Sylva Fae

A handful of wishes…

One of the great things about being a grown-up is you get to be naughty and break the rules once in a while. We’re (mostly) responsible parents. We encourage healthy eating and don’t let our girls have pudding until they’ve eaten up their veggies. We urge our children to do their homework when they come home from school before they run off to play (mixed results on this one!) We usually try to set a good example but when we drove to pick them up from school with blue skies above and sunshine glinting throught the window, we decided it was a breaking rules kind of day. It was off to the ice cream parlor for a naughty tea and the girls were all for a little naughtiness. With sticky fingers and ice cream smiles, we then headed for a little playground to make the most of the sunshine.

20150910_180700As the girls climbed, spun and slid their way round the playground, I pottered up the field, the squeals and laughter growing fainter below. I love grabbing these little moments of calm, breathing in the fresh air and exploring the rugged hedgerows. The wild flowers tangled with the long grasses adding splashes of pink and white to the fading greens. Overhead, the trees were starting to show the first tinges of autumn colour and the leafy path was an indication that fall is almost upon us.

2015-09-12 18.05.55Waving on the breeze, snowy white thistles set their seeds floating free. My thoughts drifted randomly with the gossamer seeds as they sparkled in the setting sun. Quite lost in my musings, I suddenly felt a little hand grasp mine and looked down to see my youngest had crept quietly to join me. I smiled. Together we stroked the soft seeds, careful not to touch the spiky leaves below. My other two girls soon joined us wondering what they were missing. Sticky fingers eagerly grabbed handfuls of the downy white thistledown to blow this season’s equivalent of dandelion clocks. With each blow, we made silent wishes and watched as the seeds danced on the wind. Some came to rest in old spider webs, natural dreamcatchers to hold our handful of wishes.

2015-09-11 21.55.28

20150910_181558We spied some ripe blackberries and braved the thorny brambles to reach the biggest ones. With red stained lips and murmurs of appreciation, the girls gorged on the juicy berries. Every season brings new treasures and a foraging feast, we’ve dined on hawthorn and sorrel, made nettle tea and soon we’ll be racing the squirrels to collect sweet chestnuts. This is a month of berries though, and they’re growing in abundance. As I watch the girls sharing out their spoils, I’m reminded of childhood wimberry picking rambles up on the Lancashire Moors. We’d fill baskets of the succulent black berries, eating one for every one that went in. Then home for tea with purple stained fingers, knowing the result of our labours would be a wimberry crumble with homemade custard for pudding.


The shadows were lengthening as we wandered back down the hill. We remembered the special rainbow we saw last time we rolled down this grassy hill. A circumzenithal arc or upside down rainbow had crowned the wildflower garden. We’d lain gazing at it curving upwards like a rainbow smile across the sky. A halo formed by refraction of sunlight through ice crystals in the cirrus clouds above. No rainbows today though, just a setting sun indicating it was time to go home.


I love taking time to appreciate the small things, those simple but precious moments that will grow in our memories to become the big things. Maybe one day, my girls will share a handful of wishes with their own children and reminisce on their happy childhood. I hope so.


16 thoughts on “A handful of wishes…

  1. AvatarSondra

    Adore ! Lovely read today friend and enjoyed sharing this post as well as thinking of my fun with my own family. Wonderful blessings and gratitude for life and happiness!!

  2. AvatarTom

    This sounds like an idyllic day and one that all of you will remember. Our son is 33 this year and has lived abroad for about 11 years. Occasionally when we meet up at his place or ours he’ll bring up the days when I took him orienteering in the forest, or when we went caravanning as a family.
    When I think about it, the things he recalls are the simplest of adventures, but he remembers them with fondness. I think that’s exactly how your youngsters will recall days like yours … and they’ll pass on the idea later in life. Great post, and pics.

    1. Sylva FaeSylva Fae Post author

      I agree Tom. I hope all the changes in technology won’t take this away from the children of today. My own childhood memories are of similar days. Simple pleasures that cost nothing except time with loved ones.

  3. AvatarLisa Shambrook

    You’ve made me recall my childhood blackberry collecting… We’d spend hours gathering berries in the Three Cornered Copse then it’d be apple and blackberry crumble with apples from our trees.
    This year we’ve got lots of apples in the garden, so we’ve had crumble, Eve’s pudding, and masses of juicy apples!
    Nothing beats that September scent in the air heralding autumn and October…

    1. Sylva FaeSylva Fae Post author

      Mmmm apple crumble! I have a bag full of windfall apples and rhubarb ready for stewing. Just need a generous dollop of homemade custard – my husband is an expert custard maker.

  4. AvatarLeigh Shearin

    What an awesome way to start my day!!! Love your perspective and view of the world around you!! Beautifully written, thank you!!!

  5. AvatarNeil G

    I grew up in the suburbs but, in summer, we used to ride our bikes to a creek in the foothills, gather sweet blackberries from the bush there and catch yabbies in the stream. Still remember the afternoon light through the leaves, sunbeams dancing on the water and the sweet wild produce. Most seasons, we’d get enough for mum to make a few pots of blackberry jam … a favourite. Always a good ride back with the catch … simple entertainments but the memories last. Lovely piece, Sylva. Love the shadow pics!

  6. AvatarAnnette Stewart

    A lovely piece of thought provoking writing Sylva. After reading it I began thinking about similar moments with my two sons and granddaughters – all now very grown up and I hope with special memories of their own. Then my memories shifted to my own early years. Not country walks and gardens but ferry rides across the Mersey, jam sandwiches crunchy with sand, a bottle of warmish pop and chilly paddling before the ferry ride home with sand-filled shoes, sun-kissed cheeks and hair sticky with sea water. But the best memory of all – the walk home high up on my father’s shoulders,

    1. Sylva FaeSylva Fae Post author

      Ah that walk home on dad’s shoulders, safe, secure and happy… I too have fond memories. Now my own three girls ride our shoulders to save their weary legs. Thanks again for your lovely comments Anni.

    1. Sylva FaeSylva Fae Post author

      Julia, so lovely to really connect with you beyond the random retweets. I’m really looking forward to reading some of your work now.

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