On this cloudless evening I think of my friends. Alone in my garden I am aware of them, in time and space. There is a small private aeroplane in the pale sky and the patchwork beauty of Oxfordshire is in the pilot’s eye. I cannot be even a dot in his view, as I think of my friends, from Atlanta to Portsmouth, and Finchley to Oxford.. And my friends are real and three dimensional to me, as am I to them. Some of my friends are dead. They are alive to me. A friend’s gravestone – I think of one now – is like a caption on an old photograph: still, quiet, grey. That’s not my friend. My memories of him are vibrant. I’m even a bit cross with him sometimes. But he’s alive not just as a memory but as himself. He’s there. And not to infringe spiritualist boundaries which his religion and mine forbids: I think he still IS.
In the links we all have with each other, day to day, it is as if we touch finger tips, no more. Even so, that is contact. A loving touch, figurative or actual. may have consequences which go around the world and through time. Yet we may feel lonely. And be so.
Whenever I look, this time of year, at the fragrant mock orange, growing in our garden, I think of my grandma and my childhood, where a huge shrub grew in the garden where we all lived.. Today its white flowers were illuminated by the afternoon and evening sun.
We link together but we are like tall ships on a lonely sea, most of our lives known only to ourselves. May we meet up in the harbour.