It is during times like these – frenetic and somewhat unnerving times – that I recall my youth and the support I received from my parents and other family members.
I know that I was a “war baby” – born during the Second World War, but I never experienced any of that violence, being too far removed from any front line. I was thinking about my emotional state and support. In this I believe I was very fortunate, more fortunate than many.
My parents were loving parents. They were highly intelligent, well-educated and literate people. It is from them that I learned about great literature, poetry and classical music and established a pattern of reading and listening to music that is with me still. For that I am very grateful.
They were gentle people.
This is a poem that, to me, says it all.
Twilight it is, and the far woods are dim, and the rooks
cry and call.
Down in the valley the lamps, and the mist, and a star
There by the rick, where they thresh, is the drone at an end,
Twilight it is, and I travel the road with my friend.
I think of the friends who are dead, who were dear long ago
in the past,
Beautiful friends who are dead, though I know that death
Friends with the beautiful eyes that the dust has defiled,
Beautiful souls who were gentle when I was a child.