Little legacy is a remembrance project , a positive and creative space, to celebrate small things handed down by predecessors. The rather wonderful Alexanders Residence hosts this beautiful link up. Hop over to read this weeks great posts..
I’ve hardly contributed to this brilliant link up. I’ve wrestled with a load of legacy style things this summer and, frankly, they keep getting in the way. This one however has been on my mind for obvious reasons.
I’m huddled behind a precarious wind break watching my children leaning into the wind on a near empty beach. They’re shrieking with excitement and happiness. My parents are on deck chairs, coated up, mum has towels over her feet. My sister and her partner are running in circles to keep warm. We’ve already paid the deposit for our mugs from the hut nearby and are tag teaming a string of warm drinks, we’ve been here four hours and have no real plans to leave until they wrestle the deck chairs off us.
I’m sat on the corner of the mat, feet in the sand digging a big hole. My hair is stiff with sand and salt and my face feels sore, red and shiny from the wind. I look up as my Mum heaves a big sigh, “Haven’t we been lucky with the weather?” she beams.
Weather is no impediment to our plans. I have the most enormous fund of rainy day out memories from my childhood. My Granny came from a far warmer climate than 60’s britain but she wasn’t the kind of woman to let outside influences interfere with her barbecue plans. There was no eating inside either let me tell you – out we all stood, huddled under umbrellas. The uncles became adept at erecting shelters over grills. There were a few fires but it all added to the fun.
What I love most about this is not only the indomitable spirit of it all but the hopefulness. The ability to make the most of stuff, a fine example of seizing the beautiful thing, tiny and overlooked at the edge of the frame. I have so many giggly ludicrous memories. Strawberry picking in torrential rain, a donkey ride in hail wearing a snowsuit. (That’s me and not the donkey..)
The time I stepped into the road in front of the last bus home that looked like it wasn’t going to stop. We’d been waiting two hours for it. My underwear was drenched. Talking about it recently Mum said, “wasn’t it a lovely day?” and it was. I walked waist deep into the sea on the way back to the holiday cottage since I was so wet it didn’t matter. We all stripped in the garage by the washing machine and had hot showers and chocolate.
The little legacy bit that encompasses this is the moral imperative to stand, feet spread, head unbowed and survey the landscape of whatever rain lashed jolly you’ve selected and say in a cheerful bracing voice:
“oh yes – I can definitely see some blue”
I couldn’t count the times I’ve heard this, it reduces my sister and I to childish unstoppable giggles. I saw my Mum actually say it into the snowstorms last winter when we’d planned a trip to the local park. Never mind blue sky, it was barely light.
Recently Zeph has started saying it very seriously and with the correct optimism. It means so much to me, about seizing moments and family and turning the most unpromising situations into wonderful memory packed celebrations.
It feels apt to be thinking about this as I’m about to take the kids for a thunder and lightning, rainy four days in Weymouth.
I’ll be using the phrase with pride.
As my Granny would of said, no point storing up pleasure for heaven.