Airy cheering sunshine fades inexorably to glowering, constricting grey.
For clouds always lurk here in the bluest of skies.
That’s Irish weather for you.
That’s me for you.
You never know how we will break.
Nice light flutter to this school morning, though.
Lustrous spring light came slithering eagerly in under the bedroom blind as I rose with a zing of optimism.
Bella and Lily don’t need any weather prompts and couldn’t get out the door quick enough for our morning ramble.
On our return, the kids breezed through rising and breakfast, and the dark clouds only briefly appeared when O couldn’t find his toothbrush just before they were to get in the car for school.
It’s tight now and A has to go or she will be late for work.
K has little sympathy for O’s toothbrush quest, and, scrubbing her own sparklers, sniffs disdainfully: “Look where the bathroom mirror is all dirty – that’s where it is probably.”
I remember the unusual place I saw his toothbrush last night and bounding up the stairs, I can’t make out his bristling retort. Or don’t want to.
Still simmering after our spat of nearly a week ago, he takes the implement wordlessly.
And soon they are gone.
This spring in Ireland the weather has gone altogether loop-the-loop crazy.
This past week, the beginning of April, has been colder and more north-easterly biting than anything the real winter threw up.
Yet we’ve had our lovely daffodil harbingers and our tulip uplift, and the boughs are dense now with blossoms.
There’s been brilliant sunshine and I have long completed the post-winter weeding marathon.
And still the dark clouds hover, and the cutting winds prowl, ready to reduce the brightest day to old eastern bloc severity.
And I can’t seem to find the spring in my own melancholy step.
By the time I reach our local Tesco this morning, all trace of blue has vanished from the variegated sky. Every dreary shade of which is grey.
I need cash for later, but the machine in the corner of the store tells me in nine languages it is out of order.
A few bits and pieces, including a four-pack of hazelnut yoghurt, and I head for the automatic till.
This labour-saving, job-denying service always seems to get me rattled.
The four yoghurts won’t go through, and the contemptuous screen tells me I must seek out an attendant.
The one who should be here but isn’t.
Alone in my automated hell, all Hyacinth Bouquet hauteur, I curse all bewildering technology and minimal contract employers – and the absent assistant.
No-one hears my silent roar, especially not the uniformed woman 20 metres away stabbing her phone with weighty digits.
I eventually catch her eye and she ambles over to me.
No, she doesn’t know why there isn’t a barcode for items joined together.
And isn’t overly concerned.
I grab my blue tokens for the Community Fund section beyond the tills
Three possible slots for my tokens.
Every six weeks, apparently, the number of these tokens is counted and up to €1,000 is distributed proportionally between three local good causes.
The way it is flagged you would swear big-hearted Tesco was donating vast reserves for the purchase of wind instruments, local rowing club equipment or, my favourite this morning, a hedgehog rescue fund.
Who will put a blue token in my slot?
And rescue me.
Lift me up from my torpor.
Pull me up out of the hole I have fallen into, like in the late, far greater than great Grant McLennan’s gorgeous song, Coming Up For Air
Will you pull me up
Drop a rope down the hole
Coming up for air ….
I’ve been thinking about this a lot, how I, a man in my autumn years can still yearn to be rescued, and still wait for things to somehow “pick up”.
Like a child waiting for his mammy to sort him out.
Make it all okay. Make him okay.
And it never came,
Or he didn’t know how to receive it.
And I wait still for someone to sort out my world.
That I might, like Graeme Edge and the Moody Blues
Come to witness spring’s new hope, born of leaves decaying
And as new life will come from death
Love will come at leisure
Love of love, love of life and giving without measure
Gives in return a wondrous yearn for promise almost seen
Live hand in hand and together we’ll stand
On the threshold of a dream
Yes, I fear my melancholic tendencies go way back.
Maybe I didn’t get all the emotional sustenance I needed early on.
The certainty pumped into me that it would all be all right.
That airy cheering sunshine would always follow glowering, constricting grey.
Ah, such dreary thoughts on just one dreary day.
But that’s Ireland for you.
That’s me for you.
The weather always picks up.
And so will I.
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