Corner Forsythia

Inspired by Frank at Dutch goes the Photo: Back Catalogue

My challenge to you is to find an image in your back catalog that still grabs your attention and share it…if you want to re-interpret the image with what you have gained over the years, feel free to do so.

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corner forsythia 2010

There is just something about this bright yellow flowering bush that I am drawn to.

Is it because one flourished in the corner of the front yard where I grew up? Or, more specifically, where I lived when I was 4 to 11 years old. Where the vast majority of my happy moments were spent outdoors. That particular forsythia was actually situated in the next door neighbor’s yard…right on the lot line. I always thought it was ours.

Is it because the happiest of my childhood family photos were taken in front of it? On special days when I wore a dress-up dress with my stick straight hair fancied up and curled for the occasion. Which was usually Mother’s Day or Easter or my birthday. My grandparents were often there. Or dear family friends. Gathered around. Smiling.

 

1960-4
corner forsythia 1960

Whatever the reason…

When I was all grown up, a homeowner and married with 2 children of my own, I mentioned how much I’d like to have a forsythia in the front corner of the front yard.

So on Mother’s Day 1990, I got one. And then another one for the other front corner a year later.

There were many places where happy family photos were taken while my children were growing up. Both indoors and outdoors.

 

forsythia 1991
corner forsythia 1991

But there was always something extra special about the front corner of the front yard and that bright yellow flowering forsythia…

For a brief few weeks every Spring.

 

 

Yellow

Inspired by Nancy Merrill’s Photo a Week: Yellow

IN A NEW POST CREATED FOR THIS CHALLENGE, SHARE A PHOTO OR TWO FEATURING YELLOW.

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Yellow brightens my day.

Forsythia bushes are my favorite yellow. We had two at our former home…one in each corner of the front yard next to the street. Mother’s Day gifts from my husband and kids. The spot for photos during the few weeks each Spring when they were in full bloom.

I often remember the forsythia from my childhood. It had also marked one corner of the front yard at the house I lived in until I was eleven. I think it actually belonged to the neighbor next door, but its massive branches stretched in all directions…providing the perfect backdrop for family photos of squirmy kids in their Easter finery.

This past Spring my husband and I planted a small forsythia on the edge of the condo property. Within sight of our living room windows. 

forsythia

 

We also planted a few daffodil bulbs last Fall. What a delight to see flashes of yellow once again…

daffodils

…still brightening my days.

Farewell

This post inspired by V.J.’s Weekly Challenge #42: Farewell

forsythia

Every day is a farewell of sorts.

I am reminded of something I learned in science class years ago.
To every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.
For every farewell, there is a Hello.
A Welcome To sign.
A Chapter One.
Sometimes, if you’re lucky, a do-over.

Farewells accumulate more quickly…the older I get.
Crowding the rear view.

Perhaps blocking the front view…
…now that I have more time to notice.

This came to mind upon reading another blogger’s post today: The Art of Letting Go. The coincidence of finding this post in my inbox as I was contemplating V.J.’s challenge is probably more serendipity than coincidence.
One of those Pay Attention moments.

Farewells are often difficult. While trying to maintain connections. To people. To what is important. To who we are. It is a decision with consequences after all.

I have bid farewell many times in the last decades.

Mostly by choice…

Downsizing – thousands of farewells with every trip to Goodwill. Sale on Craig’s List. Yard sale. Donation to charity. Trash and recycling day. Even “stuff” that brought me joy. The reality of space as the priority. Realizing it was okay to let go.

Moving – from a home of 37 years. Where my marriage bloomed. Two beautiful children slept, ate, played, laughed, cried, hugged, stomped, yelled, studied, loved. And then bid farewell. A home where the grass grew tall. The trees and flowers blossomed. Glorious forsythias…a special Mother’s Day gift…flourished. Now all in the rear view.

…Also goodbye to mowing the lawn and shoveling snow. Raking leaves. Climbing stairs. Taking care of a big house.

Emptying the nest –  There was always that catch in my throat as I watched the train pull out of the station. Or the bus leave for the airport. Carrying my son, backpack in hand. My daughter, her oversized purse packed with books. Back to college. Work. A new home. In another city. I waved frantically…hopefully at the right window.  Or from the front steps of our home…as the car backed out of the driveway, shifted to drive and before I knew it, rounded the corner and disappeared. Farewell. For now.

…Also goodbye to listening for a teenage driver returning home late at night. Responsibility for raising ’em right. Laundry. Tuition.

Farewell to worry? Not so much.

First farewells – Perhaps the most etched in memory. My daughter – my oldest – at 3. Her first day at preschool. Pink corduroy pants. Flowered turtleneck. Eyes bright. Huge smile. More than ready. Sun shining that March day as I walked her into the coat cubby room. “Bye Mommy!!” A hug and a kiss. She hasn’t looked back since. A bittersweet farewell. That made perfect sense.

The most difficult farewells…the unexpected ones. Not by choice….

IMG_2714

 

When doctors started concluding office visits with “now that you’re 35…” these things happen. Which 20 years later morphed into “now that you’re menopausal” these things happen. To – finally – “autoimmune” happens. It might as well have become my middle name.

The doctors shrug. No longer look me in the eye.
Another farewell to who I used to be. What I could do.
No do-overs here; but adjustments for a new path.
Refocused.

 

IMG_0927

…Relationships desperately needing a shift.
Unexpectedly…no longer healthy.
Perhaps the most difficult. Challenging.
Familiar connections gone terribly wrong.
Out of my control. Into the deep end.

Leading to…Farewell.
~
Hello
Welcome To
the new chapter.