Wednesday, May 23, 2007


No, not me (well, maybe just a little) but the hyacinths. They've flopped down onto the desk and are looking a little ragged around the edges. A botanical metaphor for the effects of work on our bodies and our souls? Or the obvious result of cranking up the heater till the office feels like a tropical afternoon, so hot it won't be long before there are vines growing from the ceiling? The floppiness disappointed me until I was struck by the cascade of pink, a little aged and soft around the edges, and a little more approachable than their bold and upright former selves.

Straight or bowed, those flowers are good company through the day. And I need the company - I had no idea how homesick and babysick I would be. More than anything it's the lack of physical contact. Nell spends a lot of time asleep and Lu's a bit too busy for cuddles - the occassional resting of her hand on my leg or 'joke pokes' are the most I'm allotted. But over the course of the day it all adds to the warm fug of physical intimacy and this is sorely lacking - obviously and perhaps rightly so - from my work. And the cold plastic of the breast pump is a very poor substitute for Nell's snuffling, suckling and grasping. I'm almost running the last stretch of my walk home, so desperate am I to smell and touch and drink in my girls. By almost any standard I've got a good job - a great job even - but it's not as good as the one at home.

Back to the hyacinths. Could they be the way to solve workplace tensions and boost morale? It's hard to be cranky at a co-worker when you're faced with a flash on bold and unapologetic pink on the desk.

Thanks everyone for your kind comments, and for sharing your own experiences. I make sense of my world through writing and through thinking about what others' have written and seeing how it fits in my own life. Knowing your thoughts helps me think my own.

Eating from the garden: just the walnuts in the muffins I take to work. Such scanty pickings compared with two months ago. Ah well, the cabbages will soon be ready for the pot.


Em said...

If I spend a few hours away from the kids I'm so desperate to hold them, smell them, cuddle them... when I see them again. My favorite time of day is when Poppet wakes from her nap and we have a cosy cuddle together while she drinks her milk (and then she is off and running...)

Kris said...

Hi Em, it' s nice to hear from you and see you back on the screen. Being a mother has really developed my sense, particularly touch and smell. I'm primarily a visual person but with my babies I'm always reaching to touch and hold and smell (Lu's often wearing my perfume and stolen face cream; Nell - embarassingly - smells of stale milk). I think motherhood is a very sensual occupation.

VictoriaE said...

Kris, you're right - that Fr Shay knows a whole lot of stuff. My husband told me on the phone today that the Fr is his new mentor!! Hope work and everything is going well for you.