Some time ago I posted a piece here about spending time on a sunlit headland. I see that place now in my memory as golden, with ripening corn and long grasses turning to seed. I was looking out to sea but I knew I had to return to town. There was work to do.
Suddenly, again, I’m back in town. For years I was a trustee of our local day centre, a charity which provides a day out, a hot meal and entertainment for people who are old or frail or housebound or all three.
Now this lifeline is likely to be severed. The partial State funding it received has been withdrawn because of the ‘cuts’. A date has been set for closure and I have been asked, as an old hack, to help communicate this sad news to the town. I have a hope that the residents will rally to the centre’s rescue. I shall try to push for that.
The members are in their seventies, eighties and even older. There was one lady who died a day or so short of her hundredth birthday. I was her volunteer driver. But the mood in that centre on the three days it meets each week is vibrant with life. It really is. I’m not being sentimental. It’s a fact. Here life means contact, means communication – and friendships. I knew a couple, a man and a woman, both widowed, who became in effect an ‘item’.
Then of course there was the much loved man and wife who died within weeks of each other. See my posts here relating to a ‘Sprig of Rosemary’.
There is a time and place in this day centre for memories, though when it comes to music, a trend can now be discerned towards the years of the Beatles, rather than those of Vera Lynn and the 1939-45 war. It’s not how you look that matters. It’s what’s inside. Life flows during ‘seated exercises’ to music. It’s life that counts. Sadness, which is rarely in evidence on these days, is at bay. And members, driven home by volunteers, have a lightness and a brightness about them.
In all these activities, those who give and those who receive, there exists our ‘daily bread’ – our nourishment in all the aspects of our living.
So I’m back here now, in the town. But I feel nourished by my visits to the by-pass, with its views. And I shall continue to post, from wherever I am.