I walk every morning. Every morning, early, whatever the weather. The last few days it has been wet. Yesterday it was windy. Today not so. I opened my umbrella. There must be something, some pleasure even in the rain. The patter of raindrops on the fabric of my umbrella, the smell of wet, rotting leaves. The stillness, the still warmness of the new autumn. There is always something, isn’t there? If you just look, if you are prepared to look beyond the disappointment of it not being what you hoped for or expected. Always something. A young woman walking through the rain towards me. No proper coat, sucking a lolly in the dark. Her wide hips, so beautifully womanly. What else? Little things. Adapting, managing the disappointment of a grey sky. A forgotten grapefruit replaced by a Satsuma. Different but not necessarily bad. I missed the sharp bitterness of the grapefruit but the Satsuma’s sweetness was nice. Sometimes when I walk I take my ipod. Not today. Today I heard the squeaking whistles of the oystercatchers. When I take it I put the ipod on shuffle. I walk to a mix of music, poetry, readings and Norwegian lessons. I like the randomness of it. Whatever comes up seems to be right. I walk accepting, not expecting or forming an opinion.
You’re free, she said. Yes, I am. What shall I do with the freedom? I want to live well. To love well. One and the same. To live without expectation. Now there is a thing.
Little delights. Coming upon a friend’s novel being read by Dan Stephens on Radio 4 Extra. Earlier listening to Ann Bronte’s Agnes Grey. Unexpected. Unlooked-for pleasures. She was the quiet one. I think. None of them wanting to leave home, except perhaps for Charlotte, though that was much later when they had all gone. Sharp, intense lives – no matter that they were living seemingly small outer lives. What inner ones. What inner ones.