Cycling Home

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.

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4 Responses to Cycling Home

  1. You’ve done it again, Llew. I want to visit. What a great picture.

    “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?” — This made me think.

  2. churchmouse says:

    Although home is not a place to hide from life, we are allowed to take refuge now and again. Sometimes the world, such as it is, necessitates a brief retreat.

  3. Home should be our centerpoint. Relationships and connection to living should begin there. As the redeemed go out from the church, so the family goes out from the home.

    It is a retreat. Just as one who has been away from the (home) land pines to return and take up his roots once more, so we have to return to our haven. Home should be foundational.

  4. lleweton says:

    Rob: your comment came up twice so I’ve taken one of them out. My thanks to you and also to Churchmouse for making similar points about the nature, the idea and the symbolism of Home. I completely agree. Perhaps my use of the image restricted its significance too much. I also agree, Churchmouse, with your point that home is, and should rightly be, a place of refuge and retreat.

    But in this instance I was thinking of my own situation. Sometimes it can look dark outside; but there are times when one knows one should not linger indoors. This metaphor seems to be extending further than my ride through the countryside, so I’ll leave it here. As ever, my heartfelt thanks for the interest and encouragement I receive from both of you.

    Footnote: in case anyone is puzzled, I’ve edited this down from my original reply.

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