Haem an’ hearth.

ImageYou must be wondering who I am or which era I belong to.

Well I am the collective memory. When anyone thinks of an English country home and hearth and joy I am the picture that they create.

Many families have lived in my hearth, few have made them home. If you thought home was about the four walls, sorry it is about people. When people make me their home, their lives are documented in my bricks as memory.

Haven’t you realized that when you go back to your old home, it was not the walls that you are going back to, it is your childhood.

I remember Grandpa William telling his son, Colin, never make your home in a place. Make a home for yourself inside your own head. You’ll find what you need to furnish it – memory friends that you can trust, love of learning and other such things. That will go along with you wherever you journey.

Speaking of memory and furniture, just a few days back young William, decided to get Grandpa Williams bed polished. On second thoughts he decided to do it himself.

“bill, this actually belonged to Grandpa Williams, Grandpa”

William smiled to himself and polished the surface on top, and then he turned the bed over to polish it when he found etchings along the bed

Anne’ bless the baby the Lord claimed her, the date was blurred

There were names and dates, William was amused until he hit William Stuart  Jr. 1955 that’s when he realized it, for generations till his grandpa William all family events were etched on to the word work.

The family clustered round the bed, trying to find what the years meant. Birth of great-aunt Dorothy the year that uncles Jonathan died. Suddenly William said well we need to complete the family tree.

Families that lived in me, were great ones for trees, I loved trees too. but Williams son, they were like lonely persons.  I can still hear him, explain to his friends,

“trees, they live in tribes and families, in forests and grooves.”

“I rever them when they stand alone “piped James,

“Like hermits”

“No like lonely persons, hermits are like people who have stolen away out of some weakness, but stand alone trees, they are great solitary men, in their highest boughs the world rustles, the roots rest in infinity. But they are still themselves, they struggle with all the forces of their lives to fulfil themselves along their own laws.”

This sounded so much like Ann Grandpa Williams aunt who married a missionary no matter what her family said and left away to some deep African jungle. Funny how these strains manifest, young William now takes after his aunty though he does not realize it, he is a tree doctor, goes around grafting trees, to create new medicines, little Ann went with her missionaries because the Jungle called, but for Henry who is probably the earliest clear memory I have, trees, nothing was more fascinating or holy than a strong tree.  He would just resist cutting them, because, he felt it laying the land naked, to the sun, it was like destroying history.

Trees spoke to people who listened to them; they did preached ancient laws of life. And not lengthy sermons. When Henry said this the preacher Mathew was so offended that he refused to bless the family when Henry’s daughter Margret was born,

“nothing a pound and bottle of wine cannot cure “Henry had declare, to his wife, and it had turned true.

I am a bit tired now, being in my physical state, stricken, and cannot bear to live much longer. The tree beside me says, be still, look at me, life is not easy, it is not difficult either, you with all those joyous memories should overcome this.

How could I tell him, that thoughts have now gone silent, I am anxious because the children’s path leads them away from mother and home?

“Father, the house is tired, we need to break it down and build a new one” Williams’s son seem to say.

William wondered, “father, ””a longing to wander tears my heart when I hear the trees rustling in the wind at the evening. If one listens to them silently for a while it appears as a matter to escape from suffering. Yet there is a longing for home. A memory of mother,  I want to build a new one father. We shall renovate and not rebuild.”

Poor, boy he does not realize life leads you home. Every path is homeward. Every step is birth. Every step is death, every grave is mother.

As the tree rustles in the evening that is the uneasy though,, very childish thoughts, though the thoughts of trees are long, restful after all they were meant to have lives longer than ours. Mine or the people who lived in me. They are wiser than the people who walk past them, when you listen to these you realize to want to be nothing except what you ae, is home, that is happiness.

Do I sound like someone rambling disjointedly, probably I am growing old, getting senile after all five generations of Stuarts have lived here.I am happy where I am, William and his family move from the hearth in their home, to their home in the earth, I carry the shadow that they cast.

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4 Replies to “Haem an’ hearth.”

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