There is so much I need to write just to get it out of my system. The world has gone crazy and life is so uncertain. There are so many voices out there but none speak my truth. I looked to the blog where I put my professional opinion and coaching wisdoms and saw that this stuff bubbling up in me probably shouldn’t go there. This is more art than coaching, more heart than method. I looked to the other blog with my paintings and drawings and saw for myself the this is more word than image, more poem than paint. Where does it belong? Where should I go to speak the truth of my heart? Then I remembered once upon a time, many years and heartbreaks ago, I asked the same question (around the time I went to cut my hair). Then answer I created for myself was my own river to flow into the world with as simply me – the Singlestream. It was messy, it got me into trouble, it made me friends and lifelong enemies, it was hilarious and I belonged there.
Today marks a return to my blogging roots. I come with compassion for who I was when I was last here and with nostalgia that only comes when you visit a place you once called home only to find you are not the person you were when you left.
I went back to Durham a few years after leaving and found myself more sad than glad. Prebends Bridge was still there, but not the boy I made out with on a spring night before handing over my heart. Elves was as businesslike as usual but with no business of mine. The tree I looked out on when I would study in my room in E House at St. Aidan’s is still there, but gone are the smells of my housemates cooking downstairs or the sound of crazy Euro rock’n’roll across the hall. If I were to ever return it would be to build a new world around me and populate it afresh. I probably never will.
The Singlestream is different. This was and is wholly mine. I get to reconnect with old followers (HI GUYS! Hank, you still there?!) and I get to add to my tribe.
Things will be different this time. That is perfect in its own way.
Time to let the river run…
Winter has begun at home. Many northern readers will scoff at my calling it a winter but it is true. Winter has come to the Caribbean.
It means that the sun rises more lazily and with less malice and the cool air on my morning walks will dance goosebumps awake between the short strands of hair on my arms. It means that ten o’clock doesn’t feel like visit to the sun, the sea takes on a personality of frothy whitecaps, and the evening light falls yellow through the blossom-heavy poinciana trees. Winter light is different. It is softer and makes paradise more picturesque. My mother pointed this out to me as a child and when the light begins to change I think of other winters spent wrapped in the love of my family. Lullabies in hammocks hung between tamarind trees with stars peeking down between the leaves. Fishing off a rocky outcrop with my grandmother calling “Duck!” every time she went to cast a line. “Don’t want dat hook to ketch yu ear now!” The early morning static crackle of wind and the radio as my daddy and I would chase the dawn with the top down and hair flying in search of car parts and oily garages.
Many and fond are my winter memories.
More recently was my first sighting of snow in my first year of college standing at the window with my first boyfriend and watching it drift dreamy to cover the tennis court in white. My first snowball fight with my friends from Singapore. It had been their first one too. The sight of Durham Cathedral squinted at over the folds of my scarf from St. Aidan’s steps with misleading sunbeams dressing her turrets flung high into the winter sky. My twentieth birthday when I lost my gold stilettos and had to be carried laughing and just a little tipsy over icy streets on the backs of two friends to the taxi stand. Frozen mornings running late to lectures past C.S. Lewis’ lampost and over Prebends Bridge.
Winter is where I was born. Winter is where I found myself; my faith, my dreams, my fears and my melancholies.
This winter I might miss the snow. I may not get to London in time to see it in all its maddening wildness as it grips the belligerent and defiantly unprepared city. I am looking forward, nevertheless, to scones and mulled wine, crumpets and marmite, a flaky chocolate crepe after standing shivering in the long street line in Hampstead, and a fantasy-like trudge through the Heath.
But today, at home here in the Caribbean I welcome with thanksgiving the cool reprieve of our very own Winter.
Prebends Bridge, my winter route to lectures. (davidwebb-landscapephotography.co.uk)