I’ve been in the thick of it for days, battling with an injustice caused to a friend by false recovered ‘memory’ allegations. Also my age tells on me. I cut the grass beneath a burgeoning red crab apple tree and was soon exhausted. I picked some runner beans. Very rewarding. I opened some wine. And I noticed that my study light has to go on earlier, only a little earlier but the year is moving on. I wondered whether to unearth some old flagons and try to brew some wine from the crab apples. I rejoiced to see the golden stubble where a combine harvester worked last night well into the small hours: a friendly sound. And this evening I left a television programme about the life of Mohammed to try to write this. I’m only too aware tonight of the slaughter in Norway perpetrated by an opponent of Islam….
But this brought me back to the individual evils with which we are confronted every moment of the day – and to my friend, exonerated nearly 20 years ago of any wrongdoing, who has lost his job, because of those same, old, long-dismissed allegations against him. The accusation was regarded as enough to establish guilt. His life is close to ruin and no-one who has any power to help will listen.
And then I looked out to the fields beyond my road and the distant hills – and I remembered the sea, on which I dwelt so often at the beginning of this blog – a symbol of eternity – and the image of a ship in the harbour, promising transport out of this temporal strife.
And I was glad that I still have work to do, for my friend and for many others. But tonight sunset was earlier than it was a month ago, as will be the darkness which follows. And so is mine.
But I trust that those red cliffs and the estuary and the little port with its waiting ship remain a symbol of what we may all hope for when our fleeting time here is over.
I reached this point after the words ‘The Business of Heaven’ came to my mind. I wondered whether it might form the basis of a post here on my blog. I ‘googled’it and found that it is, among other things, the title of an anthology of daily readings from the work of C.S. Lewis.
The final sentence for today’s entry is: ‘There is always hope if we keep an unsolved problem fairly in view; there’s none if we pretend it’s not there.’
Here at sunset, there will always be a light on for our returning traveller.