Treading Water

There’s something about the light in August. It’s richer, more soft. It carries with it the mellowness of the summer months now  past. It’s the same with sea at our English coasts. Its cold does not bite as it did in April and May. I recall an early September day at the Isle of Wight when, with the scar of a major operation still raw, I swam out and waved to Mrs Llew in her deckchair. And I shouted aloud with joy at the sheer sense of well-being.

Often, when I swam in the sea I would, in thanks, tread water and say the Gloria out loud as I looked out to the horizon.  In London I would cycle to the Highgate ponds and float beneath overhanging chestnut trees, as the morning mist rose from the water.

A couple of days ago I said here that the present is the only thing that we old people have. But the present, I realise, does include all that we are, up to now – including our memories. We have our memories. Not all of them will be happy. But they all are part of us. Perhaps we should take into ourselves the good ones and, in peace, leave behind the bad ones.  May all our memories be resolved into peace, in the light of this Autumn sun, our years’ Autumn and our lives’ Autumn  … and, through the intercession for us, of the Light of the World.

I remembered today our returning from our summer holidays in Wales. The golden light was mellow. The London roads were quieter. There was a warmth, even the hint of heaviness in the air, as the taxi took us home through the dusk of Primrose Hill and Camden Town.

And in my mind’s eye I saw a paved footpath across some playing fields near our home. It had wine dark stains on it, from the damson plums which had fallen, unharvested, from the neighbouring garden..

Every year they were there as my family wandered out for our brookside walks.

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2 Responses to Treading Water

  1. Cheryl Sapcote says:

    I like this post. I think you are right. to be at peace is an important thing. Your daughter, much beloved to you, is still alive and is well. She is probably happy and has her own family. She has complete power and control over her life and maybe that is what she wanted – she is in charge. You loved her, love her, did everything that you thought would help her in life, she is now independant, and she lacks some kind of empathy and insight that is required to see the truth about what love truly is. That is not your fault, it is something that is within her. Be glad that she is healthy. Your genes are in her and will be until the day she dies, as they are in her child. She cannot eradicate your love as it is part of her physical existance.

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