I was reading of an old chap living alone in a big house who tried not to make friends of wild animals sharing his garden, like birds or a young hare he was tempted to treat like his children.
He hardened himself against them because, nature being harsh, some got killed and that pained him. Yes, love can hurt.
Not only do I talk to garden birds, I even chat to inanimate things too.
When rising first thing, as She Who Knows sleeps on, I make a brew and greet her old teddy bear on the rocking chair while drawing our blinds, then the cuckoo clock should it call – which it does now at odd times.
It’s not loneliness but a joyful inclination to share my high spirits with whoever is around, even if not alive! True, it’s hurtful to find a dead ‘pet’ or, even, a fallen cuckoo clock (I soon ‘mended’ it) but, as with real friends or family, we shouldn’t build a protective shell about ourselves.
Like most people in friendly Lancashire, I greet anyone who cheerfully does the same – or not. Rebuffs I shrug off, as they’re few.
Over festivities last week I greeted other parishioners during a rare church attendance. On a rainy day it cheered us all.
The sermon was about trusting the Almighty and being open to all - very inspiring if, like me, you take an optimistic approach to life.
Then I read about that lonely, old man protecting his tender feelings by trying not to care for other living things. That’s why it seemed sad, to be hardening oneself and one’s life.
How much better to keep the faith, however testing it proves at times, and to trust that, like goodness itself, this brings us its own reward.
In fact, that’s seems a fine New Year resolution.
n For Roy’s books, on Kindle or in paperback, visit royedmonds-blackpool.com.