Thursday, May 31, 2012
friends Sissinghurst daughter
Old friends pause for a breather.
My daughter Pippa drives me to see the gardens at Sissinghurst Castle. "It will be busy," I say. There shouldn't be many people there," she says optimistically. She turns out to have been right. The gardens are closed on Thursdays, which we had forgotten. But without the usual crowds in the car park, the charabancs and the queues, it is a far more agreeable place. We walk round the outskirts of the empty gardens and peep over the hedge. There are cows munching long grass in the meadow. Somehow the walk proves better experience than what I had expected. The famous white garden and the rest which we seen year after year can wait for another day.
At a neighbouring table in a pub I hear an elderly woman asking her companions if they know Yeats' poem A Prayer for my Daughter. They don't but I do. And I love it and in particular the lines
" ...May she be granted beauty and yet not
Beauty to make a strangers' eye distraught
Or hers before a looking glass....
I forget for a moment that I am having lunch with my own daughter.