Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Old Playgrounds redux

The sky and sea are grey this early morning, but clearly delineated. The sky is a blue grey, and the sea is a deeper grey, very slightly green-grey.  There are white horses - it was a stormy night.   We have been watching the slide show of  Captain Butterfly's pictures from his day out in Derbyshire.  He had a wonderful day in the light of the low Autumn sun - and he has done it justice.

The top photo shows the Captain (or at any rate his shadow) in the landscape, and beneath is Derbyshire in late Autumn.

What a privilege it was to grow up with the Dales on our doorstep.  In my young days, on a sunny Sunday, we would take the bus and a picnic and spend the day out there. In the Autumn we picked whinberries. All of us picking all afternoon would make about one pie, but it was delicious. My mother was a great pastry cook.  We took it all for granted at the time of course, which is natural.  And then as young marrieds, we moved back up North and spent a lot of time out on the moors.  We used to have our Sunday lunch at the Grouse - they did a great beef sandwich.  I remember a tramp across the moors with Dennis on a New Year afternoon - blue sky, ice everywhere, strangely with ladybirds frozen into it.

And, as I got older and more thoughtful, I wondered about it all.  About what Janet Frame calls "the sadness that belongs to the world".  It so beautiful, but its sad.  Why?  If only?  If only what?

And then, years later, I found out when the Jehovah's Witnesses who called at my door showed me that the answer had been in the Bible on my shelf, all the time.

And now I should be out there teaching others. And I can't this morning, as my car has collapsed.

We visited the garage this afternoon, more or less to say goodbye. It has reached its sell-by date...  I can't help but have a fellow feeling.

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