By the Riverside

I shall be off line for a few days -am planning to spend a few days by the sea. At risk of parodying myself, I am enjoying the blue windflowers which have self-sown in our gardens, back and front. The first ones appear, shrivelled and slight, while winter is in control, and then they stay and spread,  and open out to the sun, year by year, beyond Easter. Another Springtime. I love the country air, here and now, the cry of a rooster somewhere on the allotments, and the spicy echo of muckspreading (yes, I love it; maybe it strikes some ancestral chord).  I have friends in trouble, and friends long gone, whom I remember, as this annual image of paradise blossoms around us. We have our troubles too, alongside this beauty.  I dreamt of a colleague now dead. In my dream I helped her across a muddy stream towards the river bank on the far side.  I pray for her, as I now hope she prays for me and mine, as I and those I love continue to live and enjoy and suffer on this side of the water.

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