To my daughter, on the eve of your 5th birthday

Summer evening

It flies, life.


What are we but the musings of our memories, and these last five years you have been the centre of most of them. Magnetic north, a mirror to all my triumphs and failings. You are the best of me. My little girl – not mine, but of me. Of my flesh, of my blood. My eyes, looking back out at me from a photograph of a familiar face that’s yet a stranger.

Because you’ve grown, little one. You changed. Knowledge of life, of the world beyond my four walls and my words and advice is seeping in, water to your roots, life through your veins and I delight in it every day. Once there was only me – my heartbeat loud in your bones, my milk in your tiny stomach, but now you have friends, teachers, thoughts, homework; hopes and fears that chase across your face like shadows I can’t own.

I know you.

I knew you before you were. Before you were here.

And I will love you, no matter how many years creep in between us.

It’s the moments that make us who we are. Ever forward, next, next, change – it’s easy to miss the stillness, the chasm between each breath where happiness, pure love and LIFE happen. I wish for you that one day, when you’re grown right up you are able to stand still and drink this all in, the wonder of the world. September sunlight, warm on my legs. Brushing and drying your hair for half an hour while you, absorbed in a picture book with the simple elegance of childhood break my simple heart with the pleasure of you, I never want to stop.

To will, to esteem, to create – to paraphrase philosophy I used to know – this is the stuff of living, surely?

Thus I willed you, little one.

I didn’t know who you would be, or will be, or even who you would make me but what I learned these last five years is that life is for living. Living is holding each moment, just for the moment. In knowing that all things pass. I can’t hold on to your baby years, they are over, and that part of my life exists only in my head. But what I need to remember is that there is an echo of all that is good, true and beautiful in the world and that it is all around, if you only know where to look.

In the inescapable flux there is something that abides; in the overwhelming permanence there is an element which escapes into flux. Permanence can be snatched only out of flux; and the passing moment can find its adequate intensity only by its submission to permanence.


6 Comments Add yours

  1. Lucy Frankel says:

    Oh my Linz, what a beautiful piece of writing. Huge love xx Lucy

    Sent by magic



  2. Kate Heappey says:

    Lindsay, that is just beautiful. K x x x


  3. Bill Brouard says:

    gorgeous writing Lindsay so much better than caravans.


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