The School Run.

We live at the very edge of Suburbia. Husband and I leave the house each morning, two children apiece, and drive in opposite directions. Husband drives cityward and delivers the teenagers. I take the scenic route.

This morning our house stands in a bank of dense fog. With my foglights and wipers on, I drove west, traversed the city’s orbital road, slipped off at a roundabout and climbed up, up, into the blue and rose sunlight.

I drove along the crest of the hill, left hand searching for my sunglasses. Through a russet horse-chestnut tunnel, dappled magenta, ochre, gold. Further up the hill, through Jimmy’s Cross to farmland. Friesian cows, black and pink-tinted, sedately standing as if placed carefully by a window-dresser.

Rose hips, hawthorn, fuchsia, everything cleverly enveloped in a shimmering dry-ice special effect.

From the top, a view for miles of undulating pasture, dips and hollows shadowed by the rising light. The usual glimpse of the city rubbed out by the foggy river in the valley.

It was, honestly, all so very beautiful that I welled up with emotion. I can’t find a name for that feeling. Awe, wistfulness, wonder, gratitude? All of that but more. I wanted to take a picture but, even had I brought my phone, I couldn’t have stopped on that narrow, winding road. There are a few gateways I could pull in to put not at the best bits. Life is like that, isn’t it? It’s almost impossible to stop, in the middle of the most beautiful parts, and say ‘Hey, pause the world, I want to take a photograph’.

Those moments come and go, in a busy day, almost unnoticed and rarely recorded but that’s what I want to remember.

I want to remember that I woke up smiling. I want to remember the feeling of a small, toasty body climbing into bed beside me at dawn. I want to remember that we laughed our heads off over dinner last night. I want to remember every ‘who stole my bun?’ and ‘Bye, Mum. See you later’.

Having deposited my daughters, along with their schoolbags, gearbags, lunchbags, guitar, tinwhistle, hats, mittens, wishes and kisses, I turned for home.

Back down the hill and into the gloom. A perfect circle of palest yellow sun peering through as if to whisper, ‘I’m here. I’m here, just wait a while’.

I’m still waiting but I can feel it coming.

It’s going to be another perfect day.


I will make you a pillow of leaves - 
Leaves yellow and red
Fallen from trees that are dreams

A long silent lane. A sweet singer
Singing over the dead
We walk as the veil is drawn closer
Over each head

Mystical Autumn - Fulfilment - 
Mother of Bread
Young laughter that carrys old age


-Patrick Kavanagh

Copyright © Estate of Katherine Kavanagh

11 thoughts on “The School Run.

  1. Wow, you wrote a poem basically in a story, don’t know what that is called. The images and feelings are lovely,beautiful and awe inspiring! I kept waiting for a picture to see this magnificent scene but then you said it was like life and not being able to stop and take a photograph! I love this, your words are inspiring and gorgeous! honestly I am very moved, yes those moment and words, arguing over the last bun!!!! Love this, no picture needed 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The poem is by Patrick Kavanagh. We (Irish) study him in school and he was my favourite. This line has stuck with me for thirty years;

      We have tested and tasted too much, lover-
      Through a chink too wide there comes in no wonder.


      1. okay found the recipe….whew!!! for your family I would double the recipe…and watch the utube version as the pan part is exactly like that….4 eggs 1 cup 2 tbspoon melted butter 1/4 cup sugar 1 cup flour 1/2 teaspoon salt…..oil pan make sure its hot….

        Liked by 1 person

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