“When difficult times are past and periods of growth and flourishing have come – when the wilderness seems far away – what do we do with those difficult experiences and memories?”
I’ve only just read these words, written by my daughter as it happens, in her day-by-day commentary of the Old Testament book of Hosea for the BRF. She could have been writing about our experience today of the Covid pandemic.
For many it has been a truly disturbing time, not least because of the
Blokes of my age and era are notoriously bad in keeping in touch. I find, like Peter Kay the best way for keeping track of old friends is by watching Crimewatch UK.
But then I get the occasional break. I bump into my old running rival Colin in a bookshop in Manchester or a church member tells me his nephew Doug as at school with me.
This week I made contact after 50 years with James, who worked with me as a counsellor at YMCA Camp Brooklyn, Pennsylvania over the summer
“Where’s Zimbabwe?” I finally asked my fellow student Richard, responding to the prominent lapel badge he invariably wore with the legend “Free Zimbabwe.” It was, literally, ‘in your face.’
That was 50 years ago, shortly after the British colony of Southern Rhodesia had declared Unilateral Declaration of Independence during my first term at university. This triggered a 15-year guerrilla war as the white colonialists vainly tried to hold onto power against the black nation
“Ross, you look just like your father!” Only yesterday evening, while visiting our daughter, Jacqui once again glimpsed in me my late father in a particular facial expression. For a brief moment I became Walter.
In a strange way it is mildly unsettling when your wife suddenly thinks that you are someone else. It helps to know she has a high regard for her father-in-law!
Strangely, as I write this blog I can look out of the window to the house where Eric lives – and Eri