Wednesday, 9 September 2009


I've just tucked my daughter into bed; and tomorrow, when she wakes, it will be a school morning.  Six bags -- full of all sorts of shoes, hockey sticks, towels, school supplies and boarding kit -- sit by the door.  I wonder if she will sleep tonight?  I always felt (and still do feel) such a mixture of excitement and trepidation about the new school year.

I keep thinking, today, how endings and beginnings are somehow inextricable.  I feel a bit sad about the end of the summer, but at the same time I'm eager to crack on with fall.  I woke up feeling so deep-down weary, but as the day developed so did my energies.

We have spent much of the summer travelling, and now I feel ready to hunker down.  I'm feeling all "nesty," as Julochka described it during an email brainstorming session.  For the first time in ages, I feel like cooking . . . and applying myself to other slow-simmering projects. 

In the late golden light of the afternoon, we picked blackberries -- which became blackberry crumble, so juicy and buttery.  Yes, summer was sweet, but I think that I'm ready to move on.


Sarah Laurence said...

That image by the fence of your sweet daughter fits this post perfectly. So do your words. Yeah! Kids are back to school, and we can settle into our routines. My nest more closely resembles a pig stye.

Still, you are right about the accompanying sadness of saying goodbye to summer. It’s the light I shall miss. And the blackberries. English blackberries are sweeter than their American cousins.

Sleep well, my friend, with visions of blackberry fairies dancing in your head.

ArtSparker said...

Not quite there yet myself...on edge, so to speak. Beautiful photos. You might want to read a post by another mother sending her daughter off to school:

rxBambi said...

Hockey? As in field hockey? My daughter plays too. She's the goalie. I worry about her teeth, but she's got a full helmet so hopefully all the money we've spent on braces won't be in vain. Wait, is that the right vain? I can never remember. You know what I mean tho.
Blackberry crumble sounds delish, I'll send you my addy, you send me some crumble. Deal?

blackbird said...

My son's school started today and as always, the house seemed a little empty and dog spent the day at the window. I love the fall for its new beginnings, the cooler temperatures and quickening step. Definitely the time for nesting.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Lovely photos of your daughter. I myself never slept on the night before the first day of school. Way too excited for sleep! I wish her a wonderful day!

steven said...

hi bee, i'm preparing for the third day of my nineteenth year as a schoolteacher. my very first principal told me that if i ever got a good night's sleep the night before the first day of school to be honest about it and to submit my resignation as it showed i had lost the magic. i've not slept well the night before the first day of any of those nineteen years (and usually not for the other 192 nights of each school year either!!! ha!!). steven

Maggie May said...

those photos go so perfectly with the tone here. i feel calmer for reading this.

willow said...

Nesty is the best time of year. Wonderful photos of your daughter, Bee!

♥ Boomer ♥ said...

Such a romantic writer, you are! ♥

♥ Boomer ♥ said...

And about your daughter ... I have a feeling she is sleeping very well because she has a strong mother who has instilled great confidence in her daughter.

Rinkly Rimes said...

Your 'desk' is, in itself, a work of art. Blackberries? Ah there's a memory!

Delwyn said...

Hi Bee
these are winsome shots...Is your daughter going to boarding school...

Happy days

julochka said...

now i've got to go in search of blackberries and make a crumble. right after the queen leaves. she's visiting our town today...

JaneyV said...

In our first Assembly of the school year our Headmaster read a quote fro TS Elliot proclaiming that all endings are, in fact, just new beginnings. So true. Your photographs are wonderfully evocative of that autumn feeling - looking outward while inevitably drawing inward. (My daughter didn't sleep a wink before school).

I've made blackberry crumble too and tonight I'm having my first casserole of the season - lamb.
As sad as I am to say goodbye to what has been a lovely summer. The cooler breezes of Autumn are stirring something deeper, familiar and more cosy within. And I do like my "cosy".

kristina said...

Bee, you have such an amazing ability to put a feeling into words. that sadness of summer leaving and excitement about autumn... and the photos are lovely!

jane said...

beautiful post bee. lovely images and words... now i´m off to bake a pie... besos-jane

Beth said...

And how did Mom sleep?

I think that nesting, settling-in instinct hits all mothers come September. It’s also our time for contemplating change – our “new year.”
This is the first year (the first September!) I don’t have a child heading off to school He and I are both finding it a bit strange.

(Those beautiful pictures are just a little bit heartbreaking...)

Anonymous said...

Yes, somehow lots of excitement for the opening of the fall season and the crispness after humid summer.
And needing , yes, to hunker down.
How unsatisfactory a place without seasons must be (Florida!!!?)
Your photos get better and better.

Anne said...

Great photos, Bee. I feel nesty just looking at them!

Love your daughter's galoshes. I know you get rain year-round, but around here, breaking out the galoshes is a sure sign that summer is on the wane (if not long gone). A blackberry crumble sounds like a lovely last hurrah for the season.

Anonymous said...

Great pictures - I love the boots (wellies?).

Bee said...

Sarah - Yes! It's the light. That's why I tried to capture that fading golden light and of course the blackberries . . .summer's end.

ArtSparker - Yes, fall comes later to California. (Do you mean the season or the mood?) Thanks for the blog tip.

Bambi - We just invested in a new mouth guard. Field hockey is lethal to teeth. (Addy? I'm curious.)

Blackbird - The air was so cool and springy today -- but with that clear blue autumnal sky.

Pamela - Thanks for you back-to-school wishes.

Steven - I bet you are such a good teacher. You really ooze excitement and fizz and a questing intelligence. (I liked the anecdote about your principal.)

Maggie - Um, I love the idea of "tone." I'm glad you felt it.

Willow - She looks so pensive doesn't she? Of course she was a complete goofball as we walked home.

Boomer - You are very sweet to me.

Rinkly Rimes - Don't blackberries just say "late summer" to you?

Delwyn - She flexi-boards (two nights a week), which is a requirement at her prep school for the "seniors." (Ha! She is a senior at 11.) Winsome is such a lovely word.

Julochka - I wonder if the Queen likes blackberry crumble? I love FREE fruit.

JaneyV - How nice that you have a philosophical Principal! And yes, "cosy" is pretty much my favorite feeling.

Kristina - Thank you so much. And that is a big compliment coming from someone with your skills.

Jane - Pie is so contagious, don't you think?

Beth - What? No school at all? (How funny. Maybe you should audit a class.) Heartbreaking in a good way? Elegiac?

Elizabeth - I think that a place without seasons would be awful. I love the change, and the fact that some things/pleasures are always the same. (Thanks for the photo compliment.)

Anne - About the galoshes (which we call wellies): it is actually quite dry here, but C says that they protect her from blackberry bramble! We were picking berries on a fairly rough footpath.

Julia - Yes, wellies! (see above)

Kelly H-Y said...

Lovely post ... and beautiful picture to accompany it!

A Cuban In London said...

To me autumn is the most inspiring of all seasons and that's probably why you feel so invigorated. Plus, you got to go to Norfolk and had a good time there.

All beginnings are hard, but as you get older you look forward to starting anew with a more positive approach, at least that's my case. Many thansk for the fantastic photos and your precious thoughts.

Greetings from London.

Celeste Maia said...

Like you, I am ready for Fall, which is my favorist season. I love the crisp days, the theatres opening with new plays, the smell of chestnuts roasting. Your images are lovely in blue.

Polly said...

I know exactly how you feel, autumn does that to me too and I love it. It's my favourite time of the year. Still, I'm so glad I'll be heading to the warmer climates just as the weather turns really awful in about six weeks!

I like that word "nestled", it says it all

Just a Plane Ride Away said...

When I first glanced tat that last photo, I thought it was you. Your girl is blossoming, dearest Bee.

And I love that your blackberry crumble ended your long, wonderful summer. XO