Being the Easter holidays, I had the two oldest grandchildren staying over this week. The bold Nancy looks forward to their visits, what’s not to like about extra leftovers, the odd bit of cake on the fly and attention all day long? For the Gracie it can be a bit overwhelming, she didn’t have the best of starts in life so she likes routine and to while away the hours dreaming of long runs on the beach and a never empty food bowl. Nonetheless she goes with the flow when the house is full of noise and action – peace and quiet is her order of the day but with children around the only time quiet descends is when they are sleeping – and that’s as it should be.
I like to keep the wee people busy when they come to stay – and teach a new skill or two if the opportunity arises. This visit and in keeping with the arrival of spring – or Easter as this time of year is more commonly celebrated here – building obelisks was the task at hand.
The willow I’d foraged was not yet dry so we set about the bamboo in the garden. Long, straight rods for the structures and shorter, thinner rods for the weaving. Mighty oak logs for the foundations that would hold the structures firm until they had dried and so could support themselves. As we cut, trimmed and laid out our bounty, much debate ensued around why different lengths and thicknesses were needed and how the structure would only come together and remain strong for many years if all the different sizes available at the time of building played their part and enough space was left for the sun to shine through and other rods and adornments to be woven in as the seasons or the days of celebration changed. A consensus was reached and so we got down to the task in hand. Three days in the making, the obelisks were declared so good that they would look good in any shop window or gallery of art. Memories are surely made of this.
According to some scholars the ancients associated obelisks with the sun gods – topped with gold or other bright metals they caught and radiated the morning light. The ancients believed that paying homage to their gods would ensure that the sun would rise each morning and the light would be returned daily to the world hence they built their obelisks to capture it and share it with the world. We live in different times. I, at least, don’t pay [much] homage to the gods these days but I still see the importance of building obelisks, particularly the ones that have space for the light to get in.