Time Past – 14

Ley Lines and Blackberries

From the BFMS Forum, May 20, 2009

May 20, 2009: Ley Lines and Blackberries

That old man standing by the roadside, what’s he doing? He hasn’t even got a dog with him. What’s he looking at?  What’s he seeing?

The old man sees a field of green barley, rippling in the wind and shining, like surf. In his mind’s eye he sees teenagers, free of exams for the moment, chatting in groups by the town hall; and the widow with handbag and walking frame, inching her way to the shops. He wonders about her memories and the memories which, for the teenagers, are yet to come.

Somewhere, one hopes, there are teenagers who call her ‘Nan’. Be sure that if there are, they make all the restrictions of her life now worthwhile. She was, perhaps, no angel, nor her late husband. ‘Your lovely granddad?’ the old lady’s children might say, to their children.  ‘Lovely to you. He was a right…….. to us.’

So he might have been. But he, too, was probably doing his best. He and grandma kept the family together until the young flew up to the sun, away from the nest.

It’s probably impossible for teenagers to see their parents as frail human beings. That comes with time and with their own passage through life, and after the love and disapproval of their own young. Heaven help those parents if their children experience the ‘counsel’ of those who have their own filial resentments to work out. ‘It’s not your fault dear. It was your parents’ treatment of you. And, just a thought ….  have you read The Courage to Heal?’

The old man by the road sees a clump of oxe eye daisies. He remembers these flowers, long before he was a teenager, by the china clay line in Devon, where the river Plym ran white with the clay sometimes. His family called them ‘horse daisies’.  As a child he picked blackberries there. His mother made cream by simmering milk in a saucepan which was itself in heated water. With the cream, blackberry and apple pie was delicious.

True memories are like ley lines of the soul. They connect us with each other.

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2 Responses to Time Past – 14

  1. “It’s probably impossible for teenagers to see their parents as frail human beings. That comes with time and with their own passage through life, and after the love and disapproval of their own young. Heaven help those parents if their children experience the ‘counsel’ of those who have their own filial resentments to work out.”

    This led to a conversation here at home. To think of how our children see us in this way is to finally grasp that what we do as parents, nor what we are as people, important as may be, is rarely going to produce immediate, tangible results. Our children aren’t going to grasp us or our actions, even our beliefs for what they are until they are able to identify with us. Which isn’t going to be any time soon. At least we sure can’t expect such things.

    It suggests, or maybe demands, a long view of all things in relationships. And therefore requires us to reach the point of being able to look back on our relationships for understanding. We don’t usually learn from the present, but from history.

    You said it so well, Llew. Thank you.

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