and woman on the blue and white
mug we have owned for so long
we can hardly remember
where we got it
are not young. They are out walking in
a cobalt dusk under the odd azure of
going towards each other with hands outstretched.
Suddenly this evening, for the first time,
I wondered how will they find each other?
For so long they have been circling the small circumference
of an ironstone cup that they have forgotten,
if they ever really knew it, earth itself.
This top to bottom endlessly turning world
in which they only meet
each other meeting
has no seasons, no intermission; and if
they do not know when light is rearranged
according to the usual celestial ordinance –
tides, stars, a less and later dusk –
and if they never noticed
the cotton edge of the curtains brightening earlier
on a spring morning after the clocks have changed
and changed again, it can only be
they have their own reasons, since
they have their own weather (a sudden fog,
tinted rain) which they have settled into
so that the kettle steam, the splash of new tea are
a sought-after climate endlessly folded
into a rinsed horizon.
– Eavan Boland