Another week has passed. A week spent largely in the house as I slowly recover from the effects of a chest infection. Last Saturday I thought I was on the mend, only to slip backwards again, resulting in yet more nights of broken sleep and further medication.
Normally I am in and out of the house a good deal, not so this week, so my time has been spent reading, resting and occasionally doing email!
I confess to finding being confined to the house frustrating in the extreme. The world is going on outside. I catch glimpses of it as neighbours come and go, and news flows in through messages, emails and phone calls of family life elsewhere in the world. It is easy to see how chronic ailments can feed into psychological illness and depression.
My thoughts were drawn back to my mother who passed away nearly 2 years ago, and how in her later years age, infirmity and illness had confined her to her flat unless family members took her out in the wheelchair. How vitally important those trips out must have been! How resilient she was!
I volunteer with my church, helping with an older people’s group. I have often had it said to me that the weekly trip out for lunch and social activity with the group are the “highlight of the week”. These ten days at home have been the smallest glimpse into that reality.
Yesterday, coming down the stairs, my eye was caught by the set of pictures that hang on the staircase. They are family pictures in the main, painted by my grandmother, grandfather and great-grandfather all of whom were talented water-colourists. I realised that in the busy nature of daily life they were so familiar as to have become almost invisible.
I rediscovered them that morning, with time on my hands to reflect on their attention to detail and skill. The effort taken by these ancestors of mine to observe those moments in the times of their lives. I could do worse than learn to do likewise! Perhaps writing is my paint palette?
Pictures on the staircase.
that I do not even look.
Woodpiles, grazing cows,
Each a freeze-frame
of a moment gone,
like hand-made lithographs
studied through a viewer’s eye,
to fix a point in history.
So here they hang,
mute testaments of time,
as life flows on
these treads of daily being.
(c) March 2018