I have decided to publish an open letter that I have written for my Son. It captures something of the predicament I find myself in since Sholto has gone for a holiday with his Father.
Paul Simon also grapples with a longing heart at a great distance in his prose for ‘Kathy’s Song ‘
I hear the drizzle of the rain
Like a memory it falls
Soft and warm continuing
Tapping on my roof and walls
And from the shelter of my mind
Through the window of my eyes
I gaze beyond the rain-drenched streets
To England where my heart lies
My mind’s distracted and diffused
My thoughts are many miles away
They lie with you when you’re asleep
And kiss you when you start your day
And a song I was writing is left undone
I don’t know why I spend my time
Writing songs I can’t believe
With words that tear and strain to rhyme
And so you see I have come to doubt
All that I once held as true
I stand alone without beliefs
The only truth I know is you
And as I watch the drops of rain
Weave their weary paths and die
I know that I am like the rain
There but for the grace of you go I
25 08 20
My darling Sholto,
You are about to brace the angry, salty seas of St George’s Channel with your father.
All day I have tried to read the moody intentions of the storm.I have envisaged a mist of my protective love surrounding you, every hour, every minute, since I gave you a hug goodbye.
It is hard for me to harness my worries for you on a day like this, setting sail – the seas can be unkind to boats who boast their rights of passage over Neptune’s kingdom when he is ill-tempered.
The imagery of my motherly mist settling all about you as you drift to sleep on the ferry, whilst lain on your father’s lap, helps me feel you are safe and sound. You are breathing your soft breaths of dreams into the world as usual.
You have gone for a long holiday with Daddy, and it is the longest we have ever been apart. A neon light is flickering on and off above my stupefied head – it says:
M O T H E R in V A C A N C Y
You have gone to Butlerstown where I would have spent teenage days and nights wrapped in a silky lust for your father. At the time we were both sprats, pretending we knew it all. Suspended in the fantasies of youth, oozing with sweaty, salty skins. We talked of our unborn children as we stole tomatoes from the walled garden and wondered if our offspring would have Irish accents?
Back then, for reasons unknown, we took the time to fall in love with one another. It was like coming across a violet daily and feeling the delight of that discovery by surprise over many summers.
But like all organic beauty, our violet stopped growing over the years – not from anything more sinister than being fragile and ultimately mortal. This way I know it was real and it’s OK our love faded over the depths of time – somehow natural?
All I described above I hope you come to understand one day – that you are the alchemy of such youthful love and summer memories.
And so, I have let you go (2 year old you), from my arms, from my sight, from all my senses but one. You are never gone from my thoughts my darling Sholto. I hope your time away will fill you with wonderments you can share with me one day.
I just wanted you to know of my protective mist – unseen by the human eye – but it’s there, encouraging you and enabling your bravery and most importantly surrounding you with the unbounded love you deserve.
Now it is time for me to occupy the vacancy your departure has enlightened upon me. Today I am strong in my core and love not only you but also myself (something I’m only just learning to do).
Keep safe, from your ever loving mother.