“They left the path, and clambered down the olive terraces, down and down, to where at the bottom the warm, sleepy sea heaved gently among the rocks. There a pine tree grew close to the water, and they sat under it, and a few yards away was a fishing boat lying motionless and green-bellied on the water. The ripples of the sea made little gurgling noises at their feet.” ~ From the book “The Enchanted April”.
A whole week has passed by and here we are, already ensconced in another new year.
I began contemplating my new year’s resolutions during the first couple of days of this year but my thoughts were short lived. New Year’s resolutions are a habit, I have resolved, a habit which I wish to break. Every year, without fail, I plan. Plans for blogging, plans for being organised, plans for healthy eating, plans for my garden, plans to alter the fact that my work takes over my life, that family takes over my life, chores take over my life. Why must we fill our brains with such negative thoughts, concentrating on everything that is wrong, planning ways in which we can change these wrongs into rights? (As I am writing, both of the two telephones I have at home have rung…another “non New Year’s resolution” springs to mind….why must I always be the person who my family have to ring when they have a question? I shouldn’t be so accessable. I’m writing, family!!)
So here we are, a whole week into the New Year, and I haven’t written one single blog post. “Why not?” I hear you ask, when all of my blogging friends have surged on into the New Year with the same writing momentum as they had during last year.
Here, I can correct the error of my ways. I have had, perhaps, between five and ten blog posts running around in my brain during the last week, none of which have ever made it to actual, physical, on-the-computer words. I do that often, you know. All of my posts, to my mind, have to have some form and structure, they need to be heading somewhere, have a point to them, and a tangible point at that. Well, that is one aspect of this year which is about to change! Why must every blog post have a point to it? A definite point or a message?
I don’t believe it has to! If it is a simple shared pleasantry, a special moment to be remembered, photos I have taken that I am pleased with, I can share them all here.
Sometimes, (make that often) my mind simply wanders around in a very orderly circle, with words that I should be writing down. If I were to write down those thoughts and read those thoughts back at a later hour, I may just find out that I have written something brilliantly profound.
Or perhaps not. But my words have been drifting off into the earth’s atmosphere, unanchored, never having been written, never having been read, never knowing whether they held any kind of significance to anyone. Forgotten words; forgotten moments.
Every single day of every year I have a book that I am reading, and there are many times when I read a passage in a book and think to myself, “I really should share those words”, yet I rarely do so. And when I do share the magical words with someone who is physically here with me, they usually do not understand the magic in the words, so the moment somehow seems lost. My reasoning for not sharing a few meaningful words from a book here, where my blogging friends “feel” words that my family somehow miss, is that no one would understand the significance of what I have written, unless they had already read the book.
I ask you, do the words have to have total and absolute significance, for another person to feel the joy of reading those few words? I don’t believe they do, so I will share a beautiful moment, a moment which made my heart sing, as I lost myself within the pages of imagination…
Yesterday, I read these words in my latest book that I started to read just this last week. I re-read those words, then re-read them again, for to me, the words held so much joy and the promise of happy, mindless days ahead. The book I am reading is “The Enchanted April”, written by Elizabeth Von Arnim and first published in 1922. I have seen the movie, but can barely remember it as it was so many years ago. Books tell the story so much more completely than a movie does though, don’t you think?
To set the scene, Mrs Wilkins and Mrs Arbuthnot have escaped England and their husbands, each with a different reason for wishing to escape, and have finally arrived, after an extremely harrowing journey (during which they had thought they were about to be murdered) at the small, medieval castle in Italy, which they have leased for the month of April.
“And there they were, arrived; and it was San Salvatore; and their suitcases were waiting for them; and they had not been murdered. They looked at each other’s white faces and blinking eyes very solemnly. It was a great, a wonderful moment. Here they were, in their medieval castle at last. Their feet touched its stones. Mrs Wilkins put her arm round Mrs Arbuthnot’s neck and kissed her. “The first thing to happen in this house”, she said softly, solemnly, shall be a kiss.” “Dear Lotty,” said Mrs Arbuthnot. “Dear Rose,” said Mrs Wilkins, her eyes brimming with gladness. “
As I read this passage of words, the whole scene to me was brimming with gladness. Such a simple story, such a simple speech, yet so profoundly beautiful. So I share it with you today, in the hope that you too can feel the anticipation felt by Rose and Lotty, as the friends begin their enchanted April in Italy.
Just as I begin my “Enchanted 2013”.
As 2013 opens its doors even wider, and I travel along the path of the days, wishing for change, yet not sure yet what those changes will be, wishing for a “word of the year” yet no word seems to encompass the entirety of the changes that I do know I wish to take place, I will write down my random thoughts, publish random photos I take, and not expect excellence and total clarity of mind before I write these thoughts down and click on the “publish” button, sending my thoughts out for the world to read.
If I have just a few words, simply to accompany a photo I have taken, I will add those. If I seem to be overflowing with words, as I seem to be today, I will write for a longer time.
I will try not to edit my words as I write, wishing always for my words to come straight from my heart.
And as 2013 draws to a close and I reflect back on the year that has been, if I have made some progress through the year and I can see an advancement, some change that has taken place, then it will have been an enchanting year.