Onward and Upward
Onward and Upward.
I am a pawn in a bigger game.
Having set myself free from the banks of my old life I can now respond with greater ease to pebbles, stones or small rocks tossed into my river…any alteration to its course by default offers a new opportunity. Pebbles there have been plenty and rocks too. Wild and Interesting adventures have followed in their wake!
‘What you can plan is too small for you to live’
Six sunny months in this verdant suburb are now drawing to a close. Chased by planners and bulldozers intent on creating social housing outside my door where farmland flourished only a few decades ago – it’s time to move on.
I have grown so fond of all that is here – the pond with its swans- the people and winding path through the meadow that leads to a fabulous pool, the regular whistle of the train that marks my days. And of course proximity to Waitrose!
“to live in this world
you must be able
to do three things
to love what is mortal;
to hold it
against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it go,
to let it go”
Crossing the M5 and leaving the enclave of the West Country proper, I will be heading for the small market town of Ilminster. If I am not gazumped that is! The English house buyers hazard. There the Minster bell tolls in the stillness of night, the conservation town thrives with its independent shops and happenings happen.
Grandchildren need a granny. Small Hound needs a garden, not a patch on a path. I need a pausing place before I turn my head for the hills. Meantime, can I live without skylarks?
The sun glints off the apple tree outside my window, laden with fruit – the hedges and grasses stand apparently oblivious they are to become a car park… or do they know their fate?
Feeding swallows twitter on the wires – the gathering sound of autumn. Already the hedgerows are thick with blackberries waiting for jam. Do they know their fate?
My terraced house, seen only once will surely open its blue door to me – but I do not know what it offers. A sea of roof tops held in a circle of hills, drop away from new garden. They have a certain charm but will be a new experience. So will the ‘goat’ track down the steep hill to the arts centre, theatre and cinema. All a far cry from the Scots pine and silence that greeted my waking every day for years.
The hum of traffic is part of life here…sometimes a roar, but on occasions when in the cleft of a hill, or sheltered by trees, a deep silence. The sunshine and warm air however, are beguiling. I still chase the sun like a true northerner…. starved of it for decades!
I mourn daily the dark spaces and bright skies of Clatt…. and my friends. Old friends can never be replaced.
But Hermann Hesse has the last word.
As every flower fades and as all youth
Departs, so life at every stage,
So every virtue, so our grasp of truth,
Blooms in its day and may not last forever.
Since life may summon us at every age
Be ready, heart, for parting, new endeavor,
Be ready bravely and without remorse
To find new light that old ties cannot give.
In all beginnings dwells a magic force
For guarding us and helping us to live.
Serenely let us move to distant places
And let no sentiments of home detain us.
The Cosmic Spirit seeks not to restrain us
But lifts us stage by stage to wider spaces.
If we accept a home of our own making,
Familiar habit makes for indolence.
We must prepare for parting and leave-taking
Or else remain the slave of permanence.
Even the hour of our death may send
Us speeding on to fresh and newer spaces,
And life may summon us to newer races.
So be it, heart: bid farewell without end.