I left home at 18 to study at the University of Melbourne. It was a strange year, as I am sure first years away from home often are - exciting and lonely at the same time.
Every Friday night I would travel the hour and a half home to Geelong to earn some spending money by working in my parents' catering business. Well, that was the official reason, anyhow. Mostly I just liked being at home with my family. The weekends would pass by far too quickly, and then there we would be at Sunday evening already, and it would be time to jump into my little white car and leave again.
I was always sad.
Actually, I'm always sad to leave my mum, even all these years later. I always feel torn as I hug her goodbye and leave her waving behind us at the retreating car. My Mum and Dad were wonderful parents.
Anyhow, back to the story. I think my Mum always felt sad as leaving time approached as well. Often she would take me outside for a peregrination around her garden and a bit of a chat before we parted, and she would gather together a tussie-mussie of whatever was in bloom for me to take back to Uni. The bunch would last the whole week, reminding me of home and just brightening my life. I loved them.
There was often a time in early winter when collecting a bunch of flowers was nigh on impossible, but that made first little posy we could collect in late winter very special indeed. We always called it a Spring Bunch, because that's what it made us look forward to. Often it was fragrant with Daphne - then and now one of our favourites. Sometimes there would be a little sprig of sweetly scented lily of the valley. Almost always there was a rose and some 'love in a mist'. Oh what lovely memories!
Today I picked my very first Spring Bunch of this winter. It is filled with jonquils, larkspur, out of season aggies and those little pink flowers that I call pink forget-me-nots but aren't. It is fragrant with the spicy scent of roses and jonnies.
It reminds me of my Mum, but I picked it for my Dad. It is a year today since he was diagnosed with the mesothelioma that would take his life. I miss him very much.
Today I started pruning my roses.