Autumn is coming. Walking up Ditching Road this morning, I felt it in the breeze, saw it in the cracked orange leaves that circled round my knees and bag.
This morning I am a girl of the sea. Sweet and strong with a head full of wonder, an eye for light: I sparkle on water. Tomorrow I may be Andalucia, with a body of blood like aged red wine from the cellar, a heart of ardent rapture, sitting by a ring of sand, watching the bull toss his head with bleeding pride.
Yesterday was a bad day. Today, so far, my heart is alive and breathing once again, remembering it can take care of itself, and that, in the midst of pain, there is still love, if you can persist to find it. This can take some looking.
But as there is a season about to end, there is another beginning. I will make it a new beginning. And to mark it, this Sunday I hold A Tea Party on the beach, with fancy frocks and friends to say goodbye to what has, in many ways, been a memorable and beautiful season.
And I am not quite ready for snow, but the thought of chocolate coloured days and walks by the green cooling river fill me with a new joys. Trips to London to see the new Rodin collection, Tate Modern, my sister and the Thames. Kittywakes calling from Seaford cliffs, quiet afternoons writing, berries and hot tea late at night.
And the beach will change its flavour, but will still be there, chugging and churning, my solace in this greedy busy town, peace in the burning car headlights.
Who knows what will actually become of this Autumn, but perhaps I don't have to opt for complete hibernation just yet, or can do so in another way. I think they call it Recuperation. I call on all my animals of the forest, of the ice, of the road. Let them take care of this little soul when it grows littler, when the rocks start falling and I need a place to hide, some fur and strong paws to bury my face in.
And all being well, it won't break my heart to see Mum in the new nursing home where she'll soon be residing, with her child-like vision, the flower pots on the patio. I am so glad there will be flowers for her there. And though it feels a devastation to think we all might be in for another long haul, because we know she will not get better, but could stay in some twilight world for years to come, I am glad she will be settled somewhere where there are no nurses, too busy to give my mother a second glance, to really look after her, where I can leave behind wards, the clinical smell, the dreadful taste of death and withering in my mouth. At least there are hills there.
And I have joined a Writing Circle. And I soon begin a little writing course. And life moves onward. I never stay the same. And even in one day, who I am shifts and changes. I am Clare, and I am reborn with every tear, every pain.