Yesterday was a difficult and strange day. I started training with a different cricket club. It was like being 18 again, and starting university. Going somewhere I’d never been before (only this time driving myself), and finding my way in the dark (nearly got lost). And then the nerves about meeting 30-odd men en masse that I’ve never met before. Introducing myself to people who already know each other, who, however welcoming they might think themselves to be are already a group, familiarities and nick names established. And when we all stood in a line to be picked for groups for the fitness training, it felt like being 14 again, and waiting to be picked to play football in the school playground (newly-arrived from Germany as well), and being the last one picked (it didn’t turn out like that yesterday, not the last pick but anyway). The strangest thing for me was that, after having been with the same club for 15 years, with the same group of men, and effectively having become one of the elder statesmen, joining a different group felt very strange, and, in some way, traitorous, and mostly like walking off a cliff. To be meeting new people, forming new bonds, if new bonds are indeed formed, during a pandemic is a very odd thing to do. Anxieties never go away, they just fade a little.
On my walk round the Heath yesterday afternoon, the birds seemed more agitated than usual, and strangely more reluctant to cede ground to this two-legged creature invading their territory. As one of them flew across my path less than a foot away from me, and less than a foot off the ground, I realised that up here I am always surrounded by thousands of tiny consciousnesses, by personalities and existences that I have no knowledge at all of. What do they think of all these giants wandering around under the ancient trees, across the forest floor that formed their knowledge of the world? Do they feel anger or pride?
Quite a few people messaged me yesterday saying I should definitely put Aggie behind a paywall. It’s tempting, but not yet. She’s not proved herself after two days only. And it’s not like I’ve had hundreds of such messages. I’ve got to give her at least 7 days.
AGGIE’S ART OF HAPPINESS – CHAPTER 3