Last night sleeping in that house – for it was just that now, simply a dwelling place with little ornamentation. You might say it was reduced to that functional identify. Or, rather than reduced, returned to honesty and simplicity.
There was lots of space, a master bedroom, empty save for my travelling kit to Ireland and two packed storage cartons. A living room, but a few scattered articles. I chose the conservatory, without any blinds. The moon, nearly full shone through the oak, the kiwi and just outside, a large potted avocado. All casting gently dancing shadows on the plain white wall behind where I lay, atop sofa cushions.
In the end, seven valued influences on my last night accompanied my fitful sleep in that dwelling of 1980s nouveau aspiration. In an ex mining village, ruefully dubbed by locals ‘Nobstick’, the cul-de-sac ‘Winchester Court’. You could get stuck and hemmed in, if you were not too careful. And what on earth were they thinking back then, the placemakers, in 1988? It’s not even a local family or notable name, to my knowledge. I was never sure just how deep I got my roots into that place. Certainly a little stabilisation went on in my life there. But also the place was only so skin deep, like the line of coal slack, just ten inches below the garden surface. I eventually grew restless in that village would-be town, very restless. Give me a village, or a town, but not, please, a place of compromise!
Values, right or wrong, my values, my influences, my companions: a painting ‘Watery Foreshore’ left on the wall one more night. The two resilient fishy survivors in our fish tank, filter sounds burrbling. Outside, that avocado tree, grown from a pit twenty or more years ago from my burgeoning greenfingered passion. Beyond, the moonlit garden, bathed in cleansing white rays and later a gentle rain shower. A lit candle, gentle flame of truth and steadfastness. Me, my bodily presence, that had given so much, now solitary, sovereign and still. A simple but effective book of prayer, devotion and blessings; on those companions past, present, or future. Be they near or far, we are one, that’s known, at heart. Some family you take with you, some you leave behind, that is the way of life and inheritance I suppose.