Stephen D’Evelyn: Goodbye! Hello!

It’s not the destination, it’s the journey, they say..
Having trouble walking, finding your way around, or driving makes it harder to say that. When you depend on undependable busses or getting up from your chair hurts, you may have a different view of destinations and journeys. Maybe getting there with grit and some good humour really is the point when you are not quite what the world expects.

Friday was our Ruthie’s last day–last afternoon–at nursery. I was there at Trinity College library looking out at the sunlit lawn. Nursery is just down the slope out of view. It is very strange to know that the five years of our children’s care here has almost finished, strange to think of Ruth going off to school. I try to remind myself this is another moment of passing time, another experience of passage, another in-between moment in the flow.

It is hard not to feel a bit sad, a bit wistful for the children as smaller as they grow up and we see them pass milestones. But then listening to them brings you round. When I reminded Ruthie it was her last day at nursery today, she instantly replied with that unique twinkly sing-song ‘But I get to go to SCHOOL!’ Life goes on!
Eventually those few minutes of reverie in front of the library window passed and I went off to collect Ruthie. As we stood at the bus stop having said goodbye to all her friends and Jackie the lovely older nursery worker who had come back to the nursery after retiring, and who reminisced with us about Ruth as a two-year-old climbing to the top of a green slide clutching her bus-ticket, Ruth remarked, ‘I won’t come to this bus stop again’. I protested. But Ruth was just observing a moment.

The sun shone as the bus swung round the corner into view. We arrived home in our way–Ruth full of bounce, me full of memories and questions.

It was good to be home.


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