A common man marvels at uncommon things. A wise man marvels at the commonplace. CONFUCIUS

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Solvitur Ambulando

Every day is a journey, and the journey itself is home. BASHO

So I'd followed the yellow arrows through an ancient, open, familiar landscape...


...and I'd walked the railway bank past the Red Bridge, and through the cutting to the Green Bridge and my Secret Wood...


... until I'd returned to my old family home - which wasn't my home any more. It hadn't been home for a long, long time. In fact it doesn't even feel like my father's house now. The 'For Sale' board is up. The estate agent has the keys. And I leave by the gate for one last time, my eyes fixed on the yellowing fields and the blue sky beyond. There are plenty of ghosts, but they're in my mind, no longer in the bricks and the mortar and the rabbit-run garden. I pass the mill stones which flank the gate and walk on, not looking back...

13 comments:

The Weaver of Grass said...

I hope it soon sells Robert - leaving it completely will be a kind of catharsis for you I am sure.

Val said...

Your posts have drawn me in.
Thank you for sharing this part of you...

And thank you for the music. I am really enjoying listening to your tunes. : )

gleaner said...

I like the photos and the story, the last shot of the gates captures the symbolism of the story.

Dominic Rivron said...

I know one's feelings about a photo can be affected by what one is told about it, but I find the photo of those wrought iron gates quite haunting. (It has a sort of "album cover" feel about it too).

Raph G. Neckmann said...

I can understand your selling it, though it makes me feel sad too. And, oh what a beautiful place it is in.

Timecheck said...

My grandfather's peach ranch (the site of my parent's retirement) sold to a developer maybe five years ago. My parents had died a few years before that, and I never wanted to see it again, covered with housing.

Finally this year we had to spend some time in the vicinity, so I drove by, just to get it over with.

As I drove out the road there was the remains of another peach ranch on the other side of the road, untended, withered in the hot summer heat, and I dreaded the next mile, either mass housing or a dead orchard.

Then I began to see green. As I passed the old property, the trees were lush and green, loaded with peaches, the fields were tended. The developer had postponed building with the current housing market, and had leased the orchard to an obviously caring rancher.

It may be ok when you see your father's place in years to come.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Home is never a place…or it is, but it's a place within and we only think it resides in wood and brick; home is life and spirit, a shadow caught in time.

Finding home is a journey of the heart. Home was never there, but is carried always inside. Look ahead…toward home.

jay said...

So melancholy, and yet, full of a clean sense of and ending and moving on.

The view from those gates is wonderful, even if there is nary a hill in sight.

Good luck with the selling process!

The Solitary Walker said...

I'm glad this story - which is deeply significant for me - has also drawn in others. For that was my hope and intention. We find in life that even experiences which seem so uniquely personal and idiosyncratic have common resonance.

I like your own story, which mine provoked, Timecheck. Are you Camino-bound this year?

Grizzled, that comment was so beautifully expressed, it deserves a post all of its own! (Ah, I see that Val has done just that...)

Yes, that photo of the wrought iron gates was indeed supposed to be symbolic - of the end of one journey and the beginning of another. Gates, doorways, portals of any sort are hugely potent places - places of decision, crisis, lingering, taking stock, change...

Thanks everyone for your comments.

Timecheck said...

Ah,yes. Bound by some compulsion, The GR653 will again see us proceeding west this fall.

Dave King said...

All the adult magic and wonder of a child. Great!

am said...

Fine storytelling. Quite moving. The final photo makes me think of the Camino. So many views of the beauty of Lincolnshire throughout these recent posts.

Aly Beth said...

There is something so whimsical and natural about having a gate frame a shot. Beautiful!