Lorraine McLoughlin: Green and gold

Remember the cookery bible of our grandmothers? Over years I’ve often snuck to the “Green and Gold” to rediscover basic recipes. Although disdain for cooking had forced its wisdom from mind I never lost the memories of the tantalising whiffs and tastes of nourishing dishes my mother and grandmother created, without visits to a supermarket or gourmet deli. Their well-tried recipes provided for daily mealtimes and memorable family occasions in the farmhouse kitchen, and a focus for relatives, friends, neighbours and whoever dropped in. It was a time before the large screen took cooking centre stage and recipe books became literature.

Understanding that all things and ways change and pass, I recall Robert Frost’s poem:

“Nature’s first green is gold,

Her hardest hue to hold.

Her early leaf’s a flower;

But only so an hour.

Then leaf subsides to leaf.

So Eden sinks to grief,

So dawn goes down to day.

Nothing gold can stay.”

The simple poem effectively reminds us that all that begins as new will tarnish and die, yet I don’t find the message melancholy. Moving yes and confronting that life is no dress rehearsal, it engenders acceptance of life’s cycle and a full heart for riches along the way.

While our year closes with grief for those we lost in 2018, regret over could-have-beens, dismay with politics and environmental barbarism, there’s a rush of joy for the new: children born, paintings, poems and creative acts the world over, simple meals created and shared, and acts of love and friendship.

There were golden moments to cherish, seasons to accept for whatever they brought, and beautiful sunsets however transient.

Written by local author Lorraine McLoughlin. Since moving to live in Yankalilla in 2001, she has combined her passion for the arts with a love of the Fleurieu Peninsula, where she has played an active role in developing community arts activities. For more of her work, visit www.fitzmcl.com