Today, the skies above the UK aligned perfectly to show us a solar eclipse on the first day of spring. I had taken the day off before I had heard about the eclipse so was quite pleased with the serendipity of my choice.
A few days before the eclipse, a colleague unwrapped a delivery and I squealed with delight for her that she had had the foresight to actually order something to keep her blinkers safe. She is a kind soul and handed me the glass to have. I thankfully refused but she said that she had a whole other stack to open, so I did accept it in the end. Last night I made a pair of goggles, packed my tripod and camera (I used the welder’s glass in front of the lens), and was ready to welcome spring.
This morning, I got out of bed soon after Honey got up to get ready for work and she said that she had a message from my mom. My mom said that I needed to call her urgently. This was our 7am, so my mom’s 3am! We asked what it was and I was told that my Nanny had passed away. I can’t really articulate how I feel about this yet as it is somewhat smoky and ever-changing. I do know that I am immensely sad for us and for her that she didn’t have the quality of life she enjoyed over the past few years (and was so very frustrated), but also relieved that she no longer has to be weighed down and held back. Every night this week I have been having dreams that she is younger, freer, and able to do the things she loved; always in a variety of settings.
I talked to my mom on the phone and sent Honey to work. She ended up missing her train and when she phoned in to work from the station, they agreed that she wouldn’t head in today. I was surprised but comforted when she walked back in the door.
Having Honey home meant that she could come with me to watch the solar eclipse. We packed thermoses of tea, a picnik blanket, eye protection and cameras and headed over to the old Abbey grounds. It was sunny and grassy and surprisingly warm (though I was wearing thermals) and the calm helped to ground me. We spent almost two hours in that quiet, private space, thinking about Nanny and talking very little but marvelling in nature and how precious life is. I imagined that the sad freedom I was feeling was what Nanny would be feeling as well.
It was comforting to have that space just to be and I was grateful that we were given such a beautiful event on the day that we begin to say goodbye to the last of my grandparents.