Time passes. Time rushes on its winged feet, not bothering to check if I want to hop off and wait for a while. Day after day gallops by, dragging me on, a reluctant passenger, caught in the whirlwind of school runs, washing, cleaning, answering a hundred needy calls.
The seasons change, the rosebay willowherb turns to cotton wool in the hedgerows, the squirrels leap past our windows in a nut induced frenzy. It's autumn yet again and the days of summer have faded and gone.
It was close to midsummer's day when Lily left us, two years ago. A blue June sky and a sunset emblazoned with glorious gold to welcome her onto her new path. But the sun has kept on setting, over and over again and no one thought to ask if I minded. How could the sun know that I wanted to be suspended in an eternal June, where the foxgloves bloom forever on my daughters fingers and I wondered if she had enough suncream on her shoulders?
With the autumn mists and spider webs spun across my path comes another departure: from the last summer memories of Lily. This is the third summer I have had to leave without her, to walk into winter with only three children by my side. And each time autumn comes we travel further and further away from the physical reality of her. Those last walks by the river, the last dentist appointment a few days before her accident, the last school pick ups when she brought home origami doves that she had made for whitsun....Each year these memories seem to drop a little further into the mists, each year it is harder to move away from her. Each year, autumn creeps on insidiously, with its rosy fruits and golden leaves. And I mourn the loss of the wild roses and bright days of midsummer, so inexorably entwined with our last days with Lily.
And the seasons will keep changing, and moving, the years will keep rolling past and we will move on too. Much as I sometimes long to be held in a timeless June with my four children dancing around my feet, the reality is that Freddie, Tansy and Leo are growing and changing, and so are we. Our lives on earth are not over and we still have our paths to follow.
Lily's path led her away from her earthly existence into a realm which is very close by. Our worlds are not as separate we fear, but our focus on 'doing' and 'thinking' effectively blocks any connection between the two. If we can take a break from the frenetic, busy and head centred patterns of our material lives and listen with a quiet heart, with an open heart, what whispers will we hear?