It's been a long hiatus. Am now back in KL leaving behind a beautiful, golden autumn - leaves drifting to the ground in Victoria Park but not enough as yet for leaves-scrunching walks. I do miss the seasons even though it's not as cold as it used to be. The cycle of spring, summer, autumn and winter not only gives a regularity to your life pattern but it allows you to move from expectations to hopes. In the depth of a cold winter when your nose, albeit a flat one, freezes; when the bed is cold for the first half hour and your frozen feet make your spouse yell when you accidentally or sometimes wickedly kick his legs ; you cannot wait for spring. When spring comes, your heart sings with the freshness and the colours and the cheery light. The first flower you look for is the snowdrop. My late neighbour Eva had them in her front garden and I wait in eagerness for it to bloom each year. I think of the 'baby' snowdrop in the frozen ground and how it knows just when to rear its head upwards to tell the world there's hope, for spring is just round the corner. When Shah, my brother's boy, was just a little toddler living in Hull where his dad was studying, it was the sight of the snowdrop that helped him to recover from his asthma. When he started kindergarten, he would get home late because he had been picking wild spring flowers for his mum, like the daisies and buttercups. Years later, when he was 17/18 ??, he came to stay with us for his Easter break from University and he could still remember the crocus, daffodils, pansies, violets and many others. Childhood memories and knowledge; you never lose them.
But here in KL, the achingly-beautiful call of the azan brings a similar sense of hope and peace. We have been having so much rain lately, lovely and loud and brave !!. The lightning especially, cuts a line across the sky and we just love to sit and and stare, but sometimes we feel guilty when we think of the motorcyclists and pedestrians who have to travel in that heavy downpour.
Our stay this time is also for undertaking disconcerting family duties. The graves of my father and brother in Singapore are now going through the process of exhumation. They will be reburied with several others in a smaller plot. It has to be done because there isn't enough space for burial gardens in Singapore. But we will so miss the visits to each plot where the little shrubs that my late mother planted have kept going for all these years. How fortunate are the people of Malaysia, where graves , including the larger plots for non-Muslims are left untouched.
It's good to be back in my neck of the woods, but I do miss my other home . And I do feel lost "between two shores".