Thursday, 7 April 2011

Sharing some Joy on this Thursday

My garden took a real kicking this winter: lots of deads. The beautiful bay that I've had for a good eight or ten years and that adds depth to stocks, soups, sauces, and is regularly plundered for the kitchen, turned brown and friable.

Just look at the poor bugger!

I have been meaning to dig it up and chuck it on the compost heap for weeks. So it's Lucky I am very slow to deal with most things because this morning as I was sipping my morning tea in a slant of sun, I saw a speck of vibrant green peering from under the tragic copper. And voila:

a tiny new born laurel leaf. I couldn't have asked for a better gift on the last day of my fifth decade.

More joys: yesterday I got a haircut. I know this isn't unusual for most people but for me it's an event. I hadn't had my hair cut since last July and it was beginning to drive me nuts: I hate that feeling of wool round my neck, and it was fluffy wool at that, like mohair. Now it's small, neat and sleek once again thanks to Dale, who loves golf and has rather fabulous tattoos, of Toni and Guy in Carlisle.

A couple of days ago a friend posted a quotation from George Bernard Shaw on her Facebook page:

This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognised by yourself as a mighty one; the being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.

And I realised I used to be a feverish, (though not particularly selfish) little clod of ailments and grievances, but now I have a purpose and it feels like it could be a mighty one: helping people to find their (writing) voices. One of my students is a lady in her seventies who is dyslexic. She has never had the confidence to write. As a child her school-life was miserable: she was told she was stupid, and she grew up believing this. But she has such stories to tell, and now she is beginning to tell them, on paper, in neat, bold handwriting. How joyous is that?


Tess Kincaid said...

I love that you are sharing the joy with GBS's excellent quote. Spring is the perfect season for dusting off our purpose.

Sausage Fingers said...

Nice post and good for your student.

Scarlet Blue said...

Very joyous.
Taking time over things [especially the digging up not so dead plants] is the best way to be.
Happy birthday for tomorrow!!

savannah said...

i will be joyful all day! the little, the every day, the simple things because it could have all been so different...
you are a delight to know, sugarpie! xoxoxox

angryparsnip said...

Lovely joyful post today.

So glad you didn't did up your favorite Bay plant.

We had a super bad hard freeze here in Tucson and my citrus trees took a horrible hit, several are skeletons and not looking good.
What I am doing is trimming, cutting out the dead wood and feedings.
I am waiting five years to let them fluff-up and be happy again.

I hope you trim, feed and let it revive. I know it is easy to dig it up and buy a new one but it is also nice when a favorite plant can be revive and see it flourishing again.

cheers, parsnip

Pat said...

'the last day of my fifth decade.'

This can't be right!

Don't give up on any tree for at least a year.
Happy Birthday - whichever decade.

Meri said...

How joyous -- to find your purpose in helping people find their voices! And I'm happy that you bay laurel is reviving!

nick said...

That's great that you've helped that unconfident lady to believe in her ability to write and start using it. And how criminal for a teacher to tell a child she's stupid. Just lumbered with an incompetent teacher more like.

Let's see the new haircut then....

Mollie said...

It's a great feeling isn't it? Teaching. There's nothing like it.

Kim Ayres said...

Happy last day of the decade!

The Weaver of Grass said...

Bay is a very hardy shrub Eryl and i have always found it rejuvenates after a cold winter.

Carole said...

This a joyous post. I am glad your plant has a new shoot, but more glad that your student is finding a voice. How cool is that.

The Unbearable Banishment said...

What an utterly gratifying exercise. Well done, you. And where's the PHOTO of the new haircut? Eh?

My front and back yard grass was demolished by our brutal winter. I love my grass! They want $850 to fix it. $850!

Philip said...

You, madame, with your woolly neck and your enthusiasm for humanity, are a joy and an inspiration. I wish I lived close enough to be one of your students. We'd conquer the world.
Lovely to hear you full of enthusiasm for the burgeoning year ahead.

Eryl said...

Tess ~ it's such a great quote, thank you for passing it on. 'Dusting off our purposes' is a lovely phrase, and spring is definitely a good time for it.

Sausage ~ thank you.

Scarlet ~ you're right, from now on I will add tardy to my list of attributes.

Savannah ~ I shudder to remember how different it could have so recently been for you, XXX

Parsnip ~ I gave it some comfrey water today, and will trim it as soon as the danger of frost is over. I do hope all your citrus trees recover.

Pat ~ I think I've got the maths right: when you are born you begin your first decade, at ten you enter your second, so at fifty you enter your sixth, no?

Meri ~ it is joyous, though I confess it can be frustrating too as I have so little time for my own stuff. But my own stuff will still be there when I get back to it.

Nick ~ the stories I've heard about how kids with dyslexia were treated before it was a recognised condition is heartbreaking.

Mollie ~ it is great, and when someone responds well to it it can't be beaten. I do hope you get a teaching post soon.

Kim ~ thank you!

Weaver ~ I'll remember that from now on.

Carole ~ it's the coolest, especially as she is such a lovely woman.

UB ~ eight hundred and fifty dollars?! Isn't grass one of those plants that bounces back?

Philip ~ and we coud do it – conquer the world, that is – from the pub!

Sharon Longworth said...

Oh, so much, in such a few words.

I'm inordinately pleased that your bay has survived.
I'm dead chuffed that we both got our hair cut this week (I've been growing mine, from sheer perversity since last July).
I'm full of admiration at the thought of you helping people to find their voices and write.
And lastly, I'm sending lots of love and best wishes for your birthday. Personal experience tells me the sixth decade can be very fine.

Titus said...

Perfect rejuvenation Spring post. I see phoenixes above your head!

Alesa Warcan said...

Thanks for the joy! Just the pick me up I needed! : j

Anonymous said...

i love this whole concept of sharing the joy! yay for meri!

debra said...

simple joys :-)

Mollie said...

Hey! Just wanted to let you know that today I learned that line-drying clothes is seen as a sign of poverty in the US and that there are laws in many places banning the practice. There's a UK documentary about this very thing coming out, titled "Drying for Freedom".

Anonymous said...

Many congratulations, Eryl, on your fiftieth birthday.

You've been a friend to my blog more than anyone. That's meant a lot to me.

You also inspire with your seemingly tireless enthusiasm for life and your instinctive kindness.

You are like the sun. xxx

Anonymous said...

Best wishes for the new decade, dear Eryl, and all that is to come: Glück, Gesundheit und ein langes Leben!

Princess said...

Hi Eryl, I've popped over from savannah's today to wish you a HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Don't throw out your bay leaves.. the dry ones will keep in an airtight jar for emergencies...or at least until you have some usable fresh ones

Eryl said...

Sharon ~ a little perversity, as long as it doesn't harm anyone, is a good thing, I'd say.

Thank you for making the sixth decade sound less scary.

Titus ~ I wondered what that was in my hair!

Alesa ~ glad I was able to pick you up, though sorry you needed it.

Kamana ~ she is brilliant, isn't she?

Debra ~ the best sort.

Mollie ~ now that really is perverse! They obviously haven't seen the Kath Kidston catalogue.

Jenny ~ that is one of the nicest things anyone has ever said about me, thank you, X

Mago ~ thank you (I'll have to get my German dictionary out!)

Princess ~ thank you, they'll look rather pretty in a large glass jar too.

Jimmy said...

Life begins at the age of however young you feel hen, but then you already knew that, I can read it in your unwritten words.

Pat said...

MTL put me right. I have difficulty with beginnings and endings.

Elisabeth said...

Helping others to find their voice is a wonderful calling, Eryl. Reading this now, you in your fifth decade or saying goodbye to it makes me think you're not as young as I had imagined. You're more my age perhaps.

It's funny how we develop fantasies of our blogger friends that can be all wrong. I thought you might be in your twenties. Hence my comment on your comment on my post.

Eryl said...

Jimmy ~ hello there! Will pop over and see how you're getting on one of these days. Today I feel about five hundred!

Pat ~ it does sound quite shocking though, I have to think things like this through very systematically. Rubbish with numbers.

Elizabeth ~ I suppose we make assumptions based on the things our blogger friends write about. I think I was still in the middle of my masters degree when we met and most people do those in their twenties.

I do still feel I was a bit young for my mother to die, being only 45. I have friends in their sixties who still have both parents, yet at 45 I lost my last one. I'm pretty sure, though, it's this that helped me finally grow up.