Not really a reference to Susan Coolidge…but, for the sake of it the tales of a little girl in a nursery setting… The poem at the front of the book, well my copy that I still have from childhood, What Katy Did, just made me cry a bit. Like a voice from long ago, when life was more gentle. Yes, the people of Hampshire, are just that, gentle. That is indeed what I remember. Her poem is titled To Five. And the first and second verse:
Six of us once, my darlings, played together
Beneath green boughs, which faded long ago,
Made merry in the golden summer weather,
Pelted each other with new fallen snow.
Did the sun always shine? I can’t remember
A single cloud that dimmed the happy blue-
A single lightning-bolt or peal of thunder
To daunt our bright, unfearing lives: can you?
I guess that at least when I was small, or younger, I did live the most wonderful life, in my mother’s house, alongside a sister, who was two or nearly three years older than myself. And we had quite a disciplined existence, and routine, every morning, getting up for school, quite early. We were the sort of kids, most parents, dreamed of , and mostly were quite well behaved. But, it was my parents who eventually fell out with eachother. But, all along, I had the most wonderful experience of life. The house was an old detached Victorian built red brick building with a tiled roof and chimneys, with a long garden that backed onto, a virtual wilderness. For a long time, I experienced a kind of stability, that allowed me to focus on school and friendships, and there is a kind of lull, created by security, that allows for that sought after thing, called education. I think now what a blessing, to have had this peace. But, life is a fragile thing. It is amazing, how true it is that a house, can be a castle, and that is still so true, for without the right environment, how can anyone really enjoy living or concentrate on what counts. The house was just that, but, the money in our household was not great in quantity at least in our early years my sister and I, use to manage, however, to create what was not there in the cupboard, by being great inventors. And chocolate spread, was a mix of cocao powder and margerine, when jams and fancy spreads, were absent. Sugar sandwiches, and for the rest of the time, squash and tea served in a pot. This was still a recovering Britain, from two world wars. In the sixties, I just remember being the small youngest child and everyone older than me, and a bit taller. And Margaret my elder sister was about to marry, on her eighteenth birthday, and she had a glass bowl in her hands, which held water and some sort of lily or orchid, which she managed to drop and the glass broke and cut her wrist, and she had been rushed to the hospital and had stitches. She was blonde and wore her hair backcombed, and high at the crown. It is such a brief memory, but, the only one I have of when she was with us at Cobbett Road. And later in life, my sister, had such a lot of sorrow, and she died of a sarcoma cancer. And she had said, that her happiest years were her childhood. And now I think I do appreciate what my parents did do for me, and it sounds halcyon in feeling, but, we were not really spoiled, in a material way. Much of the delight was gained from reading and learning, and the natural world around was enormously helpful.
Well, nostalgia over with! Why is it the politicians, in our country sound so unreal? Perhaps being forced to play an evasive role, has forced this enactment of pretence of coping upon them. But, it is true that the last sixteen or so years of life in Britain, that we as a country seem to be struggling, quite a bit. And war wherever it is occuring is expensive, and I just wonder why, just why are we having to do all of this ‘fighting’? I am hopeful and glad at the American result of their election, for a new start was needed. and very sadly the left wing over there proved to only have what I can see is a weak leadership, and were far too keen, to perpetuate war abroad without any conscience. Most of my own life, I had to listen to my mother restating all of what went on in England, during her youth in a war that nearly broke our back, as food had to be rationed, and as for being prepared for the actual battle, the materials for weapons and ships, munitions, was seriously under estimated. Historians, recount, the railings from seaside resorts being ripped from their placement, and melted down in order to help with the deficit of need. No please we do not want that kind of war ever again! And yet again, why is there that uneasy feeling in the air? The feeling of not being settled, or safe? Something interesting is happening in Israel this week. Spontaneous fires, breaking out in the city of Jerusalem. And it reminded me of something I read on Wikipedia about the attempt to rebuild the temple of Solomon. That no matter how hard the Jews tried to rebuild the temple, disaster always struck either in the form of fire or falling masonry. And it seems to me that God is speaking again. Some people might blame the climate now, but, the Palestinians were saying that the Zionist’s were forbidding their call to prayer in Jerusalem. So who will listen? And in all truth, I do believe, that the Jews need to recognize their Messiah, in their midst, who has always been, Jesus, who had said: Who is my sister and my brother? And under the new covenant, all men will be saved.