The Journey

buzzard art

Above

Two buzzards circling,

Sky-spiralling.

Spread-winged, eagle-eyed, in freedom flight,

spring soaring. Roaring by

Gone now in a flash, the bat of an eye, the beat of my heart,

the train speeds on and life flashes by.

This journey wears a groove in my life, deeper it cuts each time I say

“Return to London, please”

No Madame Tussauds, No Big Ben, No all singin’ all dancin’ West End Musical.

No all-seeing London eye. No, not for me.

What would it spy if it gazed my way,

something beginning with c?

Or a scan here, a blood test there, just a scratch, biopsies galore, are you seeing the pharmacist today? Well, I won’t beat around the bush, Disappointing, not what we’d hoped.

Well, it’s not what I hoped to be pumped full of drugs, or radiation, or chemicals.

Not what I’d hoped at all. Just saying.

Passing by familiar landmarks, at speed.

The station where you used to meet me, and leave me. Hello, goodbye. hello. goodbye.

Happy, sad, happy, sad.

Pat and Jim’s. But no one’s home. No one’s waving, not today.

Field after field. Tree after tree. House after house. Allotments. Gardens. Trampolines. Toys. Washing. A thousand lives passed by in a flash.

And are gone.

A thousand stories, a thousand tears and a thousand reasons to be joyful.

Lambs, birds, rabbits,  sometimes if I’m lucky,  a deer.

This green and pleasant land is testament to the mastery of the mystery.

And onwards we rush, destination –  cancer,

Do NOT pass Go.

Do NOT collect £200.

And, I’m terribly sorry , but your get-out-of-jail-free card has, regrettably, expired*. 

(*Which, conversely, is something I am doing my utmost NOT to do.)

monopoly

Past the airport. A plane landing overhead touching down just yards from the train tracks.

Last year, that was me.

That was then.

Before,

And Before, is a very different country from Now.

Now, is a land post-apocalypse, post-invasion, where anarchy and chaos preside. Where fear and grief and anger are on the daily menu.

Three courses for £12.95. Bargain.

Now, does not always feel like a safe place to live.

I declare myself a refugee from Now. I want a holiday from my life. Time out. A sabbatical. At least let me get off the ****ing train.

For here, in Now, the ground shifts beneath your feet. The waves close in over your head. You are falling from a high cliff, and a hand reaches down to help you,  yet you – just- can’t- quite -reach. You shout and shout until your throat is raw, but no one can hear.  You try to dial 999 but your fingers are jelly and your phone just won’t work.

That’s what Now feels like.

And then, there it was.

Large as life, and incongruous as hell.

In the doorway of a warehouse

On the crinkled, edges of Croydon

a fish out of water, metaphorically speaking,

seven and a half feet

of

polar bear.

(And, please look away now if you are vegan – )

deceased and stuffed.

Now, I’m not suggesting the sight of a stuffed polar bear on the streets of Croydon, or in fact any suburban town gives me any pleasure at all. But, I’d be lying if I said that it didn’t, just for a sliver of time, make me smile at the unexpected absurdity of this urban arctic vision.

Whatever journey we are on, if we remember to look out of the windows with an open mind, and an open heart we may see the unexpected, we may experience the unimagined, we may taste the impossible, and we might live in the wisdom that life has a way of showing us a little breath of magic, a glimmer, a chuckle.

Don’t close your eyes, for the beauty is all around, in nature, in friends, loved ones, strangers, and in polar bears.

Above

Two buzzards circling

I spread my wings,

And now we are three.

Free.

3 buzzards

buzzard4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 thoughts on “The Journey

  1. That was so beautifully written Leah. You have a gift for words and rhythm.
    I am sorry, though, that it seems as if you’re not getting the news you hoped for.
    I am sure it must be frightening and worrying for you and the family.
    Glad to see your spirit is still as strong and still offering wisdom.
    Love Yvonne xxx

    Like

  2. Leah that was beautiful to read, so touching and true for so many people.
    I believe your posts have touched many hearts,and put into words how they are feeling.
    You have such a connection to the natural world, take comfort from the smallest things, as they mean so much , in the madness of the world we live in.
    Enjoy every moment.
    Love, love, love.

    Like

  3. This was so beautiful, so beautiful. Thank you again for creating wonderment and sharing pain — you are dealing with this by rising above it, and I am grateful for those moments you have created with your time here — thank you and best wishes to you

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  4. Hi Leah. Rita and I send our very best wishes to you from Tong, West Yorks. We have such happy memories of our Yoga Classes with you and our group in the School Room. You were always so very positive then and thankfully, after all this, you still are.Takes care and best wishes from all of your friends in Tong.

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  5. Hi Leah. Lovely words. I had two carcinoids removed from my lung with half my left lung. I have a really rare disease called DIPNECH, for which there is no cure and not a lot of information either. I feel every word you say in this blog. I fight the fear and darkness, not on your level at all I haven’t been given a terminal diagnosis just a ‘watch and wait’ You are so strong and such an inspiration to people fighting this awful disease. I hope and pray for you. And I think about you and other people fighting, when I wake in those dark lonely hours where it feels like you are the only person awake. Lots of love and health xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you everyone for all your beautiful comments. To have the power and opportunity to create, to have a voice, to be able to express and be privileged to share are great blessings, and in the act itself there is something both cathartic, healing and illuminating. So, to find one is not just muttering to the wind, and that there are people who are listening , make the road less solitary and is an incredible gift. Thank YOU all for being my inspiration. x

      Liked by 1 person

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