A November tea time and it’s dark. Cars on the bypass draw near, then fade into the distance. They sound like breaking surf. After each one, silence, as the drivers go about their business. Does this one mourn, observing the Highway Code though his world is broken? Does another hurry towards a reunion? It’s Saturday, so some will be looking forward to ‘Strictly Come Dancing’? That will keep the darkness out for a while, shimmering, sexy, upbeat, full of life. And is there, perhaps, someone else about to answer bail, awaiting a verdict, signalling to right or left, waving thanks as someone gives way? Uncertain of his future, as is everyone.
Here at my computer I am but a keystroke away from another kind of traffic: the world of the Internet and all its preoccupations. The councillor or MP driving home from a constituency meeting today will find plenty to occupy him or her, at home, on screen.
Occupy, or divert, I wonder. In all the mess and confusions, the broken bread of life, from our credit cards to the Cabinet, we are compelled, obliged even, to bring order out of chaos, to work to make the prayer of St Francis a reality: to bring light where there is darkness, joy where there is sadness.
Politics are necessary. So is involvement. Obsessiveness can destroy. I wonder whether, in all the battles I fight, I should take pause. There are times to pitch in and times to be still. While on the road.
And a time to drive on, towards a light which the darkness cannot put out.