Monday, February 4, 2008

Spring in the air

The mundane task of hanging out the clothes was a joy today. A slight tingle of warmth on my back and the chorus of birds trilling their hearts out brought spring to mind. There are buds on every tree in the garden and we even did some digging over the weekend.

I was back to my grandmother's kitchen in Dublin, a self-conscious eleven-year old, trying hard to put on a teenage air of disaffection. My grandmother would always break this down with a cup of milky coffee and a few slices of half-stale fruitcake. On this particular day she held a leaflet in her hand, a newsletter from the local supermarket. She shared this hilarious piece with everyone who came into the house...

'Spring is sprung, the grass is riz,
I wonder where the birdies is.
Oh look a bird upon the wing.
Ain't that a funny thing,
I thought the wing was on the bird!"
I picture her there surrounded by clutter, reading it out in her Roscommon accent, slow and deliberate, while my sister and I exchange bewildered glances. She never threw anything out, margarine cartons, letters, envelopes. I wonder if that leaflet was among the papers my mother threw out after she died many years later.

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