I say in my About section that this blog, among other things, includes occasional reflections on being old. Being old has to involve looking back and, for me, taking a critical look at the past. That’s probably a good thing to do – in moderation. Moderation is the key word here though. Add arthritis to looking back and you’re near to giving up. Why bother? Why try? Just take things as they come. Sit in a chair and fade.
Yesterday I got out my bike. I rode into our little town centre and bought some wine. I pushed the cycle across the road. And stood, and looked. The sky was afternoon gold above the higgledy-piggledy roofs. I passed the time of day with a neighbour. I encountered the present. The present is what we have. Yes, learn from the past. I learn from the past but I’m not going to stay in it. I encountered life, yesterday. And life transcends time, here where the ancient timber-framed buildings speak of the past and the lives of many generations come and gone. Life transcends time.
I rode home refreshed. I can pedal but I can’t walk very far. Today I took out the bike again and cycled down to the bridge of which I spoke yesterday. I passed the hedgerows on each side. I love hedgerows. They seem tired after this year’s strange weather. The hawthorn berries are shrivelled, the remaining blackberries likewise. I see no sloes anywhere, though I did spot some elder in bloom and that is very late for elder in this part of the country.
The horse chestnuts around here are small or absent. Beneath the bridge though, lush green stinging nettles spread across the water. The willows were losing their leaves, as they should be. A lorry drove by with agricultural machinery hired from a local firm.
I cycled back up the hill. The wind was behind me. It came from the south east, for the first time for months. We are warned of a cold spell. It was a sweet, fresh wind. Invigorating. It spoke of life.