It must be wrong to fret for certainty – to race through the book to gulp down the happy ending. It’s wrong not only for us but for those whose lives we touch. Our anxieties and terrors rub off on others. Maybe some of us cope by venting our fears on others or by building empires – on sands which are forever shifting. In vain is our peace achieved though projecting our terrors on to others.
And so I dwell for a moment on the cry of seagulls. It was what we heard after the train pulled to a halt at our seaside destination, 30 and more years ago, the home town of my parents.
The cry of the gulls was the last thing we heard before we departed for home again.
Between our arriving and leaving there was not always harmony. But we loved the place, the red cliffs, the sands which did not shift, the harbour side and its little lanes, the glittering shallows.
The red cliffs formed a high headland with sea in a great arc beneath it. And inside the headland there was a smugglers’ tunnel, which intrigued my children – and near its entrance a small zoo.
I’ve visited this place in my mind more than once since starting these posts. It can only be a metaphor, like its harbour, for a place of safety and of homecoming. May that metaphor represent something true for us wherever our travels take us.
I leave its imagery there and rest in its existence, as Mrs Llew and I and all those we love continue with their lives, as we battle on. What troubles us should not make others suffer.
And I remember dreaming of a small sailing ship which waits – no hurry – in a sunny harbour, and its welcoming angel.