What do these have in common? Apples, cricketer James Anderson, wasps, blackberries, rainbows…
Answer: they’ve all featured in my life in the UK during the last seven days. OK, slightly tenuous connection. Try this: in a year of unpredicted change, they are a source of solace and constancy. Apples go through their cycle of spring blossom, June fall, maturing growth, ripening, and now harvest. Wasps continue to get drunk in the apple tree and sting unsuspecting fruit pickers. Blackberrying is still a delightful seasonal occupation – along with its attendant care to avoid stinging nettles, flies, thorns, oh and wasps.
Northerly gales blow in with stormy skies, sharp slaps of thunder and fleeting flashes of lightning. Downpours are blown at speed, allowing the sun to blink through the rain and rainbows to appear.
And then there’s James Anderson. What an unexpected and astonishing feat of organisation that test matches have been played this summer and have been broadcast on Test Match Special! On a soggy Southampton pitch Jimmy Anderson achieved his 600th test wicket, alas with no enthusiastic and congratulatory spectators to witness it live. But it happened. His longevity as a seam bowler – the first ever to reach 600 test wickets – provides a welcome bit of stability in times of change. He’s a reassuring figure.
So . . . all may change, but apples, wasps, blackberries, rainbows, and James Anderson – never! True? Not really. Writer, Somerset Maugham: “Nothing in the world is permanent, and we’re foolish when we ask anything to last, but surely we’re still more foolish not to take delight in it while we have it.” So, I delight in, and thank God for, apples, blackberries, rainbows, James Anderson – but maybe not wasps.