Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Three O

The matron at her mirror, with her hand upon her brow,
Sits gazing on her lovely face - ay, lovely even now.
Why doth she lean upon her hand with such a look of care
Why steels that tear across her cheek?  She sees her first grey hair.

Time her form hath ta'en away but little of her grace
His Touch of thought hath dignified the beauty of her face
Yet she might mingle where maidens gaily trip
So bright is still her emerald eye, so beautiful her lip.

She looked upon her raven locks - what thoughts did they recall?
Oh! Not of nights when they were decked for banquet or for ball?
The brought back thoughts of early youth, e'er she learnt to check
With artificial wreaths, the curls adorning her face and neck.

And now she sees her first grey hair, oh deem it not a crime
For her to weep when she beholds the first foot mark of time.

Ah, lady! Heed the monitor!  Thy mirror tells the truth,
Assume the matrons folded veil resign the wreath of youth.

Go! - bind it on thy children's brow, in them thou still look fair;
Twere well would all learn wisdom who behold their first grey hair!

These beautiful words, uncovered by my sister, introduced 30 photographs  put together in an album - one for each of my years thus far.  These words, they made me cry.  And not because I gaze upon my own first grey hair, for I've been gazing upon those sneaking in for the last few years!  No, I shed subtle tears because I realised my siblings were carving memories for me, so beautifully and with the same love that I carve memories for my children with, I could feel it.  The effort and thought that they put into everything on saturday from the cake my brother made and brought up from London on the train...

the thirty, yes thirty! candles and deliciously fresh Scilianesque cake were to be a surprise but the waitress got it all wrong.  I was still surprised, twice, just gutted for my brother whose thing it was. 

My brother grew up a lot when mum and dad split up, he became more man-of-the-house, he gave my sister away at her wedding and on Saturday he booked and organised us then did the cake honours - I felt humbled and caught my breathe a little.

To the helium balloons and the album I already mentioned -

their happy humble love warmed my heart and soul right through and cemented our bond even stronger than before.  Maybe I didn't realise they loved me so much, maybe it was just nice to hear it now we are all leading grown up lives and our relationships with one another have evolved with the years.  I'm blessed I know that.

My sweet children wanted everything to be just so, wanting to, if only they could, make me breakfast.  Zander waited my birthday lay in out on the bottom step of the stairs - only just able to contain his excitement at giving me gifts they chose last week.  They iced my fairy cakes with me ...

And bonus!  Mummy and Daddy got a night out together and the kids were super excited about staying with my sister and her boys.  We stayed out till 3 am hanging out with old friends, it felt just like the old days, the pre children days.  Drunk on Mojitos, drunk on love, drunk on life - timeless time tapped me on the shoulder, hello again stranger.

 Considering I've spent most of my 29th year dreading turning thirty it has been astonishingly beautiful and I've tried to summon up words but none do the way I feel justice. 

So the other things that warmed my thirty year old heart ...

A bubbly bath (courtesy of the kids) a cup of chai and more poetry by Mary Oliver (how can each one I read be more beautiful with it's simplicity than the last?)

Watching my kids totally rocking out to the ChangesBowie CD my mum and Jo bought me.  These scenes are reminiscent of 26 years and one generation ago, ask my mum!

Watching How To Make An American Quilt and realising the two old women are smoking pot on the veranda!  I totally missed that when I was fourteen!

The words my brother wrote in his card to me.

4 generations sitting around the table celebrating.

The Whole restaurant joining in the happy birthday chorus.

The luxury that is sleeping in till midday after a late night.

Remembering how important family are.

Being able to 'nip' to the shops in my car to buy yet more cheese for birthday super.

Being ok with slightly spongier thighs, a slightly less tidy house.

Quality time with Gaia in the laundrette - a wild attempt at taming my laundry pile.  It worked, am loving the novelty of sitting with backs pressed against the warm driers.  Thinking of making it a monthly fixture.

I sleep a happy lady, happy to be thirty, not thinking about anything other than now but wondering if I can be bothered to dye my hair again or weather silver dreadlocks is goning be a good look?

Blessings and love and thanks



  1. Happy Birthday, sounds like a really special time was had. You know, the most stunning dreadlocks I have ever seen were some silver dreadlocks, so neat and I was jealous!

  2. What a beautiful celebration!
    Happy Birthday, hun, and welcome to the 30 something category :D Well techniquely you won't be in that category until next year, but hey on the cusp :-)

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  3. Thank you both. Claire, I always thought the woman on the council in the Matrix 2 who had silver dreads looked very dgnified in an alternative way ;0)


    1. (Aargh - blogger playing around with me commenting - sorry)

      Happy Birthday, enjoy your 30's - good years, very life affirming. Sounds like you had a great time x

    2. And then of course there's the snow queen in the most recent Lion The Witch And The Wardrobe, her silver dreads are hot! (In an icey kind of a way!) X

  4. Embrace the silver. The most beautiful woman I ever saw was an Indian lady with long silver hair.
    Your post is beautiful, Rose. I feel warmed by the love here. Sending many, many blessings to you. You are on your way home to yourself. Xxx

  5. wow happy birthday rose! looks like you had an amazing day. I love the album, what a kind and thoughtful present. I love the way you describe the excitement of Zander. I hope my children will feel that excitement too one day. It is my birthday in a week or so and the girls will be with grandad for the first time overnight. Oh boy i cant wait!! meal out, drinks and a lay in. perfect. P.S yOU LOOK BEAUTIFUL!

  6. Happy 30th Birthday!
    What a wonderful celebration and what a wonderful brother and sister you have.
    Those fairy cakes look amazing too, yum.

    It is great to be back online and catch up with your lovely blog.
    Much Love
    Gina xxx

    1. Gina! Nice to see you here again, I'd been wondering how you have been getting on ... how Have you been? Thank you for your good wishes I'm still riding a bit of the wave :)
      Much love x x x