24.1.14

Growing up and growing old






They were born here on the lake last spring. Swans often don't survive that first year, foxes or mink take the young eventually. These two are about 9 months old, hiding amongst the reeds, tall and strong. 

My own chicks have been here for a few weeks. All six footers with beards and long legs, they are each in a transition state of mind. 

We look back at old home movies. The lads are building a raft, determined to float it on a lake. One rushes around gathering tools, and materials, talking non stop, broadcasting the adventures they will have. One stands at the lake edge, banging a long stick on the surface of the water, he dreams about the said adventures I suppose. The youngest sits sweetly on the half built raft, driving it as you would an imaginary car, saying...... when will the raft be ready.......while no one responds.

Twenty years later we are all together again in this stage set home. Everything moves around.  Musical beds, household contents, the remains of their lives boxed and bagged. The hall is full of chaos, empty, then full again. Larder contents diminish at an alarming rate. A lot of toast is made. 

And while I am at the shoreline lost in following half adult cygnets through the seasons, everyone around me is growing up or growing old.....and there will be even more goodbyes........sooner or later.





13 comments:

  1. Your blog is one of my favorites! Your writing and photographs are just exquisite. And reading your blog is like being back in Ireland again (which is something I dream about constantly). I just had to let you know. :)

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  2. Such a beautiful swan pictures. The last few years we have in the Netherlands even to many swans on some places, I love them.
    It is always great to have your own "chicks" home again. Tomorrow night my daughters and family come to have dinner with us, I am looking forward to it and thinking about what to put on the table for dinner.

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  3. You always have such a wonderful way with words. I can emphasis with your words as I have watched a swan family grow up and mine too are now in their twenties making their way in the world. They only occasionally return home to eat the contents of the larder!
    Sarah x

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  4. Catherine, such beautiful words and images ... simply magical!

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  5. An eloquent and poignant post, especially as my own ugly duckling will be leaving the nest later this year.
    Lovely light in the photos.

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  6. I understand where you are coming from; it's hard to see them leave that first time and it's good when they come for a stay. I manage the leaving when I know they are doing well within themselves but my sadness comes when I know they are in a tough spot....I guess the old saying is true "A mom is only as happy as her least happy child".....Your photographs are beautiful as usual.....

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  7. another really evocative post...strangely, I have been thinking a bit about getting old recently.

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  8. those goodbyes, sooner or later, loom in my life too.

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  9. Beautiful capture of these magnificent creatures. Beautiful light as well.
    Yes, our children grow up, we grow old. Those goodbyes are bittersweet.

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  10. Oh yes...I can SO relate to this age and stage. I'm always wondering how it is I/we arrived here? How did time pass so quickly by???

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  11. I found a lovely Eleanor Roosevelt saying - life is what you make it, always has been, always will be - I guess those swans just think about their next meal and sing to the tune of their instincts. Sounds like a plan!

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  12. I have been in a sad stage as I think more about this...my nieces growing up and family growing older, including me....and I lament thinking back more to my own wonderful childhood memories. And then I see the young bluebirds and parents all a family now coming back to their new home, our garden....it does raise my spirits some. I think this is all too much for me as I get ready to retire earlier than I expected due to health.

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  13. Beautiful and poignant writing Catherine. And your photographs often take my breath away. The two birds look as though they are having a chat about their departure-:)) I've begun to think about change and loss as the fruit that falls from the tree when it is ready. And when things are ready and the time is right....everything aligns to make it just part of nature's turning. I wish I could always remember this. But I become overwhelmed with loss too sometimes. If I could only just look and really *see*, it's all there: life and then death.

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