And Another Thing .. .
Our expectations dwindle as we grow older which is a sad thing. We should always expect more than we can accomplish and reach for the unattainable. Like a relay-runner stretches to grasp the baton and strides to conquer his leg and finish the race ahead.
I am spending more and more time looking backward rather than forward lately which suggests that I am feeling I have run my race and that I am entering the sphere of reflection and maybe that last leg.
I also want to talk more. I crave conversation and a listening ear which I think younger people find intimidating and mostly avoid. People generally do require freedom to meander through life, occasionally careering, not necessarily out of control. To make their own mark and their own history. They enjoy the opportunity to leave deep footprints in the crusty snow.
As a child of 8 years, I was allowed to walk to school through a generous and fabulous park. It was a long and interesting walk through a changing landscape of parkland, woodland, trails and paths. It was thrilling to turn, look back and see the footprints I had engraved upon the long, sweeping incline I descended from at the top of the Cheam Park end of Nonsuch Park. Apart from a few three-toed bird trails which ran like little emoji, Neptune tridents here and there, my solitary scraped bootprints I had left behind were the only other blemishes on the tranquil dunes of snow that stretched out wide behind me, a panorama of clean space and suburban beauty.
If I had never enjoyed childhood moments so private and intense, would I be even a fraction of the person I am now or have so plaintiff a recall on a day where I sit reminiscing? This purpose of recall has no other result however than encouraging parallel thoughts in those patient or caring enough to read along, although being humoured shows there is respect, even if there is no relished or perceived joy to the listener.
Tomorrow, I might go on an adventure to rediscover some of my amazing childhood which despite being wrecked by later pain still gives me wonderful moments to relish. I am to spend time with those who share my own DNA, which sounds as oblique as it can do but no doubt could be wrapped in humour and fantastic words for a future generation by one of those carrying the heritage of say, the bard, within their particular epidermis – cue – joke – cue laughter.
My eldest son is still waiting to see a certain unusual bird which skulks mysteriously in the reed beds of Norfolk like a frightened jew at the time of the Holocaust. There is a natural sanity to it, that in these days where discretion is no longer the better part of valour but more a debilitating embarrassment, that we should learn to ‘come out’ from and declare there is still, such a prehistoric creature that affords the ultimate protection of our ‘new’ and ‘open’ society, while its more demure forerunner in intelligense and feeling, apparently caused this birds awkward shyness.
What irony, but ‘what goes around comes around’ I suppose and for one week I will at least be able to share the world of that same son and my grandchildren who no doubt carry a ‘spark’ from this old curmudgeon somewhere in their spunk.
On another solitary trip to school across that same parkland where my snowy feet had left an encrypted trail but this time, on a sharp but sunny, spring morning. I heard the loud rattle of a black, white and red woodpecker in a pair of trees and as I approached, he unashamed, continued to pound the bark and timber with his beak in that staccato, unsyncopated fashion that woodpeckers do and in full view of my wonder and surprise. He finally caught sight of me staring up in awe. He kind of cocked his head in a self-conscious kind of way, more like a parrot and then flew off crazily in a blurred, straight line toward the woods and at a break net speed!