I have spent much of today messing about with a splinter in Blake’s finger, and it has taken me really too long to register that it is the WW1 centenary. Today’s blog would probably have been about said splinter, but I can’t let this day pass without comment because who knows what our lives would have been had that war not happened or had the outcome been different.
I am in no way qualified to be profound or articulate about this topic, but it occurs to me that I could well be living in a very different world without the freedom to dash around in my car searching out drawing paste for a splinter, or tapping away on this blog, or being able to put my child to bed peacefully and eat a quiet meal with my husband. God knows there are people living today in the midst of awful conflicts who have none of those freedoms, whose lives I cannot even begin to imagine, because we as a race can be so bloody awful to each other.
I am all too prone to a whinge about this country – the cost of petrol, the cost of food, the taxes, the erratic weather; and really I am privileged to be free. Because so many people are not and for all our capacity to love we are still tearing ourselves apart. It’s not very cheerful today, I’m sorry. Actually not that sorry, I do think it’s important to say something. I am so grateful for the sacrifice of so many, so young, all those years ago whose actions gave me the life I call mine. My quiet little home, the little family I love so much. And I am so sad that despite the full horror of WW1, we don’t seem to have moved forward much at all. So my thoughts are with anyone, anywhere, living through conflict. I hope and worry about a brighter time ahead.
Here’s a poem that speaks (I think) of hope and doubt, and is certainly more eloquent than I could hope to be.
There will come soft rains – Sara Teasdale
There will come soft rains and the smell of the ground,
And swallows circling with their shimmering sound;
And frogs in the pool singing at night,
And wild plum trees in tremulous white;
Robins will wear their feathery fire,
Whistling their whims on a low-fence wire;
And not one will know of the war, not one
Will care at last when it is done.
Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree,
If mankind perished utterly;
And Spring herself, when she woke at dawn
Would scarcely know that we were gone.