8 March 2020
As the world, literally, loses its head, I’ve somehow been finding mine.
I’ve gone nowhere and done nothing. The routine has been simple. An early morning walk to the cricket pitch with the girls to throw a ball for half an hour, which is without doubt their favourite part of the day. Back for breakfast. I’ve been writing, pretty well; I’ve been having the odd meeting down here a couple of times; I’ve been sorting through things that needed sorting through at the Parsonage; I’ve been packing Mum and Dad’s flat with my brothers (a task that has been surprisingly fun, therapeutic, interesting, funny, occasionally-but not often-really sad—but not the grim thing that many people have told us it would be). I’ve been catching up on work stuff, managing to stay in touch just enough but not too much; I’ve been drawing lots, and just spending a good amount of time thinking. It’s been very, very good. It’s not a holiday. I guess the word is sabbatical.
I think the lesson to myself is that I need to work a bit more like this from time to time. Nothing clears the head quite like a very quiet week, in the Dorset hills. And nothing is better than knowing that we’ve all got another week down here.
Sometimes the sunshine has been astonishingly beautiful on my afternoon walks:
Sometimes soft and delicate…
Winter is of course still here, some mornings with a vengeance in the air, but we are in that magical moment where she is on the brink of handing the countryside over to spring…
Other days have been damp and grey and misty. They are sensational in their way too.
One night I was at supper with my neighbours. I walked back by the light of a brilliant moon and took a few photos for fun, which are rather strange and rather startling.
We’ve had some of the most astonishingly otherworldly days.
But there’s been a lot of lying around on the sofa too.
Most of all, I’ve been noticing the tiny things… the hedgerow that at the beginning of the week was not in leaf, now is. And I don’t know about you, but I am really noticing the light mornings and evenings. Today, we went for a walk around 5ish and I thought to myself, a couple of months ago now it would have been pitch black and we’d have been tucked up inside by the fire. Today, the lengthening shadows of the sun stretched over the garden. The sky was bright. The woods are filled with birdsong – which, of course, two months from now will be a deafening crescendo, on a morning early in May.
God, how I love the seasons change; always changing, but the important things in life remain eternal—which I suppose after all these years is the single message of this blog, if you come to think about it.