A common polite refrain heard on return to work on a Monday morning. Mostly just polite chitter-chatter with little interest in what really happened. It’s the Monday-morning equivalent of weather talk.
Mine was busy, consumed by the kids and family stuff. Building bunk beds. Taking the girls to swimming lessons and parties. So Sunday afternoon rolled around and I fancied just lying on the sofa, but Lauren wanted to go to the park. And we were mildly curious about some new houses built near the high school, down by the canal. So we went for a drive and a walk in the park afterwards.
I wasn’t even going to bring the camera, but it’s an X100 and it will not be left at home. It weighs nothing. And it’s hardly warm out, but 15 degrees warmer than it was 10 days ago. So what the heck.
Down by the Grand Union Canal and in Boston Manor Park. Lovely sunshine. Amazing family. Clinging to a tiny little rock for a tiny fraction of time in an unbelievably vast and uncaring universe. Scared, but not alone; a life given purpose in little feet and sparkling eyes. So very grateful to simply live and experience this joy, trying to savour every minute of my brief time with them.
They tried to sneak up on a rabbit (twice). They ran across the grass and up and down hills. Strolled along the canalside. Demanded to be carried when they got tired, and then soon were off again running.
“To be the father of growing daughters is to understand something of what Yeats evokes with his imperishable phrase ‘terrible beauty.’ Nothing can make one so happily exhilarated or so frightened: it’s a solid lesson in the limitations of self to realize that your heart is running around inside someone else’s body. It also makes me quite astonishingly calm at the thought of death: I know whom I would die to protect and I also understand that nobody but a lugubrious serf can possibly wish for a father who never goes away?”
Christopher Hitchens, Hitch-22