It’s taken some storm to get here but, for me these days, spring’s got an almost religious vibe to it, some magical sense. It wasn’t always so but, as the accumulated memories of life gather and mould – sometimes obviously, more so subtly – they jump aboard the conventional view of spring, as the season of freshness, to give it all added depth.
‘Here Comes the Sun’ has attained this almost spiritual, universal aspect to it, its author making appearances not only at this time of year but also even at gatherings to see off those who’ve now died, adding to that depth more baggage, baggage which seems to transform into some sort of treasure as the end ever increasingly hints at its existence. Spring, and the rest of the year, wouldn’t happen without that song, it’s so embedded in life, now, as is the attitude that, when your time comes and the memories congregate one final time, ‘it’s all right’.
Challenges come along all the time in various guises and of varying intensity, but as my post-40 years have crept up on me in the spellbindingly rapid time from 40 to 50, it seems as if I’ve been going through the big one: the long approach to my final days. Premature, you might think, but with the distinct chatter of earlier years quieting to a relaxed, barely audible murmur in the corner, it’s time to make the most of the experiences which are left before it’s all over, though in ways suitable for this approaching stage of life, something – according to the relativity of time – that’ll come and go soon enough. This is that moment. Prior challenges seem to have been in preparation for something like this, some huge upheaval in my approach to everything. It’s time. It’s definitely time.
At no other time before would I have been in a position to approach all this and certainly not in this way. Apparently, that’s not an uncommon experience. My social environment doesn’t make any of this an easy challenge and may try to impose limits and restrictions on it, typical of its culture, but the trick, I suppose, is to figure out how it’ll do that and circumnavigate the course ahead with that in mind. Easily dealt with when the local culture and its people are properly understood. As for the wider culture, which similarly speaks little to me nowadays, it’s a case of tolerating, rather than celebrating, the neighbours much of the time, but more than this being down to a matter of taste or any sense of superiority, it’s usually merely an unbridgeable philosophical divide: they’re doing their thing, I’m doing mine.
I suppose it could all end before I get a chance to fully live out what I’m preparing the groundwork for. But would that necessarily be a bad thing? From this vantagepoint, I don’t think so. I’ve done everything I wanted to do, bar a matter of degree and, apart from the experience of just being alive and sharing that process with others, there’s nothing to really cling on to or for. Besides, life makes clinging on too long impossible. Time to make room for the next lot if, and when, that’s necessary. Until then, in understanding all this, the road opens up and you’re through the door to a new, better vibe, not far removed from the freedom and wonder of your younger days, as you’re seeing things in new ways again, just at another stage and with greater ability to do the job in a measured way. There’s no reason to not enjoy the ride.
Looking back, so many of the things I thought I was doing wrong, I was doing right, and so much of the ‘progress’ I made only held me back, but that’s me talking from where I am now, not where I was then. If you’re heading to where I am, or if you’re already there, you’ll probably know what I’m getting at. No need to bog you down in detail just yet – this speaks to that moment and maybe nowhere else. Here, translations probably don’t work, and it’s maybe for the best that they don’t. This one’s for those in the know, of a time and a place, a vibe, you know?
The shifts going on now are happening fast. I’m already writing this long after the event – just for the road, sort of thing. A whole new structure has opened up, ways of growing into it are taking shape, and I’ve already entered the process. It’s so far removed from what’s gone before that it’s not yet time to even try to define any of it though, overall, it’s a gradual process moved along by rapid change – an enjoyable one, once you settle into the slipstream of it all. Amazing, really: at a stage in life when evolution is supposed to be stuck for answers and life seems to offer little to people approaching the stage I’m reaching, it seems to be that this is the moment where you begin to learn from the best lessons of all.
I’ve been yearning for it all winter, the sun, as it rises into clear view, at last, marking the beginning of the end of the cabin fever months. In the time ahead, it’ll travel from right to left, from south-east to north-east, on the horizon outside my window, and then back again for another year. I can even envisage what it’ll look like and feel the atmosphere it’ll bring. I’ve seen it so many times, I know how it goes, now. As George prepares his strings another time – even, maybe, for those who didn’t make it this time – I’m in awe at the potential of what the coming months may bring. This is the best time of the year if only for the sense that the possibilities and the potential are staggering, with nature pointing the way. I just hope I don’t become accustomed to all that, too.