So, source to estuary – my river of stones has flowed its course. Each pebble has been smoothed buffed and laid gently in its place. A trail of moments lived.
I have a room of my own – just as Virginia suggested. I look around my little cell. I love it because it’s mine, it’s me. I love the desk, the cupboard, the drawers, the pictures, paper and pens. This is the zone.
27 My back cramps, my left hip aches and my knees crackle. Fingers ache with arthritis. Once out of bed, I look in the mirror – my late mother appears to be looking back at me. How can this be? How did I get to be fifty-five? Inside I’m still in my thirties. I look at my reflection and smile – it’s not all bad this ageing thing – sure beats the alternative. And as I grow older, I can let my eccentricities and subversive streak rip and people will put up with it. I plan to grow very old, very disgracefully.
28 Saturday pause. I stop and breathe. Catch up with real life. Unwind and recharge. Each day has its own ‘feel’. Saturday feels good – a day of being in the present.
29 Sunday is a split personality sort of day. I like that it’s still the weekend – a lazy day –a looking back and forward day. But it’s always tinged with blue.
Insomnia – an old acquaintance. Lights on in some neighbouring houses tell me I’m not the only one who isn’t tucked up. I sit in the night-quiet living-room, sipping camomile tea, reading, hearing the ticking clock, waiting for my eyes to fall heavy. Hoping to get a couple of hours before dawn.
24 My earrings – I have many – today I’m wearing small blue enamel studs. All are small expressions of me – bright, subdued, sparkly, subtle, understated, eccentric…
25 It’s the Bard’s birthday – Robert Burns, Scotland’s poet . He’d have been ace at writing these small stones. And I’m taken back each year, as I am today – to primary school days – reciting ‘To a Mouse’. What foresight and wisdom in one small poem.
Joy and sorrow – love and loss – recent moments of happiness – to a present time of sadness – all in the same Christmas picture. A happy great-grandpa sits with his new great-grandchild. With hellos and goodbyes – the cycle of life turns. Farewell George, we’ll miss you. (In memory of my dear father-in-law passed away 23rd January 2012)
Ironing, anchoring, smoothing, satisfying - Sunday meditation ritual – time to think and get rid of the creases.
It’s warm, soft and a perfect fit. Its smooth, golden surface reflects and radiates a golden light. The inside is engraved, etched with significance. My wedding ring’s embracing circumference holds thirty-four years and the possibility of many more.
Now, in this moment, it’s all ok. All, being everything that really matters, is presently in order. When I take the time to stop and listen, to filter out all the crazy static interference, when I disengage from what is gone and stop second-guessing the future, then I know that all is well - and now is all that matters. The gift of the present.
Twenty nine of them now. Twenty nine times that I’ve been taken back to that cold, snowy morning. The two-year-old whisked from her bed and taken next door. The car, the ambulance, the pain. The operating theatre - and then, “It’s a boy!” said the midwife. “We don’t have boys in my family,” I said. “You do now!” said the doctor. And I marvelled, instantly in love - my perfect wee son. And every 17th of January, I’m taken right back there to marvel once more. Happy Birthday, son.