They raced, and tossed, the little ones scrambling into the hedge to retrieve the ball. Shades of the soccer match in Bedknobs and Broomsticks. And all scented by wildflowers with distant church bells. Paradise, neatly bracketed by the ferry rides on and off the island.
Can't believe we used to sail there, with kids in oilskins, singing While the Saints come Marching In, stopping frequently to ask eagerly, “Are we going to sink?” Rowing back to the boat, after an evening ashore, oars dappling the water, following the path of the moon and reciting The Owl and the Pussycat.
Somehow pain seems irrelevant.
Five days later: my back has reacted very badly to the ferry ride and English roads. Our google instructions at one point said to keep straight on through the next 10 roundabouts (traffic circles). You can imagine what the motion did to my sacrum, let alone the winding roads and many speed bumps. Also when they deliberately narrow the road in places so you have to stop and wait for an oncoming car to come through, why is it called traffic calming?
Am finding it increasingly difficult to sit or even find anything comfortable to lie on. It is hard being resolutely cheerful with an aching, burning pelvis and my eyes feel bulgy with pain. Last night at a very hot (we are having a heat wave and there's no air-con anywhere) birthday party, I capitulated and asked to be taken home, hobbling and feeling 90.
And when back at our rented house, I made my choice: I can decide to mind what's happening to me, which is so tempting surrounded by obstacles and people who can do all the things I can't. Or I can decide not to mind, just taking a mouthful of life at a time.
Today I stay back at the house, while my husband meets a friend in London and the rest of the family pile into a car for a 3 hour round trip to my aunt. I can make or break this day, so I do little and often, moving about, changing my task every ten minutes or so. It is too hot to walk or lie on my bed and the sofa here is too short, but I can lie and play a game of patience on my iTouch, sit for a few minutes at a table to check email, play another game of cards, hang out a few clothes to dry, read a chapter – mix and match and the day doesn't seem too long. A curious content fills me. A deep peace and I feel I rest in the hand of God.