When I awoke this morning, warm and snug, I took a little while to remember where I was, and this worried me. Was this a manifestation of my mortality, my ageing, my passage from middle-age to something altogether more frightening - old age?
Then I came to, and as I turned to my right, there lay Miss Maud fast asleep snuggled up to me with her head on my shoulder, Bill was deep under the bedclothes, his head hanging out of the duvet down the side of the bed, just as his mother Violet used to do. This brought me back to reality.
I lay for a while, feeling tearfully nostalgic, and ran through the last 25 years or more of my life, and then quickly decided "Do not go there", leapt out of bed, and reached for my ancient fleece dressing gown, shoved my middle-aged feet into my Fit Flop Billows, and hauled myself to the window to raise the blind.
Outside, it was magical. There had been a hard frost during the night, and everything twinkled in the weak early morning sunshine, the sky a heart-breaking colour of pale ice blue satin, the sort of colour associated with extremely expensive couture eveningwear.
The English countryside has no equal, whatever the time of year, the changing seasons always bring a quickening of my heart, I feel so English, so much a part of these changing landscapes, it is something so personal, so rich. I have tussled hard these last nearly three years, since I have been on my own, trying to decide where my future lies. Town or country. I am quite a metropolitan creature, yet I have a deep love of the English countryside - it is a dichotomy that is difficult to resolve.
During the night, I woke to find a silver light shafting from my dressing room into my bedroom. I rose, and looked through the window. A full moon. Exquisite - bathing everything in its silvery magnificence. Molly, who walks my dogs on a Friday, told me yesterday that there would be a full moon, and she exhorted me to look at it, and wish, and my wish would be granted. I wonder if that was why I had suddenly woken, deep in my psyche I had been programmed to awake, and make my wish.
Will this wish be granted? I doubt it, but it has inspired hope, and where would we be without hope?
It is now early afternoon - outside I can hear the faint whirring of lawnmowers, as the very first cut of the season is made - I can also smell the smoky wisps of a bonfire, and Spring is indeed on its way.
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