Sunday, 17 February 2013

Looking Backwards, Looking Forwards

There is a saying that you shouldn't waste time looking backwards because you might trip over what is in front of you.

Yet sometimes it is good to look back. Like this morning. Chocolate cake for breakfast. Heather's birthday. (And don't worry...for 'tis a well known fact that cake eaten before 9 a.m is far less calorific than cake eaten at any other part of the day.)

25 years ago today, it was lovely and sunny, just as it is today. More daffodils out, though. And less frost. But still sunny. Heather born on a sunny day. And on this sunny birthday we had birthday cake for breakfast and she went off to London to meet up with four of her friends that she has kept in touch with from university, for a sunny birthday gallivanting day out with probably more cake.

Yesterday, I met up with three of my old friends, for a girly lunch. One is a friendship from the start of primary school (nearly 43 years,....eeek!), and the others are friendships from secondary school (36 years - almost as eeek! But not as quite.) We were a gang of four then, only two months of time separating the oldest from the youngest, and all different, but the hours flew by as we chatted about our pasts and presents and futures. Three of us have children, two of us are grannies. Three of us are carrying too much weight, but the slim jim carries more wrinkles. One of us no longer dyes our hair, one of us doesn't have to dye our hair. One of us has been married twice, one of us has never married. All of us are employed and have houses though only one of us is mortgage-free.

One of us has just bought a second house; one has a campervan. One has chickens and bees, one of us has a dog, we all have cats. Two like coffee, two like tea. One is venturing into teeth implants. Two have degrees. One of us is starting a new job tomorrow. One of us has a weird lodger. One of us is thinking of starting a business. Three of us still live in Kent and one has ventured to Surrey. One is vegetarian, one is bi-polar, we all like going to the theatre. We all feel our 50ths looming in a couple of years' time, but we all laugh about.

I imagine Heather being with her friends in 25 years, sharing the same reminiscences. Only their experiences will be broader and bolder because it is the way the world is nowadays. Young people adventure more; the opportunities are more frequent and the expectations are there. A big world seems smaller because of transport and the internet and equality. Young people seem to rush forward where their parents never feared to tread.

Andy and I went for a walk in the park this morning. Glorious weather, frost and mist across the acres, trees sporting embryos of fat green buds, sunshine willing the cold earth to warm up and wake up. Dogs racing each other like it was the first day of the first ever Spring EVER and needed celebrating as such with barking and leaping and scurrying and tail-wagging!

We talked about what we are going to do with our future, which of course starts today. We talked about why we are so fearful of taking risks. We talked about what we want to do. An acre of land with chickens and vegetables and fruit trees? A bakery? A garden centre/ cafe/ craft centre? Run creative writing holidays? Run star gazing holidays? Testing out little ideas. Testing out the idea of taking a risk.

And all the while the sun shone and it is Heather's birthday. Having a child is a risk, and it's one most people barely think about. Christopher will be 27 next month. Two children I have, two risks I have taken, and they've both turned out well.

Writing today. Sunshine coming through the window warming my back and cheering my spirit.

Let's take a risk.


rusty duck said...

Happy birthday Heather!

Whatever you decide to do, it'll give you plenty to write about..

Denise said...

Thank you, Jessica. Although having chickens and cats, I don't think I shall ever be short of material!