Music and sunshine

The weather has changed for the better. After the long, cold and damp winter the return of the blossom on the trees and the warmth of the sun feels like a generous gift. I have been spending as much time as I can outside and can feel my body relax and unwind as it draws in the heat from the sun and the beauty of the plants awakening from their long sleep. I have missed this.

Having been looking forward to this long weekend it started out by disappointing me; too often this can be the case. When I expect little I can be pleasantly surprised; high expectations allow a fall. The romance of my midweek wedding anniversary, which had lingered agreeably, quickly dissipated when my husband announced that he had not saved the weekend for us as I had expected. Determined not to make a fuss, I opted to use the sunny evening for a long walk. It is one of the pleasures of a late sunset that evening activities such as this are possible. The day may be used to the full and I made the most of it.

The pulchritude of the countryside helps to put my muddled mind in order and the effort of a brisk walk took up the excess energy that is required to sustain a low mood. I returned home feeling ever so much better. My personal issues put in perspective, I was happy to find that one of my children had stayed home. A little company for my fish and chip supper was much appreciated and I determined to stay cheerful for the rest of our planned family time.

It is enjoyable to go out and about with those we love; meals out, trips away and other adventures provide moments to look back on. Often though, just spending time together can be as satisfying. A day of cooking and gardening followed by a meal and a DVD at home may not seem to offer as much enjoyment as an exciting night out, but can feel just as good. We benefit so much from time spent just being together.

I am always aware that family time is in constant flux. As the children grow older and develop their own interests they opt to spend less time with their parents. Even when we are together their preferences and conversation changes over time. They are becoming their own people, a process that I find fascinating as I get to know the grown ups they will become. What moulding can be achieved in childhood is more or less complete by the time they reach their teens. Support from parents is still so important, but they are no longer mine; they belong to themselves.

We did not plan to spend the whole weekend at home. My eldest son has a burgeoning interest in classical music so I had booked tickets for a Sunday afternoon concert in a nearby city. Growing up I tried to play several musical instruments with mixed success. My father is very musical and I suspect that my interest was as much an attempt to garner his favour as any real interest on my part. However, studying the form and content of classical music for school exams and learning to play those instruments gave me an appreciation of the genre and I am happy to encourage my son’s interest. There are some evenings when a piano sonata fits my mood so much better than my daughter’s heavy rock.

One of the few downsides of living in a rural location is the inaccessibility of the arts. There is also the issue of cost. A trip to the theatre is not an outing to be undertaken lightly; it is very much a special treat. We combined our concert trip with a visit to some specialist shops as sports gear was required that needed to be personally fitted. My son and I then spent a most enjoyable couple of hours listening to Chopin, Tchaikovsky and Borodin. I must ensure that he is allowed to experience live music with some frequency such was his appreciation of this event.

Today we have been blessed with another warm and sunny day. I am unaware of any plans that will take us from home unless we choose to go so I anticipate a relaxed and cheerful day. If the weather holds through to the evening we may even light our barbeque for the first time this year and eat alfresco.

There are times when I wonder if I rely too much on others to provide my happiness; I am well aware that it is not their responsibility but mine. How hard it is though, when we have invested so much of ourselves in those we love, to not feel some degree of expectation that willingness to share and give will be reciprocated. Perhaps this is why those moments, when time and self are offered without limit, feel so precious; their rarity adds to the value.

For now I must go forth and garner the enjoyment on offer. I will live for the moment which today, in this glorious spring sunshine, has the potential to be quietly fabulous.



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