Saturday, May 28, 2011

Home Rhythms

Before Tea
~ A.A. Milne (from When We Were Very Young)

Has not been seen
For more than week. She slipped between
The two tall trees at the end of the green...
We all went after her. "Emmeline!"

I didn't mean --
I only said that your hands weren't clean."
We went to the trees at the end of the green...
But Emmeline
Was not to be seen.

Came slipping between
The two tall trees at the end of the green.
We all ran up to her. "Emmeline!
Where have you been?
Where have you been?
Why, it's more than a week!" And Emmeline
Said, "Sillies, I went to see the Queen.
She says my hands are purfickly clean!"

Like Emmeline, I have returned. I've been at a conference for three days this week.  Eaten too many Mentos and sipped too much brewed coffee.  Had the odd panic attack at 3.00 pm wondering if the Strong Silent One had remembered to collect the children from school.  (He had. Just. With texted reminders.)

Been caught up in that completely artificial world of a big hotel with shiny lobbies, exclusive parking, uniformed serving staff and corporate pen and paper sets. 

Back to earth now with soccer, netball, ballet on a Saturday morning, a tedious grocery shop in the slowest queue and now mounds of laundry demanding attention, plus embarrassingly long cobwebs hanging from the cornices in two separate and highly visible places.   No-one whisks the dirty dishes away or aims to make my stay as pleasant as possible.   The lounge chairs are covered with chess pieces, books, stray bits of paper and the cushions are on the floor.

 It was nice to be away from the routine for a while but comforting to be back.   Homes, like hotels, have their own rhythms and nothing beats the steady cadence of family life.

Photo by me: Cook's Cottage, Fitzroy Gardens, Melbourne. December 2010. 


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