Tuesday, 10 May 2011
What on Earth......?
Prompted, as I so often am, by a comment from my writer/photographer/philosopher nephew,'Pohangina Pete' I stretch my mind from thinking about what slugs are for (in my previous post)....to what I am for.
A dangerous business, possibly leading to depression and sleepness nights. Easier to think about slugs.
Once there seemed little doubt about my purpose in life. As a wife and mother, a bread-winner, a dutiful daughter, my purposes were clear and clearly endless. Or so it seemed.
In retirement and widowhood life changes, and needs to change.
What am I for now?
I am a mother, a mother-in-law, a niece, a cousin, an aunt and a great-aunt; no longer central in the scheme of things, but there consistently, marking a space of familiarity and safety.
No longer first with anyone, but reliably someone who knows where the old photographs are kept, where there might be a bike-pump, a favourite scarf, a special book.
I am here for keeping the family home in good shape, the beds made up, the meals ready for visitors. It is no longer the primary home, but it is still the place where memories are stored, along with the piles of stuff in the attic that no one is prepared to take to their own primary home.
I am here to be a friend, to make people laugh, or at least smile, and I am here for caring about people - lots of people, and actually caring for some of them.
I am here to stay upright, to try not to fall off the ladder while pruning the vine; to stay fit enough to go to 'medical school', and to try not to create problems for others.
I am here for arguing with the County Council about consessionary bus passes, among other things.
I am here, trying to be good at last, an old-fashioned notion involving purity of heart. When horizons are restricted, choose the good bits.
I am here to accept my changed role in life with as much grace and calm acceptance as I can muster. (I loathe than poem about growing old disgracefully.)
Not a very impressive justification for being. Quite slug-like in fact.
The photograph through the cloisters in Worcester cathedral was taken by my niece, Josephine.