We went out for lunch, five of us, three generations, to the pub by the weir, of which I’ve written in earlier posts. In a fortnight, all being well, we’ll be spending a couple of days by the sea. Through frailty and inertia I haven’t seen the sea for years.
I look forward to it, but, as I grow older, I have to discover, and rediscover, that the moment – the present moment – is where I live. Today I am alone, as I cycle through the countryside.
I had ridden out for the first time for months. The desire and the will to do so had faded over time. Why go out, just to come back? I often thought. I also felt insecure… But I decided I must go. And it’s good for my arthritic knees.
Home is where I feel safe, but now, as I renew my view of the distant hills, I try to sense this very moment, where life is. It is here and I will return home, to Mrs Llew and all our concerns; and closeness to all those we love.
But home is not a place to hide from life. If I am not alive here and now, away from my house, how can I be alive at home? Or even in myself?
And so, in old age, life is the only thing we have. And life, I truly believe, is not limited by time or place. It is also now and in eternity.
A marquee has gone up for the annual Bank Holiday folk festival, the eleventh since we have lived here. In the hedges and fields, sloes, hawthorn berries, rose hips, blackberries and rowan berries are ripe. The crab apples are plump. Another year has passed. And surprisingly, some elder is still in bloom among its berries.
In time – where the great field of oil seed has been harvested and ploughed – wheeling birds forage in the brown furrows.
As the warm wind blows across the field I seem to catch a taste of the sea. Unlikely, we’re far inland.
But maybe not.