In the late afternoon, Alice would open the shutters wide and leave them askew until the last light had faded from her room. Not so much to let light in but the breeze. Two regular guests who entered and filled the mostly empty space. She preferred the breeze.
When she first arrived here, it would enter like a loving memory. Slowly dancing around her face and bare arms. A warming embrace. A rare comfort.
Now it enters abruptly – slicing her cheeks and cutting through her clothes. Bringing only a chill. Though she doesn’t mind. Unlike memories, no breeze can be felt twice.
Occasionally, Alice would stand at the ledge and look out at the steady flow of the Arno. The smooth, shimmering centre flowed serenely – allowing her mind to quieten. Inhale.
Before long, her eyes would inevitably be drawn to the rough water where shards of white were thrown abruptly about in sprays, churned by unseen forces. The memory of the stream will carry the memory of the obstacles below – whether or not they are seen from above. Exhale.
Alice turned away from the window. The breeze passed through her long dark hair and out. Free to grow and soar. Not everyone is afforded that luxury. Alice tried to attach her memories to the breeze, hoping a thought would weigh less than the wind.
Six months previously Alice pinned the same hope on a plane ticket. Purchased uncertainly. On credit. She fought against the plan. The ticket sat in a drawer in the second bedroom amongst tiny, unused socks. To rest with the dreams of another life.
When the day came to fly, Alice felt moved to float. To soar.
She retrieved the ticket and allowed loose fingers to brush tenderly against the cotton. Their impression remained on her hand as she closed the drawer and left her life behind.
This was the place where Alice could begin again. Where the river flowed and the breeze would cradle her like a mournful lover.
The warmth of the sun. The bite of the breeze. Each comforting thought was betrayed by a pang of guilt. Each wind sweep would leave her and drift on through the shutters. Leaving her to clutch the pain of loss at her breast.
Her only constant.
Two hearts joined by laughter,
A couple of Lovers, jokers, sharers;
A Christmas eve abroad I asked you to marry;
A sketch, a poem, a tear, “really?”
So a date in March was set to save,
An Autumn eve to celebrate.
There was a great deal to plan,
50 calls for celebrants, 20 for bands,
There were flowers too,
Cake, rings and the shoes.
With tears, laughter and support,
Our momentous day arrived.
However beautiful the view,
It could not compete;
With the beauty I saw
We chatted, we shivered,
We laughed and we joked.
With a ring, a kiss, a dance and a wave,
We sailed away
For forever and a day.
If you’ve been sitting at home for hours, screaming into the dark, gnawing on the end of your couch whilst contemplating why this site is so named, this post is for you.
Stretching into infinity is the last line of the Emily Bronte Poem Past, Present, Future.
We found this poem after buying a book of poem’s for our wedding. My wife wanted her father to read The Owl and the Pussycat, a story that carried meaning for her family after having it read most nights of her childhood. Indeed, her father was so familiar with the poem itself, that he retold the story on our wedding day without using the words!
Weeks before the wedding, I opened up the book to have a little look and, on the inside cover, found this poem:
Tell me, tell me, smiling child,
What the past is like to thee.
“An Autumn evening soft and mild
With a wind that sighs mournfully.”
Tell me, what is the present hour?
“A green and flowery spray
Where a young bird sits gathering its power
To mount and fly away.”
And what is the future, happy one?
“A sea beneath a cloudless sun;
A mighty, glorious, dazzling sea
Stretching into infinity.”
The poem immediately captured us. For its form, its words and its themes. It captured us and our upcoming nuptials in an elegant, understated way. Our love of children was captured through the spoken words of a child’s vision. We were to marry on a mild, Autumn evening. We loved the image of the young bird, preparing itself for flight – a delightful image for our marriage. Finally, we loved the vision for the future that it prepared.
The future is what you make of it. We are not certain what it will bring, but it is awe-inspiring and captivating. And we’ll experience it together.
The rest of your life. A daunting prospect.
As a child, it is an impossible daydream –
Too intangible to grasp, too distant to consider,
Especially with such fleeting consciousness.
Born aware more by idle mind than reality –
As events are planned and past, as hopes are raised and gone,
We become acutely attentive of the setting sun, the passing days.
The dawn of the rest of your life may appear more as a blinding midday sun,
Than sunlight creeping above the horizon.
Embrace it – for even a distant vision grows closer with each step.