I promised myself two things on reaching my 70th birthday. The first, was to discontinue using any colourants on my hair. My roots had been silver-grey for ages so the decision made sense and wasn’t difficult to follow through. The second, and most important decision, was to write my autobiography. I knew nothing of my own mothers hopes and aspirations before marrying my father at the age of eighteen, subsequently producing a family of thirteen children. She died suddenly in 1998 at the age of seventy-seven and my saddest regret was not having made the effort to discover the inner person behind the mother. I vowed that my children and my grandchildren would not suffer a similar regret. As the urge grew stronger to record my own aspirations, and past experiences, I would tell myself it was to lay bare the accelerated social changes that have taken place over the past seven decades. On a more personal level, I would goad and taunt myself that if I didn’t make a start soon, I probably wouldn’t be able to remember the salient facts that have given my life meaning. Maybe the desire to write this book was a mixture of all the above.
It took approximately one year for both of these self-imposed tasks to come to fruition. My hair was silvery-white from root to tip and my autobiography, Feather On The Breeze (My Life In My Hands) was ready to launch by Summer 2019.
Growing up in such a large family had it's difficulties, cramped living conditions and lack of money being just two. Nevertheless, a strong family bond, that would never be broken, more than compensates. A bond learned by example from parents who instilled in us the true meaning of sharing, the benefits of hard work, good manners and independent thinking. Whether you are rich or poor, life is filled with ups and downs, trials and tribulations, hopes and sorrows. I found it liberating to write such a personal account. It seemed as though I was freeing the inner me from the harbinger of death, realizing a truth that to be afraid of dying, is to be afraid of living. So come on folks, time to put pen to paper and reveal your long-held secrets.
Introduction To feather On The Breeze
I stood before the open french doors, a warm breeze caressing my face, my mind empty in abandon. A white downy feather, discarded by its host, floated by in the air; dipping and twirling in a dance of freedom, seemingly enjoying a life of its own. Entranced, my eyes followed its lead as it sank slowly down, resting awhile on a large leaf of the chestnut tree. The breeze gave a sigh and once again the feather soared on the thermal lift.
Watching the feather brought to mind my own life — everyones lives — a mixture of ups and downs, trials and tribulations, joys and sorrows as we each progress along our individual journey. I’d been toying with the idea of writing an autobiography for years. Why, was never really clear. Maybe it was vanity? The need for gaining recognition, whilst fooling myself into believing it was for the benefit of my children and grandchildren. I knew nothing of my own mothers hopes and aspirations before marrying my father at the age of eighteen, subsequently producing a family of thirteen children. She died suddenly in 1998 at the age of seventy-seven and my saddest regret was not having made the effort in pursuing the inner person behind the mother. Later, as the urge grew stronger to publicise my own aspirations, and short comings, I would tell myself it was to lay bare the accelerated social changes that have taken place over the past seven decades. Also, on an even more personal level, I would goad and taunt myself that if I didn't make a start soon, I probably wouldn't be able to remember the salient facts that have given my life meaning. Maybe the desire to write this book is a mixture of all the above.
The feather appeared again, almost in touching distance, light and delightful as it performed its air dance, apparently for my eyes only. The breeze eased, and gradually, entrancingly, it drifted downward, settling on the ground. At that same moment, my neighbours car sped down the long, shared drive; its fat, heavy tyres crushing the downy white feather into the gravel... Abruptly ending its life's dance!
I knew then, it was time to start writing about my own life’s dance.