We have just rounded off a rollercoaster summer with a rather perfect Bank Holiday Monday. I have done all the traditional things; started the day with a little bit of painting and decorating (inner hallway door is now a brilliant glossy white), went on a long blackberry picking walk with some very good friends, and decided I was too tired to cook and ordered a chinese takeaway instead!
And then, just to add an extra bit of sparkle to the day, I just had a pretty magical moment with Orla. I tucked her in to bed and said goodnight, but when I went downstairs I saw that bats were flying around our garden in the dusk. Orla has been looking through our nature guide these last few days and had asked me to show her bats when they were next about. I raced back upstairs and asked her if she would like to see some bats, right now! She was out of bed in a flash. I wrapped her up in a dressing gown and carried her out in to the garden. We sat together, on the bench, and watched the bats dance in and out of the trees. She gasped each time they came into view. Her face was beaming. I really hope that when she is older this will be a memory of her pre-school days that sticks with her.
And the pre-school days are swiftly coming to their close. September is about to bring big changes for our little family. In a few days time, Orla will start school. A few days after that I will be leaving the college, where I have worked for the last twelve years. And then a few days after that, I will be starting my English Literature and Creative Writing Degree.
Three big changes. I feel like we have prepared as much as we can. I think Orla is ready for school, I think I am ready for school too...it's the right thing, the right time, but they are still big steps to take. The nerves and worries bubble up, burst and simmer down again, especially in our coronavirus circumstances. But what is more constant than the worry, is a sense of hopeful anticipation. God has been so good towards us so far, even with the knocks that coronavirus has dealt us, (and it has packed a punch) I still have this deep down sense of security that we are not alone in anything we face, and that God's goodness goes ahead of us.
When much of life has felt like it has been put on hold this year, I am excited to be diving into a month of significant change. I look forward to it, I am excited about it.
All the same, it was very special this evening to sit with my girl as the sunlight faded and the first pinprick star appeared, and behold her wonder at the natural world, visible from our own garden. It felt like we grabbed hold of one last moment of this pre-school summer, and held it tight.