My garden took a real kicking this winter: lots of deads. The beautiful bay that I've had for a good eight or ten years and that adds depth to stocks, soups, sauces, and is regularly plundered for the kitchen, turned brown and friable.
Just look at the poor bugger!
I have been meaning to dig it up and chuck it on the compost heap for weeks. So it's Lucky I am very slow to deal with most things because this morning as I was sipping my morning tea in a slant of sun, I saw a speck of vibrant green peering from under the tragic copper. And voila:
a tiny new born laurel leaf. I couldn't have asked for a better gift on the last day of my fifth decade.
More joys: yesterday I got a haircut. I know this isn't unusual for most people but for me it's an event. I hadn't had my hair cut since last July and it was beginning to drive me nuts: I hate that feeling of wool round my neck, and it was fluffy wool at that, like mohair. Now it's small, neat and sleek once again thanks to Dale, who loves golf and has rather fabulous tattoos, of Toni and Guy in Carlisle.
A couple of days ago a friend posted a quotation from George Bernard Shaw on her Facebook page:
This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognised by yourself as a mighty one; the being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.
And I realised I used to be a feverish, (though not particularly selfish) little clod of ailments and grievances, but now I have a purpose and it feels like it could be a mighty one: helping people to find their (writing) voices. One of my students is a lady in her seventies who is dyslexic. She has never had the confidence to write. As a child her school-life was miserable: she was told she was stupid, and she grew up believing this. But she has such stories to tell, and now she is beginning to tell them, on paper, in neat, bold handwriting. How joyous is that?