This day of birds singing in the garden,of people almost making it to Easter,reminds me of many of the folk whom I grew up with on my council estate.You see,back at that time,senior citizens were housed in sheltered flats along with their younger adult citizens.Many were old and informed,with various maladies and ailments that meant that they were often struggling with the winter climate ,thestronwindsoff the sea and such like.
Back then,around about the Easter time,I would remember my gran remarking on the fact that she had made it through another winter,and that she would look forward to the summer months.Maybe as well,fuel bills were drastically cut during these times and that meant more money could be spent on food and other hygiene factors.
As this day ,along well th many over the last week,has presented as another warm day,the memory came into my mind,and it felt like smiths no that I wanted to share.It writing is an attempt to perpetuate our own immortality,then maybe I’m guilty as charged,but the process of sharing in any sense is,I feel,a product of coming from a very family where you shared your space with others,you shared food,clothes no,in fact,the very air you breathed.
Its not unlike our society today really,or that is my thinking on the matter.Yes,it might be that you don’t agree,and that ,in itself,is a mark of a free society,that we can disagree but still exist with mutual respect for one another.For me at least,sharing isa sensible approach to a potentially serious life problem.We can’t beIslands in the sun no matter what we might convince ourself to be true.
My gran ,although a person with very little in the way of material goods,always shared what she had and it stemmed from her family,and I always felt that it was simply one of the best qualities to manifest in life.
So,this making through winter would also accompany ,in my grans case,with friendship and community.That aspect of life that we all need really,but it’s only when it’s threatened that we really start to value it.My gran would write letters to her sisters who were dotted around a rather small radius within Cornwallreally,but as being on the phone was something that most people at that time didn’t enjoy,letter writing was the chief way to communicate.
As spring came in abundance,gran would write her letters,and I would dutifully send them to the post office to be stamped and posted.It was a simple act of kindness ,but it meant so very much to her.
Wheni became organist of the very small church at Crantock,near Newquay,I would often visit her sister and she would shower me with love and food that she would have made the day previously.Her kindness,I remember,was the talk of that village,and the members of the little church there often commented on it.My aunt Mag,as she loved to be called,wasn’t an educated woman,but she loved life,she loved to share,to give of herself,and it stuck me profoundly,and I held her hand as she slipped away in death.
These people,many of which were completely unknown outside of their little village in Cornwall,were the lifeblood of it.Without them,these places wouldn’t have had any cohesion,or substance for that matter.As my words flow now,I remember those dear ones,many of whom lost their husbands in the war,or through the sheer hard labour of working the land,fishing,or mining,hadn’t seen that many summers really.
So,my muse today is about counting my blessings,the blessings of sharing,of giving of ourselves without wanting anything in return.That sense of community ,that spirit,that wanting to be a part of something beyond our island self.
Thank you for your attention to my ramblings in the form or my muse,and I hope that you feel that life is good for you too.