Monday, 6 October 2014
In the luminous west, just proud of a gathering of feather edged, dove coloured clouds, gleams the steely sliver of the new moon, a precise, sharp tipped crescent, cut clean into the deepening ultramarine of an October twilight. Alone with the young moon in the back garden of a rented house in Somerset, utterly defenceless against the incursion of rememberance, I am recalled without warning to a garden in a more easterly county, there to gaze in retrospection upon an older moon, one waxed full and buxom, whose light embraces those standing together in commemoration of the event; a small family group, mother, father, and a daughter, one of three. Such a time ago it seems, that August evening during which we gathered to celebrate my father's newly restored sight; to be in his company when he first looked on the moon through the binoculars given as a gift, and exclaimed like a child at the wonders he could now see without the ghostly interference of the cateracts that had hitherto sorely distorted his vision.
Several years hence, he has departed this life, and his ashes are scattered in a county yet further eastwards, that which gave birth to him, but that seems woefully distant from the garden where I now salute the glowing sickle of the new moon in memory of him.
I find that I cannot curtail my tears, for although I am removed to a westerly region with a chosen one, whom I hold dearer than life itself, and have become accustomed, more or less, to our very different place of habitation, there persists a dull ache in my heart, a perpetual nostalgia for family, for places familiar, above all, a longing which cannot be assuaged, for the smile of welcome wreathing my father's face on beholding his daughters coming home to him.