Two things happened to me this morning, so far. After getting and shaking the sleep from me, as the meds mean I am taking longer than usual to wake up such is their effect. I get a good sleep though, which is always welcome.
I was in the kitchen making bread, the radio on in the background as I often while cooking or baking and listening to the BBC Radio 4 programme, which is a magazine like format on radio. They asked for people to contact them with their stories about things they’ve found that really meant something to them. The first woman I heard found the hand drawn sign from her parents’ cafe where she grew up. That pulled a bit but it isn’t the main piece for me.
A woman phoned in with her story and explained that she travelled to her elderly parents as her father was ill and her mother was adjusting to the care needed. She helped where she could among the succession of professional carers that visited regularly over the time she was there. Her father was in his final days and she supported both her parents.
On leaving, she went to Paddington Station to get her train, but decided against going to the platform and went upstairs to the cafe. As she sat there, the weight of the previous few days hit her hard and she dissolved in tears at a table in despair. She felt a hand on her shoulder and another lady was there, ‘I thought you could do with this.’ That’s all she said, that one act of human kindness that meant so much to the caller. She was phoning to thank the lady for her act of kindness, reaching out to another human in need.
That resonated strongly with me and moved me in a way that took me by surprise. I’ve had the small acts of kindness when I’ve been down, people reaching out to me that meant so much. It really is something when humans just care enough to for others, one act at a time.
The next thing was on TV, sitting with my cup of tea while the bread bakes. Monty Hall’s Hebridean Adventure was on and follows a chap who was spending time on the Hebrides, travelling from island to island in various ways, stopping to work on various initiatives, such as volunteer Ranger on a remote island, managing sea defences, following the footsteps of Charles Edward Stuart as he escaped over to Skye on his journey to evade capture leaving Scotland a broken man.
I look at the scenery, the splendid isolation, the trad music in the pub and his description of the weather while working outside then getting in to the warm fire. The latter is a wonderful feeling, being out in harsh weather, walking or working and coming back to the warmth of a welcoming fire and for me, an excellent cup of coffee.
There’s something in my DNA from my ancestors that draws me to this life. There is strong evidence that there is DNA memory, something of the wild highland ancestor living off the land and sea that courses through me in strong emotion.
It’s the kind of life I would love to have, living with feeling you’re on the edge of the world, the splendid isolation and mucking in as part of the remote community to do necessary jobs, then off to the pub for a pint with some trad music.
It’s my idea of heaven and maybe, someday it will happen.
I live in hope.