Saturday thoughts and gratitude for a week of serendipity, many hugs (and many doughnuts!).
Clear blue early spring light this morning and a wind, more insistent than playful, outside my window.
After the stillness brought by last week’s snow, the wind speaks of motion.
It reminds us that even when we are away from it – watching from behind the safety our fortress – glass windows silencing the outside world – it is about change.
Actions don’t always speak louder than words.
Sometimes words are the action.
Words that can set off a train of motion or stop us dead in our tracks.
I was thinking about words, about communication, this week.
In a world of instant imagery, we often accept a picture as being ‘worth a thousand words’ and miss the true meaning of perhaps just a few chosen ones.
In a letter I treasure, sent while still I was still at university, my father gently reminded me that I hadn’t written home for a week or two.
‘The telephone is a wonderful modern means of communication for the 20th century’ he said, ‘but it doesn’t replace the written word’
Today I am off to see Olly – Allie’s son.
A thoughtful, perceptive boy with a lively inquiring mind.
Over the years I have attempted to answer his many questions.
Today I know there will be more.
I arrive just before the rain.
Everything’s different but everything’s the same.
I have driven this road dozens of times, but never tire of the view onto the fields. I park the car, as always.
I walk over to the gate and take a picture, as always.
The ‘always’ will never be the same again.
And my friend’s absence is palpable at this moment.
The house is subdued, quiet.
Allie’s desk has been tidied. The coffee table is clear.
The fireplace is clean and cold.
Some things remain; Olly and I have a movie-going ritual.
Today is no different.
For a couple of hours we will lose ourselves in an animated world.
In the car we talk about music and travel.
Olly wants to hear about my trip to Chile from 2 years ago.
We sing along together to Toto’s ‘Africa’.
‘I want to go to Tanzania and play this song when I’m there’ Olly says.
Later, thanks to the wonderful generosity of so many, Olly, his grandmother and I sit together in his grandmother’s house.
I show them the messages left with the donations we’ve had.
Messages of love.
The fire is lit and a cat is luxuriating in the warmth.
We talk about the plaque that will be placed on Allie’s memorial bench.
Olly asks that we put Churchill’s words on it ‘If you’re going through hell, keep going’.
I hold back emotion.
It encapsulates so much of his mother’s spirit.
Not many, just enough.
Enough to remember a spirit and her determination.
Enough to remember the unending motion, not just of the wind, but of us.