Recently I introduced my nephew to lavender at a park near Epping and he was very impressed. He could not stop sniffing at the lavender. In fact, he even came close to trying to catch one of the many bees hovering over the lavender with his bare hands, but I was able to warn him in time.
A few days later, we found ourselves walking twenty minutes from the car park to the town in a small beach town with a long harbor, muddy waters, and eclectic mix of sands and sand washed up on its shores, called Clacton.
My nephew was once more amazed by the lavender which were scattered along the paths, and I picked some up for him. He held on to a single flower of the large bunches of lavender, long after the others slipped through his fingers. It was a beautiful gesture, of holding on to a fragment of beauty, and for this little speckle to be enough.
This piece was inspired by the shells collected from Thailand, sea glass from Taormina, and some rock bits and lavender from Clacton, which I experienced this July with my nephew.
Putting the simple piece together reminded me of the wonderful words about eternal love from writer Louis de Bernieres in Captain Corelli’s Mandolin:
Love is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is.
Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion. That is just being “in love” which any of us can convince ourselves we are.
Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Your mother and I had it, we had roots that grew towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossoms had fallen from our branches we found that we were one tree and not two.