UK: A Celebration

UK: A Celebration


spring-garden-vintage-colorsThere are clouds over London again. But if you stop and look up and squint, you will see a tell-tale pearlescent lining that was not there before.

The trees along this street stand tall and bristle-dark as they have through the winter months. But if you stop and look up and squint, you will see small, white buds that were not there before.

When the mornings come now, they arrive a little earlier on a bobbing melody of birds.

The children wake more easily now, and swing their bare legs out of bed without a wince.

Outside, the people at the bus-stop at the end of the road turn to each other and smile and nod before they board the fat red double-decker that bears them away to the city.

I feel a lightness in me that has been absent for a while.

At home, I unlatch windows that have stiffened and swollen over the last few months. They groan, then give, suddenly, in my hand, and swing open. The outside air rushes in. It smells different.

In the back garden, my birthday rose is turning green.

I stand quietly then smile and give thanks.

Other people’s words come to me. I think of e.e. cummings’ poem in Just, which sings of a world that is “mud-luscious” and “puddle-wonderful.” I think of Philip Larkin’s Trees and its whisper: “Begin afresh, afresh, afresh.” And I think of Gerard Manley Hopkins asking: “What is all this juice and all this joy?”

What is it? It’s Spring. The seasons have turned, at last.

How will you celebrate?

This is an original post to World Moms Blog by Sophie Walker of the United Kingdom. Photo credit: Karen Arnold. This picture has a public domain license.

Sophie Walker (UK)

Writer, mother, runner: Sophie works for an international news agency and has written about economics, politics, trade, war, diplomacy and finance from datelines as diverse as Paris, Washington, Hong Kong, Kabul, Baghdad and Islamabad. She now lives in London with her husband, two daughters and two step-sons. Sophie's elder daughter Grace was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome several years ago. Grace is a bright, artistic girl who nonetheless struggles to fit into a world she often finds hard to understand. Sophie and Grace have come across great kindness but more often been shocked by how little people know and understand about autism and by how difficult it is to get Grace the help she needs. Sophie writes about Grace’s daily challenges, and those of the grueling training regimes she sets herself to run long-distance events in order to raise awareness and funds for Britain’s National Autistic Society so that Grace and children like her can blossom. Her book "Grace Under Pressure: Going The Distance as an Asperger's Mum" was published by Little, Brown (Piatkus) in 2012. Her blog is called Grace Under Pressure.

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Saturday Sidebar: Aside from your kids, pets, your husband, your coffee and your wine, what makes you smile?

Saturday Sidebar: Aside from your kids, pets, your husband, your coffee and your wine, what makes you smile?

This week’s Saturday Sidebar is a spin on one of the writing prompts from Mama Kat’s Pretty Much World Famous Writer’s Workshop:

“Aside from your kids, pets, your husband, your coffee and your wine, what makes you smile?”

Check out what some of our World Moms had to say…

Ana Gaby @ Stumble Abroad of Indonesia writes:
“Seeing my friends back home after a year or two and starting off just where we left off, traveling and trying new food, reading books by my favorite author and feel that I’m keeping up with his publications and being able to stop for a minute and thank God for all His blessings.”

Alison Lee of Malaysia writes:
“Cupcakes, ice cream and chocolate. Yes, I have a one track mind!”

Eva Fannon of Washington State, USA writes:
“Since I’ve been living in Seattle, I have a new found appreciation for blue skies. A sunny day with a clear blue sky always makes me smile. (And when it’s sunny, I do believe we have some of the bluest skies I have ever seen!)”

Jennifer Clark Johns of Virginia, USA writes:
“Hitting the gym and having an amazing workout, hanging with friends (which I don’t get to do often enough!), being alone with a great book, spending time with my family, a glass of wine by the campfire with my Hubby, seeing that the laundry is done (again, a rarity!), my favorite tunes on the radio. And for the first time in I don’t know how long, I took a bubble bath. Yep, definitely smile-worthy! :-)”

Karyn Van Der Zwet of New Zealand writes:
“Friends, sunshine and open spaces”

Kirsten Doyle of Ontario, Canada writes:
“Running! I get a real kick out of that endorphin high!”

Lady E of Indonesia writes:
“Yoga, dance, good friends, travel, things I read, people doing good in the world, people being silly in the world. I try to smile a lot!”

Mamma Simona of South Africa writes:
“My FaceBook friends who post such witty things, good memories and good comedies like Big Bang Theory.”

Meredith of Nigeria writes:
“Curling up on the couch under my favorite blanket with a great book and a glass of wine, going out with some of my great friends and being able to be myself around them:)”

Tara B. of Washington State, USA writes:
“Looking back through old photographs of family and friends.”

Purnima of India writes:
“Ice creams, restaurants, art galleries, book shops, looking at babies smiling, my bedroom with the complete bed all to myself with the AC switched ON and nobody at home, of course with a great book.”

Truly Rich Mom of Philippines writes:
“Feeling God’s affirmation and assurance, hearing a favorite worship song, reading funny quotes, hanging out with friends, traveling, good photos, articles that are inspiring :)”

Travel Lady with Baby of Quebec, Canada writes:
“Music on and a dance party, a good run, an uninterrupted bath, travel, hiking, a freshly made bed, a good book, good food, and good company, and finding fabulous shoes on sale!”

What about you… what makes you smile?  

And do you have a question you would like to pose to our WMB writers?  If so, email us at to see what they have to say.

Don’t forget to visit us tomorrow to check out the travel itinerary for next week posted by Kirsten Doyle!

– World Moms Blog

Photo credit toRob Boudon.  This photo has a creative commons attribute license.

World Moms Blog

World Moms Blog is an award winning website which writes from over 30 countries on the topics of motherhood, culture, human rights and social good. Over 70 international contributors share their stories from around the globe, bonded by the common thread of motherhood and wanting a better world for their children. World Moms Blog was listed by Forbes Woman as one of the "Best 100 Websites for Women 2012 & 2013" and also called a "must read" by the NY Times Motherlode in 2013. Our Senior Editor in India, Purnima Ramakrishnan, was awarded the BlogHer International Activist Award in 2013.

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WASHINGTON, USA: Less than 24 hours in NYC…by myself!

I am sitting at a gate in Terminal C at Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) waiting for my flight back to Seattle.  You may be wondering…”How does she have time to sit and write with two girls while she is at the airport?”

If my girls were with me, I definitely would NOT be writing.

I would be mulling this post over in my head while I watched them burn off steam running over and under seats before getting on the six hour flight back home.  The beauty of this story is that I got the weekend off from mommy duty to travel east 3,000 miles to go to a wedding in New York City!  I know, I mean, I really do know – LUCKY ME!!  (more…)

Eva Fannon (USA)

Eva Fannon is a working mom who lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her hubby and two girls. She was born and raised on the east coast and followed her husband out west when he got a job offer that he couldn't refuse. Eva has always been a planner, so it took her a while to accept that no matter how much you plan and prepare, being a mom means a new and different state of "normal". Despite the craziness on most weekday mornings (getting a family of four out the door in time for work and school is no easy task!), she wouldn't trade being a mother for anything in the world. She and her husband are working on introducing the girls to the things they love - travel, the great outdoors, and enjoying time with family and friends. Eva can be found on Twitter @evafannon.

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