Sunday, 26 February 2012
I am a year older (again). The trouble with gaining another year is that each time it happens, I am another year further away from my roots. It is one more year since I last saw my parents. The month becomes irrelevant in a sense once so much distance accrues, and the only statistic that matters is the year. Fourteen years since my Dad died, and seven since we lost Mum. The immediate pain has subsided but the underlying hurt never goes far, the wrench of separation and the inability to pick up the phone to share important news - family illness or a sparrowhawk spotted on the back fence, each as vital to share, but with nowhere for the story to go, it rattles around in my head until the details become a network of frustrating syllables without a home, beating me with the knowledge that I am alone inside my mind again. To mention it again would be to tread old boards, the same conversation becomes a performance and the applause is the breeze in the half-peeled posters. I hug my children but I still can't find that shape that I held all of my young life, that I clung to. In every embrace I still seek my Mother. In every turn of the soil I still seek to be like my Father, striving so hard for us every hour that he could, and recovering with sleep under a newspaper in his arm chair. I watch the world with my Mother's eyes and wish that I had known my Father better, learnt more about his past and who he was inside. I missed him in life, I miss them both in death. God is my anchor, but they were my roots, and without them I still often feel adrift in the world, without them to go back to. Still a child.