Monday, 3 May 2010

I'm on this path, and I'm going in that direction

Walking with the rock watchers again, starting from West Wycombe, across Bledlow Ridge, through Hearnton Wood and down to Bradenham cricket green.

Are you with me?

If you're using Grit's directional skills, forget it. I might say left when I mean right, and point down that hill when I go up it. Follow my walking directions into the wilderness beyonder and after two hours lost, crawling eye-level with thicket, you wish you were dead. The only way out from here is to amputate your own leg and eat your own shoes. On the plus side, you can write a book about the trauma, then get on Midweek with Libby Purves.

Grateful I am then, to trudge behind the trail of rock watchers; those people who know what they're doing, where they're going, and what rocks to catch and eye-spy along the way.

Shark, Squirrel and Tiger dance along at the tipping point of the ridge. I want to remember them like this. Wind twisted hair, pinked cheeks and wet wellies. Not like this early morning, blasting the house apart, exploding every brick and bit of mortar: snarls for war cries and fingernails for spear tips. Watch out! That's how girls play.

Sometimes they overwhelm me, these children, with this life. Right now it has sadnesses and an emptiness so great you would never fill a desert with it all. I could be lost and wandering there for years looking for a way out.

But it is a beautiful, cloud bashing blustery day, with an icy edge. The wind belting up those Chiltern hills comes like a cold slap to the face.

Just right. I need that, to bring me to my senses. I need to remember to head in forward direction only, even if it is the wrong way. It's better than nothing. It might help me not to fall out of bed to despair at states and loss I can't control. Not to dwell on unfulfilled promises, bruised hearts and fearful futures. OK, that stuff happens. There's other stuff too. Like this direction, straight ahead. Keeping going, wherever it's toward, let's find beautiful moments along the way, something worthwhile, those moments, worth holding onto.