There are only perhaps 3 hours of daylight left of this day.
Given that is after 7pm that is pretty acceptable. In the balmy Caribbean it would be dark already, that was something of a revelation the first time I visited, it was light and then without much warning it was dark.
It seems that at this latitude we get the benefit of a gentler easing into the darkness, I hear the words of Dylan Thomas echoing over the horizon:
“Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”
Of course he was referring to death but nevertheless it is appropriate as I drain the last of the warmth from the slowly sinking sun.
It has been an unprecedented spell of loveliness that has filled up my tank, pressing the claustrophobic tendencies out as I have dwelt outside for weeks now. If only this could be bottled. My friend at work who grew up in sunny South Africa turns into dracula in this weather, he seems to have had his fill of the heat and has gravitated ever Northward in his outlook.
That is alright for him, I prefer warmth.
It meant that I was accomplishing in the garden, shirt off and shorts on. I lunched outside with my friend, things that people of warmer climates take for granted are luxuries for us.
The attic was ascended into to find our kayak, having checked that last year’s repair was effective we set off along the canal, two paddling, one walking, in rotation.
I do find Mr Thomas a little morose, but living in Wales could do that to you. It is a lot like Scotland with long dark wet winters, the mountains seem to tear the bottom of the clouds asunder and give us more than our fair share of rain. Thus we enjoy the sunshine all the more and grab for every ounce of it.
The stillness of this evening has come full circle, I began my day with breakfast on the terrace and where once the radio would have been my companion it was silence that filled the air. The gentle haze that my golden friend is descending into is doing nothing to diminish the warmth, it will soon refract the rays into the reds of sunset and bring to a close a good day.
I think that perhaps the lessons of my two year hiatus from rationality are finally taking hold. I always looked at my grandfather as a contented person, that is the enduring impression that I have of him. Walking with his dog in the country, standing in a river with his fishing rod, pottering in his dingy untidy shed while chomping on his pipe.
That was something that I strove for (not the dog, rod or pipe) to have contentment with my life. For the first time ever it feels like I may get there, whether it is age or the turmoil of mental illness, or both, life just feels better.
Out there with the kids this afternoon in the sunshine, as they half heartedly niggled each other in the kayak and I strolled along the bank, was just bliss.
Call it mindfulness, call it awareness, call it contentment or call it whatever you like, like the sun it cannot be bottled. It can, however, be achieved regardless of externals.
But that is for another day!