Copyright © Louise Bostock 2007-2013. Please give credit where credit is due.

Saturday, 19 April 2008

Carmine quotes No. 8 : Il futuro di Carmine

Warmish and damp. As always after heavy rain there are streams everywhere you go in Carmine. The waterfalls are flowing and the pathways are rippling with water. The chickens have taken refuge on top of the chicken coop to keep their dainty little toes out of the mud. The 16 tomato plants, 8 cucumber plants, 4 courgette plants, 4 sweet peppers and lettuces various that I bought during a lull between rainstorms and expected to plant this weekend are languishing still in their pots in what I hope is a sheltered corner of the garden.

This morning I stood in for M. at a meeting with Cannobio's mayor at the town hall, in the impressive Sala Consiliare. At a guess 17th-century, stone walls, gloomy politician portraits, enormous gilt mirrors, regency-striped chairs, oval mahogany table, inlaid wood flooring and twin flags. And a mesmerising view of the lake through French windows. The same room in which M. and I were married, and with the same man presiding.

Anyway.

I was forced by M.'s absence to bring the two recovering-but-still-flushed-and-floppy dotties with me, and as I entered in an undignified flurry of pushchair, waterproofs and wellies, someone said, "Ecco il futuro di Carmine", here is Carmine's future. And that person was more right than he could have imagined.

It's a commonplace that children are the future. Of course they are. We expect them to outlive us, carrying a precious little spark of us with them into the tomorrows we will never see. The way we bring our children up, the values we pass on to them, dictate to a great extent the kind of place the world will be when they are old enough to influence it.

But recently, I've learned that children are the future in another and more immediate way. They embody and represent the future for us. They keep alive in us our belief in a future that can be better, or at least not worse, than the present or the past. They keep alive in us our belief that there can be a future at all, for us as well as for them.

When things get rough, and we want to quit, or when all we want to do is wallow in the past, the children are there with their demands, their needs, their naked desires. They drag us out of the past and propel us into the future simply by demanding that we tend to their needs from moment to moment and anticipate their needs from day to day. Despite everything. Their little bodies are our timepieces - breakfast, sleep, lunch, tea, supper, story, sleep... They carry us along with them minute by selfish minute, hour by selfish hour.

When things get rough, and we want to quit, the "Now, Now, NOW!" on the lips of a three-year-old could be our salvation.


Copyright © Louise Bostock 2007, 2008. All rights reserved. Please ask first.

6 comments:

Gypsy at Heart said...

Tell me Louise why it is that I feel like simultaneously saying Hallelujah and Amen to this post of yours... Actually I know exactly why and so do you. I'll put in a hooray for extra effect. Kids are an absolutely fantastic antidote towards feeling sorry for ourselves. There's just no time to indulge in such frivolities with the now, now, now! ringing in our ears.
I know you see it much as I do... a blessing in disguise.
;-)

P.S. Loved this post.

Alessandro said...

Just dropping a few lines to say this was a great post.
I live in Stresa and I've been in Carmine a long time ago, but something undeletable remained in me.
So reading about the "future of Carmine" was even more touching combining it with the feeling i was left from this beautiful village.

Vanessa said...

Knowing everything you were going through at that moment this spring, I now have re-read this and find it deeply poignant and moving. Write something bigger, Louise! You can do it!

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

Came over from BBOTY. I loved this post. Have to think what it means in terms of teenagers....

BPOTW said...

This is the encouraging way to look at life. Thank you for that perspective. So often we can focus on the burdens and past. Remembering that we're shaping the future and have hold of the future immediately in our hands...it changes my perspective at least.

Thanks for sharing your post on Best Posts of the Year!

Kate Coveny Hood said...

That was perfect. I sometimes wonder how I get so much done now that I have kids when I could barely get my act together before. You don't get to say, "I think I'll take a break now" when you are a parent.

Saturday, 19 April 2008

Carmine quotes No. 8 : Il futuro di Carmine

Warmish and damp. As always after heavy rain there are streams everywhere you go in Carmine. The waterfalls are flowing and the pathways are rippling with water. The chickens have taken refuge on top of the chicken coop to keep their dainty little toes out of the mud. The 16 tomato plants, 8 cucumber plants, 4 courgette plants, 4 sweet peppers and lettuces various that I bought during a lull between rainstorms and expected to plant this weekend are languishing still in their pots in what I hope is a sheltered corner of the garden.

This morning I stood in for M. at a meeting with Cannobio's mayor at the town hall, in the impressive Sala Consiliare. At a guess 17th-century, stone walls, gloomy politician portraits, enormous gilt mirrors, regency-striped chairs, oval mahogany table, inlaid wood flooring and twin flags. And a mesmerising view of the lake through French windows. The same room in which M. and I were married, and with the same man presiding.

Anyway.

I was forced by M.'s absence to bring the two recovering-but-still-flushed-and-floppy dotties with me, and as I entered in an undignified flurry of pushchair, waterproofs and wellies, someone said, "Ecco il futuro di Carmine", here is Carmine's future. And that person was more right than he could have imagined.

It's a commonplace that children are the future. Of course they are. We expect them to outlive us, carrying a precious little spark of us with them into the tomorrows we will never see. The way we bring our children up, the values we pass on to them, dictate to a great extent the kind of place the world will be when they are old enough to influence it.

But recently, I've learned that children are the future in another and more immediate way. They embody and represent the future for us. They keep alive in us our belief in a future that can be better, or at least not worse, than the present or the past. They keep alive in us our belief that there can be a future at all, for us as well as for them.

When things get rough, and we want to quit, or when all we want to do is wallow in the past, the children are there with their demands, their needs, their naked desires. They drag us out of the past and propel us into the future simply by demanding that we tend to their needs from moment to moment and anticipate their needs from day to day. Despite everything. Their little bodies are our timepieces - breakfast, sleep, lunch, tea, supper, story, sleep... They carry us along with them minute by selfish minute, hour by selfish hour.

When things get rough, and we want to quit, the "Now, Now, NOW!" on the lips of a three-year-old could be our salvation.


Copyright © Louise Bostock 2007, 2008. All rights reserved. Please ask first.

6 comments:

Gypsy at Heart said...

Tell me Louise why it is that I feel like simultaneously saying Hallelujah and Amen to this post of yours... Actually I know exactly why and so do you. I'll put in a hooray for extra effect. Kids are an absolutely fantastic antidote towards feeling sorry for ourselves. There's just no time to indulge in such frivolities with the now, now, now! ringing in our ears.
I know you see it much as I do... a blessing in disguise.
;-)

P.S. Loved this post.

Alessandro said...

Just dropping a few lines to say this was a great post.
I live in Stresa and I've been in Carmine a long time ago, but something undeletable remained in me.
So reading about the "future of Carmine" was even more touching combining it with the feeling i was left from this beautiful village.

Vanessa said...

Knowing everything you were going through at that moment this spring, I now have re-read this and find it deeply poignant and moving. Write something bigger, Louise! You can do it!

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

Came over from BBOTY. I loved this post. Have to think what it means in terms of teenagers....

BPOTW said...

This is the encouraging way to look at life. Thank you for that perspective. So often we can focus on the burdens and past. Remembering that we're shaping the future and have hold of the future immediately in our hands...it changes my perspective at least.

Thanks for sharing your post on Best Posts of the Year!

Kate Coveny Hood said...

That was perfect. I sometimes wonder how I get so much done now that I have kids when I could barely get my act together before. You don't get to say, "I think I'll take a break now" when you are a parent.