It’s a great big field on a great big hill very close to where we live, and it’s great for sunsets. Especially now the year’s turning. On this day before the shortest day, late on a Sunday afternoon, it’s time for a walk to the park we all call The Mystery round here. For some reading and maybe dreaming.
It’s soon after half three as I arrive and walk up to nearly the top of the hill. The bottom end already being in shadow, just below where you can see Liverpool Cathedral rising above the trees by the railway line. Up here there’ll be another twenty minutes or so of this long-shadow winter sun before it sets.
The place where I’m sitting is known as “The Two Blokes’ Bar,” as that’s what’s been happening here for much of the year.
A comfortable arrangement of logs which two blokes, neither of them me, have been using as their pub, though not today. From early in the first lockdown, to still here through the summer and autumn, because I assume they liked it. “There’s the two blokes” Sarah and I would say as we passed them by at various times of the bright days and summer evenings. Happily conversing with drinks in their hands, through what any decent folk song would call “the livelong days.” We’ve all found our happinesses anywhere we could this livelong year haven’t we?
Anyway, this is the first time I’ve sat here myself, not wishing to have otherwise intruded on the two blokes. Noticing now that their pub has these moss and fungi attractions, as well as the splendid view they’ve no doubt enjoyed while talking with each other.
Then the sun starts setting.
Although there’s still enough light in the almost gloaming to read by a while yet. In the book I have with me one of the two main characters is walking the streets of London looking for the other one, who is his daughter, not knowing whether she even lives in the city:
“I would like to buy you a cup of tea, somewhere they have proper mugs and sugar in bowls on the tables, and I’d like to sit across from you and tell you everything.”Sarah Butler “Ten Things I’ve Learnt About Love”
It seems like a beautiful book. A proper story just when I needed one.
While I’ve been reading the sky around The Mystery has been changing colour.
And the ground has gone dark. As the night before the shortest day begins here in Liverpool.
Tomorrow when we wake it will be Solstice, and the year will turn. A turning I’m holding out some hope for. That all will be well or at least start getting better. And that, though I don’t know quite how yet, we’ll get through this. Sitting on this log I’m dreaming like praying we’ll all get through this.
Dreaming like praying. For all of us x