In my dreams, I see him now, carrying his burden, too much for a child.
He bears it with such dignity; I burn with shame.
I remember the words of The Guide, from somewhere deep in childhood, somewhere further Beyond; my Mother’s own childhood and mine, a timeslip of future past, where we saw him as a young man, never to be;
‘To go on, First go back.'
3 am. Turn again. Now four o’clock. Soon five. Dawn will come. Have I slept ? Dreams. Such bad dreams. Spectres, yesterdays and tomorrows, dark animal weight on my back that just won’t go.
He clung to me, crying, don’t let them take me. Grabbing at the wall, the handrail, anything, Don’t let them take me, Daddy, don't make me go.
Once, I had loved those Northlands. The warm ground hummed with midsummer. Lazy blue nights stretched on for ever; we slept beneath unseen clouds and stars. Dusk and dawn merging into a delightful sleepy fuzz.
Days disappear. Eternal summer.
Lay down all thoughts...
Slowly you sink, you’re gone, the Old Life is gone. Quiet and dulled, you wipe and redraw, like chalk-lines after a rainstorm. Soon enough that day is numbed and gone, one less. No Place.
“...do not be afraid of any dangers or difficulties you come to. Face them and they will grow small - run away and they will come after you!”
How did I get here? Where is here? So then it starts to nag, cowardice, self-deception, or worse… angry at The World. Mind on lower things, no time for you because you didn’t notice or help me stop It. Small wonder that people cross the road.
Coaxing, pushing, loving – she moved me on. To move us all on, I see that now. Edging gently once more to the Path I knew so well, the Path I thought was lost and spoiled for ever. That Eden in the North, so much in my dreams, so sad, so stained and spoilt. The last place on earth. I must go back. To go on.