How are you? Have you had a nice summer?
Summer seems to be flying by here, and I can't believe my children are already back at school! We had five weeks off, and for three of those weeks, we were in Northern Ireland catching up with family and friends. It was a much-needed trip, as I live about 1000 miles away from my family. I'm still very much a home bird and it's this love of home and keeping relationships alive, even across the miles, that is at the heart of Deer and Sparrow.
The Importance of Keeping in Touch with Friends and Family
If you also live far from home, you'll know that trips home generally don't fit in the restful and relaxing type of holiday. However, they are just as important, and they hit you in a different kind of way. They fill your heart with a collage of sights, sounds, smells, touches, and flavors, mixed with nostalgia and freshness all at once. It's the little things that make up life, the wee things to be savoured and treasure; it's what helps us connect and it's best done in person.
1. Sights: The Familiar and the New
Each time we return "home" is a chance to share a little more of my Northern Irish life with my children and also take a walk down memory lane; the sight of my old student house, university buildings and places where I used to work. As well as the beautiful Northern Irish countryside, and the breathtaking views of the coastline. These sights reminded me of the importance of cherishing the places that hold special meaning in our hearts.
2. Sounds: Laughter, Conversations & Celebrations
The sound of laughter echoing through the house as my family and I shared stories and jokes brought warmth to my soul. The conversations filled with love, support, and understanding reminded me of the power of connection. In a busy, digital world, taking the time to have meaningful conversations with loved ones is truly invaluable.
Our trip home coincided with four family birthday celebrations, a soundtrack of singing, party poppers, surprise, laughter, cake being sliced and cups of tea chattering. Such a joyful sound.
3. Smells: Home-cooked Meals and Familiar Scents
It's incredible how a simple smell can evoke such strong emotions and memories. Smells such as a roast in the oven cooking, an Ulster Fry in the making and fresh scones from the oven at the local coffee shop. For me my favourite smell this trip was the sea air. I missed that refreshing breeze with scents of ice cream, fish and chips, cold water and salt.
4. Touch: Hugs and Comfort
Hugs from my loved ones felt like a warm embrace for my soul. The feeling of being surrounded by family and friends, offering support and comfort, reminded me of the power of physical touch. In a world that often feels disconnected, a simple hug can make all the difference in nurturing our relationships.
I think this is my favourite photo of summer, my kids with two of their cousins. It wasn't prompted or posed, it just happened and it was such a beautiful moment.
5. Flavors: Tastes that Bring Joy
There is nothing like the taste of home... in my case that means wee buns, Fifteens, Caramel Squares, Tayto Cheese and Onion Crisps, Ulster fry, fish and chips, steak, Chinese food (which is probably a British take on Chinese food but I love it) etc.
Introducing these foods to my children and sharing these flavours with loved ones creates a bond that transcends distance and time. It's amazing how food can bring people together and create lasting memories.
Take a Moment to Reflect
In a busy, digital world, it's easy to overlook the small things that make life beautiful. But it's these small things that hold the most importance when it comes to nurturing our relationships, especially when distance separates. So, let's take some time to notice the moments around us, to spread kindness, and to enrich our friendships. After all, it's the small things in life that truly matter.
I'd love for you to take a few minutes and think about your favorite sights, sounds, smells, touches, and flavors from this summer. What moments brought you happiness and connection? Feel free to comment and share your experiences.
Wishing you a wonderful day filled with warmth and love.
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