I’m still here – just! Coming back to this has been on my mind for a while – I miss the pleasure of writing and recording my thoughts and feelings.
Things are better – I feel as though I am resurfacing… coming back up from the depths where I’ve been for a good while now.
Lots of reasons – of the new friends I mentioned last time some are still around, some I’ve let go. I don’t need to hang on to people who jar with me or who don’t share my outlook. I am not so desperate that I need to hang on to people regardless. Of those I’ve hung onto our friendship has grown – similar interests and a feeling that we want to get to know each other better.
I have a new granddaughter who is an absolute delight. The joy of spending a few hours with her, watching her learn and grow, bring me more pleasure than I ever imagined as we awaited her arrival. As a result my days are busier, fuller – in fact I sometimes wish for an hour or so (let alone a while day!) to myself! Throw into that a couple of hours tutoring each week and January has passed without me even noticing the time of year – the time when I usually reach rock bottom!
I’m also trying a multivitamin supplement and have recently started on a Vit D boost but I’ve yet to work out which of all these things is lifting me up out of the depths.
Although I am slightly reluctant to admit it I do feel more settled. Reluctant because I don’t want to give up on my Norfolk-ness, the place I know I belong to; the place that is still more familiar to me than anywhere else; the place I still truly feel at home. The Welsh have a word that sums it up completely -‘hiraeth’. There is no English translation. It is a feeling more than homesickness, the loss of a place that is deep down in the very being of someone; nostalgia for the place that made you who you are and will forever be a part of you… and the hole that is left inside when you are no longer a part of that place. This is what I feel, and my soul still sinks every morning when I wake up and face another day away from home.
But – things are looking up! Not making any promises but I may be around a bit more!
Fill my lungs with ocean’s air,
Fresh rolling foam
And scent of seaweed.
Feel the warmth on my skin,
Soft grains beneath my feet
And hint of seaspray.
Feed my being with peace,
Healing rays shine down
On restless waves.
Once again my rhododendron is about to burst into flower. Not unusual you might think – there are rhododendron buds bursting open in gardens everywhere. But my own specimen is proving to be extremely resilient. In the past 7 years it has moved home 4 times – that’s twice more than I have. It has travelled the breadth of the UK – twice. It has been uprooted and replanted 3 times and currently resides in a very large square tub.
It’s not the best looking example – it’s tall and straggly; it only manages to produce 3 or 4 blooms each year; it leans precariously one way – yet still it flowers.
One day – like me – it will be able to put down roots once more… somewhere where it will thrive and grow, somewhere it can finally call home…….. just as I will.
Last summer I realised a long held wish to visit the island of Iona. I’m not sure when exactly, or where, the seed of that wish germinated, only that I felt it was a missing link having visited the Isle of Lindisfarne and Caldy Island. I needed to complete my trio of religious islands.
It was a complicated journey, although I suppose nowhere near as complicated as it was for the original pilgrims, and one I made alone, even though I was surrounded by people on the journey and on the island.
Hidden deep within the abbey, protected by the cloisters, I found this amazing sculpture. Even here I was not alone, with people wandering inside the cloisters and the sound of voices coming through the open windows from inside the abbey buildings.
Up close the world opens up in front of me. I connect with the sights and sounds and I know I am a part of human existence.
Stepping back, the window becomes a barrier between myself and the outside world. Everything I view is disconnected, distant. I am in my own world and they in theirs.
Looking along the cloisters. There was a serenity about this enclosed space that helped to put everything in the outside world in perspective.
Come, sit by me.
Gaze into the distance. What do you see? A family….. children and dogs – running, chasing; adults talking, meandering? A woman, alone, the dog trotting along beside her? Is your sky blue or grey? Do you see the trees peppered with bright green buds about to burst; are they clothed in a rich green robe, or stark and bare like a skeleton?
Close your eyes for a while. Do you feel the warmth of the sun on your face, or the biting wind stinging your cheeks?
Listen. What do you hear? Is it the music of the birds singing in the branches? Or the dogs yapping; children squealing? The distant roar of traffic calling you back? The wind rustling through the trees perhaps?
The water is still and the trees laid bare as the light fades over the distant hills. The reflection mirrors our surroundings and, for a brief moment, all is clear to see.