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Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Siblings, a small emergency, Sorrowful, glorious and joyous mysteries.

On Saturday, we brought the boy fishing to the Heritage Park, with its stocked lake, (he needs regular vists, and it's some time since his birthday trip). His fishing friend unable to come, he invites the boss, a   rare and gruff invitation, to fish with him. Her fishing rod located  and packed, in the car she carefully told him that she will fish for a little while, least he imagine she is sticking with  him for his usual obsessive  four hour marathon. The boss has a broad range of interests and fishing is in there, but on the outer reaches. He has cooked sausages, and buttered rolls, for sustenance,  and is wasting no time on lunching (for wimps).

The first daughter if gracing ourselves and the day with her presence,, her friends having cried off a shopping trip. "But what shall we do all day," she nags, distractedly, en route. "Walk.  ! Have lunch. Have a root in the craft shops" (very interesting and good,) I say, bracingly, "And get lots and lots of fresh air".  "It will be delightful". And it is.

It is a rare sunny day, and we intend to have lunch in the beautiful old, stone constructed  centre in the park, and meander gently around the park walks, (it's saturday, no purposeful activity to be entertained). It might be early summer, the  clear light  reflected in still lake water, outlining tall trees, casts and air of grace and holiday, over the whole. The sun, through the cafe window gives a sense of warmpth and ease to the ancient building where we have coffee and rolls. Afterwards, the eldest daughter picks up the threads of an ancient bond with the boss as they stroll companionably in front of us, she leaning in over the shorter boss. Murmuring, conversational eddies float back to us all afternoon. And that, I think, is the point of having  children in the plural,  there's is always a sibling to fall back on if all wese fails and the bonds, though  often acrimonious, are deep and live in well oiled grooves.

The first daughter contives to lock  the car keys in the car boot,  as evening falls  and  a chilly night looms.
Various options are considered, ie phoning  the garda station,  locating a mechanic, coathanger insertions, and the smashing of back windows. I favour the latter, being tired and reluctant to mess about ( and /or listen to various reluctant men marvelling at our  bad fortune?stupidity, before explaining that they can't possibly come out on a saturday evening) ). The caustic boy, dragged away from the lake, is forthright in  his opinion of his sisters "craziness" , and she defends herself with all the noise and determination of a budding lawyer. "Oh well, like, like, Mum has forgiven her, so like what's your problem" the boss says flatly.

An executive decision made, the window smashed with a strategic rock, which dramatic action quelled all quarrelsome impulses, and we are on our way home. In the back, they  are only slightly discommoded by the breeze freely flowing through the small side window, and chat quietly. The consensus is that it was a good day, despite the crying off of friends and the being reduced to siblings company . I realise that the day is gone forever when they  travelled with me, hung out, a noisy lively swarm, combative and companionable both. "But, you know,  are n't siblings a fine resource to fall back on, when all else fails"  I muse aloud in a conversational lull, and  then, "blood is thicker than  water you know " to my backseat audience, who are  uninpressed  seem ing to find me endlessly (amusingly) quaint these days.

"They ll see  ," as I nod to myself up front,  veiwed quizzically by my designated driver (and window smasher)   ( also from  a family of ten)  I think of the deep  deep comfort of adult sibling feedback, consulted about everything from the latest abberation, neurotic and otherwise, of children, or on  ones own knotty issues,. They get you,  you get them, your brothers and sisters, you were children together and your childrens trajectory, an ever expanding   ripple, from the same singing spring.

                                               CHRISTMAS  2004
                             THE SORROWFUL AND GLORIOUS MYSTERIES

                                             Rosary beads weave,
                                           siblings we dance down years.
                                             In each other's sights,
                                            never forget, never forgive.
                                             My mother's teeming brood.
                                              Picking at
                                             our brother sister hood.
                                            Till,   Living in  another place
                                             scattered where we fell,
                                             with other people blood dilute,
                                             and recreate our heavenhell.
                                             Weddings, funerals
                                              signify our commopn blood.

                                           We, who began in the same room,
                                  we scratched our initials on the wall of mother's womb.
                                       A greeting, warning, one to one.
                                     Haunted, we, by the communal ghost,
                                      tied by our mother's terror and hope,
                                         strung out  on her Rosary beads.
                                       And there we dangle, jangle, brood,
                                                      lost in the crowd,
                                                          in love.