For the last four weeks I’ve been in London meeting the newest and littlest member of our whanau. He’s very cute and very small and we love him to pieces.
Although he has a proper name, we sometimes call him little bean. That’s because, as my daughter explained, he has skinny little legs, just like runner beans. Other times, we call him bundle, and on days when he cries and doesn’t want to sleep, we call him little pickle. So many names for one small baby.
When I was thinking about how to put all that’s happened in the last few weeks into a blog, a poem by Rupert Brooke suddenly came to mind.
Rupert Brooke is best known for the poems he wrote during World War I but it wasn’t these that I was thinking of, or even know particularly well. It was a poem called These I have loved. It's a simple list of sights, sounds and smells that Brooke remembers with affection.
Here’s how it starts.
These I have loved:
White plates and cups, clean-gleaming,
Ringed with blue lines; and feathery, faery dust;
Wet roofs, beneath the lamp-light; the strong crust
Of friendly bread; and many tasting food;
Rainbows; and the blue bitter smoke of wood;
And radiant raindrops couching in cool flowers;
It seemed to me that I could most easily share my experiences in a similar way, but instead of words use photos.
So, little bean, these are some of the things I’ve loved about my time with you.
Your little head nestling in the palms of my daughter's hands.
You in my lap, while I play and sing with you.
One six week old foot, painted and carefully printed onto a mug for a father's day present.
Your fat little nappy bottom, and you happily asleep on your tummy.
Story-time, snuggled in the lap of someone who loves you.
It's time now for me to fly back to Riyadh and don my abaya. With visits to New Zealand and visits to London, I feel I've been away for ever. I've had so many new adventures, and loved all of my time away.
It's always sad to say good-bye, but it I know it won't be for ever. I can't wait to see the changes and development that lie ahead.
It's amazing how one little bean can make so much difference and add so much happiness.