on May 09, 2023

I appreciate that spring may not feel super-relevant to folks in tropical Singapore, but please indulge me. It’s the metaphor of spring I wanted to discuss.

What have I learned this my first spring in the UK? Much. Some delightful, some painful.

Springing into life

Initially, as the days lengthened (rapidly), I marvelled at the explosion of life. Grape hyacinths covered borders with sapphire hues. Golden daffodils, bright pink tulips, and blossoms (plum, quince, apple, pear, and cherry) erupt and some fill the air with scent. The birds get to work - mummies and daddies furiously plucking grubs from the ground outside our window, desperate to feed hungry little mouths. A familiar stress for any parent! There are, of course, the birds who decimate our primroses, seeking out the quick fix of nectar - I can’t blame them (coffee serves that role for me!).

We’ve been furiously planting and seeding things - a whopping 70+ trees to turn this place into a magical forest for future generations. A rewilding project to create a more regenerative landscape. Planning all the fruit and vegetables we want to feed the family. There’s a lot of speculation and hope.

What does that have to do with Lula J? I started this as a generational business. I source designs I hope people will like, but never really know. I take inspiration from flora and fauna around me. I hope I’m doing the right thing and it stands the test of time.

Fading, but not forgotten

Then there’s the bit about spring that is less talked about. Some flowers and blooms are fleeting, receding and dying back as others take their place. Harsh winds rob trees of their blossoms. And most painfully and poignantly, our gorgeous four-legged furry boy left us. He leaves a huge void, and we sense his presence around the place, especially his favourite sniff spots. In his honour, we chose a beautiful Tibetan cherry blossom tree. It should bloom around his birthday (16th March) each year.

It’s been so very painful. This brings me back to the intention behind this move - to live more presently - and with Lula J to create jewelry you pass down. I’ve had clients who know or fear their time is passing but want to feel good and hand down heirlooms to those they love. It makes me weep.

I’ve been reminded of my impermanence here on this beautiful planet in the past few years, and while the current prognosis is good, there was a time it wasn’t. They say the best legacy is the impressions we leave behind on those we love. I agree. Our Tibetan cherry is where we repeatedly gather to talk to Ranny. My husband had a dog tag made with his beloved boy’s picture (and an inscription), as “I want him by my heart, always”. Reminders of loves lost and our own fleeting time here matters too.

Change the only constant

Just as the seasons and foliage changes, so too are people. I look at the kids. I try and remember - especially when Luke talks to me at length about quadbikes (!) - that if I make it to 80 years old, I’d trade anything to have this moment again. The kids are growing up, fast.

But seasons can change for the better. My dearest friend, who handles all the logistics for Lula J in Singapore, is now bringing her lovely (and employable age!) daughters in on small tasks. Seeing the intention - a generational business - manifest is precious. Looking at my two, I think Luke is more interested and suited to this work. Watch out ladies, he’s a charmer!

Life, like spring, comes and goes quickly. Appreciate it, memorialise it, and learn from it.

What are your ‘spring’ memories and learnings?