such a day!
There’s no better start to the morning than a fresh little face beaming at you with the enthusiasm a three year old has for life. Big blue eyes, irises wide open, curly strawberry blond hair framing a round pink face, her little voice chiming, “Good morning!” and recounting what she’s seen as she walked up the shallow hill. Then there’s the matter of fact acceptance, “Yes, my boots are pretty.” As you watch her walk on up the street clutching her grandmother’s hand, little feet stepping rapidly to the woman’s longer step, your heart melts.
Love or whatever it is that you feel for life at that moment is indescribable, you feel it with clarity. The clouds up above, so grey a few days ago, are lined with silver.
As we drove east for my second vaccination, I was caught by the freshness of a thousand greens lining the road, decorating the edges of the fields, illuminating the hills. My heart again melted. Ten days previously, I’d not noticed these things although they were as consistent as the rising sun. I was simply too ill to have the energy to feel bored. Boredom is what my poor wife must have felt as for ten weeks she padded about the house she shared with a zombie, as she worked to feed and look after a creature who hardly noticed.
As the pharmacist jabbed me with the vaccine, I felt nothing but gratefulness - for the system which enables us to be thus protected from Covid, for my wife for driving me to the vaccination centre and for all she’s done for me, for the fact that I survived courting with death. At last, these past three days, my energy has risen from top gear being to walk across the room without stumbling to now consuming two hundred metres. It is astounding. Thanks too to the doctors as well as to those who supply the 15 different pills which carried me through.
Several times each day I think of people who aren’t so fortunate as to live in England. Many in the USA die from lack of money to get medical help or medicines; I once helped such a person gain entry to a New York hospital. Millions in Africa and other continents don’t get help. Once, angering my cousin, we drove one of his 4x4s for more than an hour over rough terrain to take a woman living far beyond roads to a clinic. Many, every day, don’t have that lucky break.
On this same day I got the jab, I met a biker, rough, tough, who’d been at the First Glastonbury Festival where things had got so wild they called in the Hell’s Angles, who drove gently through the stoned crowd of hippies milling about before the open air stage. The bikers raved their engines, drowning out the band, then switched off. Everyone calmed down. This man, today, had been one of those guys on bikes and how we laughed at the memory.
All of this put the minnow flashing her manicured tail in our small pond in to perspective. To cap it all, we sat upon a hill looking over the vastness of Somerset with flowers glowing in the hedgerows. White nettle, pink campion, miniature violets, primroses, hawthorn. Beyond, a field of yellow mustard. Amazing. As if that’s not enough, look, a huge iridescent beetle crossing the road. I lifted to safety, set it amongst bursting daffodils, cow parsley, wild garlic. You couldn’t make up such a day.