It was a nice day (again) so I decided to go for a walk today. The Woods was nearest and the kids all back at school, so I decided to go there. I took my note book with me (as is usual habit) because I knew that if I didn’t have it, some ‘realisation’ might come to me and I wouldn’t be able to write it down – ‘fresh’ at least. I always write like that; it’s the same at home. Never plan or use clever-sounding words, has always been my motto. God gave us life, and certainly the power of thought, so I never find the need to try and manipulate this (the latter). It is a natural process . . or certainly should be.
I went into the Old Wood (Queen’s Wood) and wandered down a fairly deep path that leads to a sort of ‘valley’. I came across the old children’s’ paddling pool and sat down on a bench to think. Nobody was around – not even a dog walker. It was some time since I’d been here – in fact, couldn’t even remember where the old pool was. I just stumbled on it by mistake.
It had long since fallen into disuse, but you could see, it was still obviously a paddling pool. The bottom was dirty and full of cracks and there was obviously no water in it anymore. Even the old ‘changing pavilion’ was still there – or what was left of that. Rotten planks of wood mostly and the windows had long-since disappeared. It was quiet there; but it always is in Queen’s Wood. Quiet, desolate and almost ‘foreboding’ would be a good way to describe some parts of it.
As I looked around it, I was sure that there used to be fixed chairs all around the perimeter, but of these there was now no visible sign.
My mind went back in time; maybe to the late 1940’s, early 1950’s. I could almost ‘see’ my mother again as she sat on one of these ’empty’ chairs; chattering to people as they intermingled with their children and sharing sandwiches. The pool was full of clear of clear water then – almost 18 inches deep – and the children would spasmodically come back shuddering to the ‘shore’. Their shoulders draped by towels now or being rubbed by caring parents.
It was not far from our old house, and you could walk there in 20 minutes or so; although I suppose the walk seemed much longer to a young child.
So there it was. I’d found another memory! Though it was almost sad to see the place still there in such ruined desolation. Nothing lasts for ever, of course, and maybe this moment now, will be the one we’re recalling or looking back on several years from now.
This moment never changes, it is only people who do that.
For the moment,