Saturday, 17 August 2013

'Only he who sees...'

The blackberries were ripe alongside the cliffpath this morning, so, on our daily walk, the dog and I savoured the first of the season (well, I tasted some, she didn't - though I once had a dog who would eat them delicately off the lower bramble branches).

Aah, how taste brings memories flooding back- blackberrying over the years:

With the now-grown-up children, in the hot humid sun of late August, when the heavy weight of summer-holiday activities fell squarely on my shoulders..

Further back, and the memory-taste is mingled with that of polo-mints when he and I walked the coastal paths of Wales and Cornwall in our before-children days. A different dog-companion again..

Further back again and you are there, unusually as you didn't like the great outdoors. This memory is so vivid I think there must be a photo somewhere - you in your disreputable raincoat, hooking down the high brambles with your father's walking-stick, brought along for the purpose..

That same walking-stick you took to with aplomb after your fall about ten years ago, defiantly defending your treasured and surprising independence..

That same stick you stomped into the hospital with last summer, arguing that there wasn't anything wrong..

And the most recent memory - last summer's late blackberries, gathered in September for chutney, when I was mourning your loss..

That same walking-stick stands in the corner of the room now, garnered along with so many trifles from the house-clearance; smooth well-worn wood, bearing such a store of dreams. I shall not start using it, yet..

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