The lights were on GO. Friday 13th January 2017.

Snowy Dartmoor - January Friday 13th 2017. Something about Dartmoor

Left for Okehampton. Dartmoor covered in a blanket of snow – Friday 13th. January 2017 – registration day.

I woke up to BBC Breakfast News – and reports of inclement weather conditions up and down the country except in the South West.  I was so relieved when I drew back the curtains; the forecast was clear and the roads to Okehampton from my direction were ice and snow free – although Dartmoor itself was white.  

Okehampton Town Hall on the corner of the four-way cross.

Okehampton Town Hall on the corner of the four-way cross yesterday.

I had an important appointment to keep – to register my Father’s death at the Town Hall which is situated on the main crossroads in the heart of the town – and to collect the ‘green paper’ for the undertaker – which without – no funeral could take place Friday week. My sister Rosie and her family in Vienna have already booked and paid their fare – it was a very important appointment to keep. Even the weather was on Go.

I knocked once and waited. A very nice man opened the door and went through the registration with me - all very easy.

I knocked once and waited. A very nice man opened the door and went through the registration process with me – all very easy and pleasant.

 * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

The glass roof of Okehampton Arcade yesterday.

The glass roof of Okehampton Arcade yesterday.

Okehampton was Dad’s favourite town in the west-country – where he’d done his weekly shop for years – followed by a gentle amble around beautiful Simmons Park beside the East Okement river. After registering his death – I walked up the Arcade to the park to do a morning lap in his memory. Over many years we must have lapped Simmons Park a thousand or more times together – and then with my boys – when they were younger.  Okehampton was wide awake – people were all about the business of the day – the World doesn’t stop. 

The day had an energy of its own – everything flowed – apart from my camera! I take it everywhere – even with me on this official day.

These are the photos. Each one hurriedly snapped because my camera kept frustratingly turning itself off; I’d neglected to charge it the night before!  I offer no scientific explanation as to why I was suddenly able to turn it back on again – and then again – and squeeze just one more shot before the viewfinder turned black and the alarm went beep beep beep again – using up its last vestige of energy. I’d walk on a bit more and then I’d see another ‘memory’ I wanted to keep – so I pushed my luck again…

Another unanswered question - why is there a number 13 above the lantern? It's always been there but on this occasion it seemed especially significant.  I think I probably think to much!!!

Another question – why is there a number 13 above the lantern? Today it seemed especially significant although it’s probably been there for years and I’ve just never noticed it.

My faithful old camera did ‘flatline’ eventually.   Here though – are the precious photos from Dad’s official day – the energy came from somewhere… 

The way in...

The way in…

By the ponds - and the fountains - and the wooden park house...

By ponds – and fountains – and the wooden park house with a red roof…

Over the East Okement - to stand on 'our' bridge...

Over the East Okement – to stand on ‘our’ bridge…

Something about Dartmoor - East Okement RiverST833039

Another promise of Spring. Bulbs pushing through the earth…

Concentric circles - Time.

Concentric circles – time.

Winter Crab Apples. I picked up a fallen one from the grass - deepest t red and muddy - and put it in my pocket.

Winter Crab Apples. I picked up a fallen one from the grass – deepest red and muddy.  I put it in my pocket for ‘keeps’ – although it too will decay eventually – everything does.

One for sorrow. Not really - Dad knew he was dying - wanted to die - he couldn't go on anymore.

One for sorrow; not truly.  Dad knew he was dying – he asked to die near the end – he had endured enough – and I knew he could’t go on anymore – not even for all his family.  It was time.

The way in and the way out...

The way in and the way out…

Back through the arcade - to the shops...

Back through the arcade – to the shops…

My favourite shop in Okehampton. I 'bought' three items. A mysterious canvas painting of a cave opening - and a copper bangle with a Maltese Cross on it and a wooden, hand carved Holy cross. These two items the ladies gave me with the picture.

My favourite shop in all Okehampton. I ‘bought’ three items. A mysterious canvas painting of a cave opening – a copper bangle with a Maltese Cross on it and a wooden, hand carved Holy cross. These smaller items – the ladies kindly gave me with the picture.  I love this place!

The White Hart Hotel on the other corner of the crossroads.

Finally back to where I started – at the four-way cross.  The White Hart Hotel.

Cave painting. I know why I was drawn to it even though it looks dark. To me

Cave painting.  I know why I was drawn to it even-though it looks dark in there.  To me – its Birth and Death – and the eternal mystery of both.  I’m not sure where I’ll hang it just now!

THE GATE OF THE YEAR by Minnie Louise Haskins

God Knows

And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year:
“Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.”
And he replied:
“Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God.
That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.”
So I went forth, and finding the Hand of God, trod gladly into the night.
And He led me towards the hills and the breaking of day in the lone East.

So heart be still:
What need our little life
Our human life to know,
If God hath comprehension?
In all the dizzy strife
Of things both high and low,
God hideth His intention.

God knows. His will
Is best. The stretch of years
Which wind ahead, so dim
To our imperfect vision,
Are clear to God. Our fears
Are premature; In Him,
All time hath full provision.

Then rest: until
God moves to lift the veil
From our impatient eyes,
When, as the sweeter features
Of Life’s stern face we hail,
Fair beyond all surmise
God’s thought around His creatures
Our mind shall fill.

 

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