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Countyboy
10th November 2011, 20:30
Life with M.N.D.
This is part of the last chapter of my life story "August Revisited". I thought it might remind us all of the comming spring, even though it seems a long way from us.

Today February 24th 2000, I have seen the start of a new spring with the blossom of the blackthorn, daffodils and flowering cherry. New born lambs dancing across the green field of their ballroom. Birds too, have that sign of expectancy, which heralds the start of the nesting season. It is early for these heralds of promise, promise of better things to come. A time of promise, when nature wears the brightest of its gowns to the delight of everyone. A time of year when winter and its bleakness, is condemned and banished from the land. A time when the land permits the seeds of life to grow, and flourish, in order to provide the fruit that sustain man in his Eden.

I have seen this day many times in earlier years but never realised its importance. It is the day when nature awakes, and sets in motion the magic of a new beginning. The day when the old is cast away in favour of the new design to come. The design that crowns the countryside with a patchwork of colour created from the paint box of God. Yes life is sweet, a sweetness, only realised by the inability to mingle with the thorn and the daffodil. The lameness that throws the spotlight on the lambs enjoying the pleasure of their spring ball. The ballet conducted on high by feathered dancers engaged in their own Swan Lake, seen through the eyes of a body in decay.

It is now I see that which I should have seen many years ago. At an age when I was fit, an era when I was blind to the beauty of nature. A nature I met as a child, but discarded when I was at an age to understand it. Now when it’s too late for me, I see things through the eyes of a child. A child, who is full of wonder, and delight, by the sight of the blossoming countryside. A countryside, that is alive, and preparing itself for the onrush of growth, which is summer. This new sight is a reward, a reward that offsets the decay inside the body, enabling me to live as I have never lived before, a life of beauty gladness and enjoyment of the highest kind.

Today, Friday February 25th, I looked out to see a different sky. A sky almost clear of clouds and blue as only the spring day’s permit. In that sky was another wonderful dance, the effortless dance of the buzzard. Gliding on unseen thermal currents performing a merry-go-round of flight, on wide stretched open wings. When seen like this it is hard to believe that it is a killing machine, a killing machine with the power to rip its prey asunder. Yet it too, is part of the wonder of nature.

In my youth such birds would be shot on sight, but now they are protected. They are welcomed, as a necessary part in the play that is nature. Just as lambs provide the wonder in a child’s eye the buzzard is a fascination that holds me spellbound. For me it is a bird equal to any other, it has a beauty of its own that my words fail to describe. I alas do not have the poetry to give it the credit it deserves.

I see that black knight of the sky, the crow, jousting with a formation of seagulls over a scrap of bread. Too the winner not the silk of a lady, but the waste of mankind stolen from a bin bag carelessly cast aside, ripped open by a dog eager to find the source of the smell that assaults its nose. The dog has nothing better to do, but the person who cast the bag adrift should be punished for the stupidity of their action. An action that defiles the beauty of life, a life that is nature.

The pregnant trees, their buds, anxious to give birth, to a lush, green, canopy of leaves. Leaves to hide the distorted nudity of bare branches. Branches stripped bare by the obscenity that is winter. Daisies now start to speckle green lawns with white petals and yellow hearts. Violets both blue and white poke through on sun blessed banks. While bluebells carpet the woodland floor along with white anemone. Primrose, too lend yellow fabric to the quilted carpet of nature rousing from its slumber.

This is what I see and feel as winter fades into memory, and spring starts to breathe fresh new life. And summer, what do you hold for me? Will you satisfy my lust for beauty, and gaiety as you have in times gone by? Will the paths that I once walked, pass on to others the sights that captured me? Will you share with them as you did with me, the malignant beauty of the sea? Will they hear the seagull’s cry when on black backed wings they upward fly will they see the horse’s white, with sailboats rushing out of sight? Or will you hide by fog and mist, all the beauty that I once kissed. Be kind new summer; let them view all the beauty I once knew.

I will never again have the privilege to walk the cliff from Summer House Point to Llantwit beach. Or stop at Stout the little point, see Castle Ditches deep and wide with all the beauty that they hide. Nor will I through Dim Hole roam, and descend onto Tresilian beach to rise again and St. Donats reach. Nor will I pass through Flanders Farm and sample air of summer balm. Nor will I visit Cwm Colhuw and walk again the valley through. All I can do is sit and dream, of days gone by and wonders seen.

I now sit back and reflect on the paths I walked at various times of the year. I try to remember the wind in my face, and the spray that rose from the waves. Then I think of the porpoise that once graced the Bristol Channel chasing after shoals of mackerel. The ships waiting to enter Barry, and Cardiff docks. Now only memories; memories that I cherish memories of a time, and a way of life that will never be revived. Those long gone days, of childhood, and the things I did.

Memories of a place where everybody knew each other, a place where doors could be left unlocked. A time when people helped each other through difficulties and neighbours lived in harmony. Sunday school outings to Barry or Porthcawl. The summer days spent in idleness soaking up the sunshine. Other days helping with the hay, or cycling through green hedged lanes exploring the countryside. Many, many things too numerous to mention, but all locked safely away in my mind.

Yes I am left with memories that are sweet, and I am sure before I pass into oblivion I will collect many more. Though I depend on help every day I am certain there will be more good times. Now, I have my battery powered wheelchair, I will gain once more a degree of independence. I will travel again through the pleasant lanes that I love so much. Where in the solitude I will enjoy the peace of the countryside, and with my camera I will capture images to transfer to paper with my paints. So I shall have plenty to occupy my time with.

I look forward to June, and the marriage of Stuart and Rebecca. Followed by a holiday back in Cardigan. Where Jean and I can relax in a community which is as Llantwit was when we were young. There we shall watch the dolphins at play off New Quay, and see small fishing boats returning with their catch. But there is little point in looking too far ahead, and I must face each new day as it comes. I must face the future with fortitude. To help those who have given me the help I need to face what will be my final act.

So come now death I fear you not, with all the helpers I have got. You do your worse I’ll do my best, I’ll fight you till my dying breath. The victory that you seem to need means nothing to me just you heed. For I will triumph just you see, when you put your hold on me. For to God’s heaven I will fly, and your victory I’ll deny.

Stuart Charles Hignell, Saturday, 26/2/2000.

If anyone wishes to read August Revisited, it can be found on the Buil-UK mnd forum.

Best wishes to everyone,

CB aka Stuart.

Robyn Copley-Hirst
11th November 2011, 09:41
Thanks for sharing that with us, Stuart, it's a really good read. For everyone else who is busy tracking the rest down the link to August Revisited that Stuart mentions is here:

http://www.magimedia.co.uk/buildforum/viewtopic.php?t=3040

Hope this makes it easier for others looking to read the rest,

Best Regards,

Robyn

Mr-Tumble
11th November 2011, 15:21
Thanks for sharing this Stuart

Dave

elle
12th November 2011, 02:13
What an amazing journey youv'e had so far stuart i read your life on build it was addictive
reading and so well written it should be published, what a great keepsake for your family
your an inspiration to them well done stuart.
Best wishes x elle x

inteltec
13th November 2011, 10:20
i been reading s Stuarts story on another forum its good reading

Countyboy
13th November 2011, 16:14
Hi Robyn, Very many thanks for finding and posting the link to "August Revisited". I would also like to say thank you on your very kind comment on my writing.
Best wishes,
CB aka Stuart.

Countyboy
13th November 2011, 16:33
Hi Elle and Inteltec, Thank you both for your kind comments on my life story. I would advise anyone with this disease to write down the story of their lives. Not only for their family but also for the sake of history. All too often the shape of history has been distorted to suit politics and the writer. The private histories often prove to be the truth behind situations our leaders have twisted in vain attempts to make themselves look good. Only by writing the facts as seen through your eyes will an honest account of life through different era's be recorded.

Thanks again for your kind comments,

CB aka Stuart.

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