To Catch The Wind

To catch the wind

There was a busker in Norwich, singing to his guitar, and as I walked past, I found myself in a brief flood of tears. He was singing an old song, one redolent of the sixties and the protest movement, Donovan’s Catch the Wind. It’s a very beautiful, poignant song, both words and music and it caught my aching heart for that moment.

I’ve not written a blog for several months. 2019 has been among the hardest years of my entire life, and it’s only ¾ done. Today’s the autumn equinox, that point where summer and winter pause, stand side by side, and after today, the light lessens and the darkness grows. I feel as though everything is growing dark: the political situation in my own country has riven the land in two, and the rift looks unlikely to heal any time soon. Further afield, the world is in turmoil. It feels as if everything is up for grabs. There are known liars and rapists in office, men (largely men but there are women too whose integrity is at best compromised and at worst, non-existent) who should not be allowed to run a raffle at a school fair, let alone a country. And my father died a few weeks ago. I cannot write of that, not yet.

I was born in the second half of the sixties, and my earliest memories are hazy and homely but I look back at the hope, and the energy, and the belief that we can make things better, and I shake my head and wonder where it leaked away. Then I hear of people like Greta Thunberg, and of the hundreds of thousands who have taken to the streets in my own land, of the millions beyond our shores, to protest and demand that we take action and change the terrible downward spiral of history. And a tiny flame of hope, no bigger than a seed pearl, begins to burn.

Donovan sang of the futility of trying to catch the wind. Yet suddenly, in writing this, I know how to catch the wind.

Hoist your sails, no matter how patched and ragged, and let the wind carry you where it will.