Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Stops, starts and Psalms

The way to the bus stop goes over four roads, there and back again.  Two have traffic lights which while indicating when it should be safe for those of us on foot are primarily for the flow of the motorised wheeled vehicle.  However one road has my favourite set of lights ever!  Does that sound like an odd thing to have a favourite of? These light are on a main thoroughfare in the place I live.  I have been crossing it for more years than I might like to own to.  For the greater portion of that time no permanent crossing aid existed.  Indeed, there were lollipop people (did that date me? aren't they crossing patrols or something equally politically correct but much less delightful termed  now?) a few of which were painfully unsuccessful at stopping cars and I do mean that literally.  However, outside school hours, nothing.  On evenings the road can be particularly busy and in the dark hard to judge when it is safe. Leaving me standing for what seemed like extended periods of time waiting to cross.  Of course the pervading memory is that those times were always in the rain and cold.
Traffic lights I love you.

Then wonders of wonders they put in the pedestrian traffic lights. What a delight, it reduced the time there and back. Not long after that I was asked in a Sunday school class to write a psalm of thanksgiving and praise for something everyday to help us understand the gratitude we should have for all things and the symbolism that can be found in the seemingly ordinary.  So what else could I write my psalm about, so here it is..

 Weather morn, day or night
  especially rain or snowing
 I give thanks for the light
that offers me safety
 and speeds me on.
Jewel colours, bright green
amber and red,
Halting the traffic
letting me move instead.
Years in the darkness
I've been alone
Making my choices
to go or to stay.
Praise for the light that
now guides my way.

I wanted to share my joy with the planners and builders but I never did  get round to it.  So at this time to any who might chance across this blog who give us two footed travellers devices to helps make our way in this motorised world...Thank you.

Monday, 14 October 2013

Sweet and sour

Sometimes passing what remains of my infant and junior schools, the playgrounds sans buildings makes me melancholy.  That is a good word it tastes the way it means.  Mostly I just remind myself in a paranoid fashion that someone is demolishing my history.

School yard but no school.

They knocked down the maternity hospital where I was born, the a-fore mentioned infants and juniors. Both the buildings of my senior school and sixth form are gone, parts of my college, with the rest waiting to be destroyed and turned into a super market. Admittedly the latter establishments have shiny modern replacements but still it is a relief the house is still there when I get back.

But sometimes what I recall is playing in the school yard as a child and my grandparents, my mothers parents, coming for a visit unannounced, walking from the bus stop past my school to my home.  Pausing at the playground, calling my name until someone told me they were there, I was fiercely single minded as a child an often did not hear them myself.  Then would come the boiled sweets, (hard candy for Americans) from my grandfathers pocket, sailing over the fence to my eager hands.

The memory is bitter sweet, my grandmother died when I was eleven, my grandfather a few years later. Our time here on earth overlapped for such a sort span.  I think of the Littmus Lozenge from Kate DiCamillo's Because of Winn-Dixie, the sweet with the sour, joy with sadness.

This is a memory which contains both, and on those occasions my minds journey back influences my movement in the now and my pace slows almost without me realising it.

Friday, 4 October 2013

a promising sign?

This morning the bus station was an empty space, just the marks on the floor where once there had been waste bins and seats.

This afternoon there was a full compliment of waste bins, on at the site if each missing set of seats. So might there be replacement seats appearing in the near future.  I can hope!