November 30th 2012…
I’ve been up since before dawn. Long, it must be said, before dawn. I slept well, feeling warm and snuggly, wrapped in dreams and duvet against the chill of the bedroom. But I woke full of energy and purpose this morning. I walked Ani down the lane with the last of the moonlight sparkling on the heavy frost that has dusted the hills and hedgerows with icing sugar whiteness. The sun and the mist have now risen and the world looks beautiful and delicate in its winter veil.
It is one of those mornings when I can’t help just being, simply glad to be alive.
The various inboxes were crammed as usual. While most folks were having breakfast I was updating websites and answering queries, scribbling down scraps of phrases and fragmentary realisations to preserve them against the disappearing act such things tend to do if you ignore them. Yet for some strange reason that just added to the morning glow. There was the inevitable spam to dispose of, the usual pointless emails of course, the odd gem that brought a smile or touched my heart or both. But I have a feeling it will take a lot to knock the smile off my face today. Any particular reason? It is just, I feel, one of those days. It will undoubtedly be a busy one. I have a full morning, will be babysitting this afternoon and my younger son and his partner are joining me for dinner. The dog is evidently feeling hyperactive today and has completely emptied the toy box, bringing most of the toys to me for throwing. I have to tackle the supermarket on a Friday that is too close to Christmas… never a good move. And at some point I have to go back upstairs where further horrors await.Upstairs lurks the pile of ironing that I have been studiously ignoring on my way to the easel and something has got itself stuck in the vacuum cleaner and I know it will need to be dismantled, throwing dust all over the house. Ani, with her usual disregard for sub-zero temperatures, has the back door wide open so that she can effectively bark at the pigeons that overfly the garden and perch provocatively on the gable and has, to judge by the paw prints on the cream sofa, been digging again.
And do I care? Am I, in the vernacular, bovvered?
Not this morning. It seems to me that we spend too much time asking questions sometimes and not enough simply living with joy in the moment.
There is an old hymn learned once upon a time at the Zion Baptist Church where I went to Sunday School half a century ago. I remember singing it with my Asian friends from the local orphanage. We were an odd mix… I from a Methodist/Jewish/Buddhist family who were High Church for special occasions , with one grandfather who taught me very early about the Tree of Life, the other a Spiritualist minister and a psychic grandmother to complete the picture. My friends, Hindu and Moslem, all attending the Baptist school on a Sunday morning. I still have the book I was given for attendance… a Dr Seuss, so the love of gentle lunacy started early, it seems.
This hymn, mentioned a paragraph ago, before I went off at a tangent, has been running through my mind all morning. I try not to let it get anywhere near the vocal cords… at least when anyone is listening. My son has already had cause to complain this week about me singing good songs badly… When I am happy, I do tend to forget myself though and sing.
The words, by Lizette Reese, are probably well known to anyone of my generation. For others who do not know them, I share them here. They are perfect for today.
Glad that I live am I;
That the sky is blue;
Glad for the country lanes,
And the fall of dew.
After the sun, the rain,
After the rain the sun;
This is the way of life,
Till the work be done.
All that we need to do,
Be we low or high,
Is to see that we grow,
Nearer to God on high.