Monday, 29 September 2014

We plough the fields and scatter

    One of the great rituals of rural life in England this past weekend, the Harvest Festival. A church service to give thanks for the year's produce, a display of prize marrows, grapes, and a sheath of corn in the church, and donations to the food bank. And old familiar hymns, like the title of this piece: "We plough the fields and scatter".
    It was a gorgeous warm day, and I'd been outside for most of it picking blackberries. Sunlight streamed in through the church windows and the door was open. Afterwards we stood around and had tea and cake while the children explored the gallery. Yes, our church has a gallery. I remember doing the same thing about four decades ago when I was a youngster with a group of kids who are spread out to all corners of the world now.
    It's kinda odd to be somewhere so familiar, yet with a crowd of relative strangers. I know most of the people there but not very well as most are fairly recent arrivals and move in different circles form me. Other than the under-12s I was the only one present born into the village. Welcome to a step on the Londonshire property ladder.
    I'm going to move back home sometime in the next month or two. Live at my parents place, the house I grew up in, for the first time since my mid 20s. It makes sense on two levels, both financially and to be there for my dad, but it's not where I expected to be. People in their early 40s don't tend to live with their parents, even in these straitened times.
    There is however and advantage to it all. If there's a place I'm in tune with, it's the countryside I grew up in. I know its every nuance, its noises, smells and sights. Even in the darkest days of a damp December I am at home in a way I have never been in the city. And as that rare thing in an English village these days, an adult born into the community, I know the history of everyone and everything. If we had a pub, I'd probably have my own chair by the fire.
    I don't know what the next year will bring. Whether I'll still be working for my current employer this time next year or whether I'll be pursuing the startup idea I first developed about five years ago. Either way I need a bit of stability, and despite a bit of commuting for my current job a move back home will give me that.

1 comment:

  1. It would be nice to go back to my home church at Harvest time. Most of the folk I knew have passed on; a few remain but, for several reasons, I don't think they'd readily accept 'Angie'. Life moves on.

    Our Harvest Festival is next Sunday. Because I'm still something of a rogue, I shall quietly sing "All is safely gathered in, except five acres down Penryn," but it won't have the same appeal, 200 miles from 'home'. But here, at least, I can make a fresh start.

    I do hope your fresh start in a different home, and perhaps with a different job, goes well and that you find the stability for which you crave.

    Angie

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