Some time ago I labelled myself “a librarian of memories” because it became so very clear that I cannot exist without the framework of memories which surrounds my very being. Being an avid diarist and recorder of life’s moments, I can root around in my bureau and dig out notebooks to recall days and dates and what I achieved or what was going on at home and further afield. This often includes the weather and major political or world events…noted for their affect on perhaps local as well as the broader environment, and because these have so often affected my mood and relationship with life at that moment. Disasters and cruel massacres make me sad and depressed; I can’t laugh when I know someone is suffering some terrible loss of a loved one; idiotic items like the football or cricket results broadcast on the radio after such news always seems so tasteless…Sometimes life gets too hectic and my diary is very scant on detail…good perhaps that I’ve managed to break the addiction to jot so many tiny details down. However, when it comes to suffering gloomy weather during the festive season, I can read hand-written notes to reassure myself that there’ve been many Christmas and New Year’s celebrations in cold, wet and grey days with nights of howling winds beating against the windows.
Every sunny winter’s day is one to embrace and exploit; Thursday was one such day with an afternoon sun burning into the sky, such brightness making the walk home from the shops really quite uncomfortable to unprotected eyes. But “wow” to those red sunsets over the sea which hold such intensity, creating such a draw that one doesn’t want to walk away until the colour is drained away, gone forever.
So the year closes with that howling wind and driving rain hitting hard against the windows; the next sunny day to come along will help deliver reassuring signs that winter is not all bad, whilst the wet earth can relax to lay down precious water reserves. I don’t like saying good bye to the year but I know it must happen; I take comfort in a new diary offering fresh pages on which to write and jot and note the direction of each day. So tomorrow I will open the first page and open a new year with hope, hope for my own being and for all those I love and care about. And my hopes will extend far beyond these rain-spattered window panes behind which I sit sheltered from the storm.
My “Big Hope” will be shared between environment and education and, most importantly, the rights of mothers to choose to bring up their children themselves, free from the economic necessity forcing them to leave their children in the care of paid strangers. On education my hope is for a less formal system in the UK, free from the politically-motivated and driven SATs Tests, with more attention to the original demands of the Education Act, for “an education appropriate to the child’s age, ability and aptitude”. On the environment I need to hang on to the hope that humankind will manage to convince politicians that they all care so much about our one planet that GDP and domestic labour issues will no longer be the only framework into which our daily breath is placed. Each year reveals more of the environmental crisis into which humankind is falling and drowning; the plastic crisis must surely be the greatest after clean drinking water? My post last month about the issue of glitter was, unfortunately, limited due to time constraints, but there is an essay to write to join all the plastic dots; news stories about plastic are still stuck on plastic bags and disposable cutlery!
I also know that no one really cares a whatsit what I think, but I have to hang on to hope, and shout when I can to help keep something for future generations…I’m suddenly reminded of my childhood when there was a fashion to streak to raise awareness of some issue or injustice. Every few months a streaker would hit the headlines and we’d peer at the TV to try and get a glimpse of the rude bits! Perhaps we need to bring back this form of protest when the weather gets better?