November 14, 2018

France, April

We leave Iona for three weeks – C has work in London, and I am going to France with Saoirse. On the morning we leave, the sun comes out. Everything looks golden, and it feels like the whole island is glittering. It feels like one of these magical moments that nobody can really explain, but everyone understands at once. The guests run out of the hostel giggling and taking pictures. Mark climbs the hill and stands there, a tall and dark silhouette soaking up the sun, arms outstretched. We walk down to the pier all together, and everybody says their goodbyes on the boat. I know we're coming back, but leaving feels difficult this time. This place is home now, and I can't wait to be back.

I am traveling alone with Saoirse for the first time. In London, I board the Eurostar carrying my bag and feeding her to sleep, and I feel like a superhero. She sleeps soundly on the train. We stay at my brother in Paris for a couple of days. Friends come to visit, and it's a delight to see my daughter is the arms of all these people I love so much, and get to see so rarely. Being in Paris is always a good reminder of my life there and why I left – the grey skies are such a contrast from my sunny scottish croft.

We stay at my mum's in the South, and tiredness hits me. It's hard to be parenting alone. I miss C, and because of his working hours we don't get to talk to him very often. I was expecting a warm Spring but the weather is cold and wet. On one sunny day, I sit Saoirse in the garden and she plays with the grass and the flowers. It feels like a moment I've seen before – my baby seeing her first Spring.

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