The fields across from the house were white with frost when I got up this morning. Cloudless skies and blossom appearing on the bare branches of the African coral tree and the japonica as well as my magnolia. In the northern hemisphere, friends are celebrating the old Celtic festival of Lughnasadh or Lammas to signal the autumn approaching; here we have the Celtic equivalent of Imbolc, the first hint of spring. I went out in an old slubbed grey track suit and cut branches of flowering japonica and arranged them in tall glass cylinders to be placed on window sills. That clear cherry-red blossom brightening the rooms.
The fears have abated, like resentments, fading away for lack of attention. I slept well and both of us, my housemate and myself, have been out in the garden walking around, reclaiming space, playing with the little dogs and picking sprigs of rosemary and origanum that we can use to season the grilled lamb. A friend’s disabled daughter is coming around for tea and there are homebaked pecan crunchies and satiny iced cupcakes with pink candles.
A new AA friend emails me and asks: ‘Have I sobered up too late?‘ She is in her early 50s and shocked to wake like Sleeping Beauty in the cobwebbed palace behind tall hedges, opening her eyes to discover a century has passed, a lifetime spent in oblivion.
It is never too late to begin living; to enter into the flow of that stream of gratitude and wonder, to accept pain and grief as the price for transformation, to risk becoming whole. As Berthold Brecht wrote: We can begin again with our last breath.