Waking for a few minutes in the small hours, I begin to think about words like "soul" and "spiritual" and why I am generally reluctant to use them in general discourse.. The reason is that I am not entirely sure of what they mean. Often I have a good idea but there is something loose and amorphous there which worries me. I am, I realise a materialist, requiring the reassurance of verifiable structures. Others I know use such terms freely and as a rule I have no problem in understanding what they want to convey. Just recently I have had occasion to examine myself on matters which others might call spiritual. I want to ask myself advice, to understand certain facts about my motivation for certain behaviour in the past. Where do I go for such information? After some thought I conclude that my mind contains a reservoir of knowledge, accumulated and inherited for me to search and analyse. Soul, perhaps, a source of spirituality? Having come to that conclusion, I fall asleep. Do I re-awake the wiser?
My daughter and her husband take me to a country pub for lunch. A wood stove burns. The food though simple is perfectly cooked. Two couples in the room where we sit are talking quietly. We too talk quietly. The place seems effortless to help conversation along. Sausages, mashed potatoes (one of the most difficult dishes to prepare properly) and generous garnish of kale brings on a feeling of well being which falls over my shoulders like a cloak. I share a dish sticky toffee pudding consisting of the lightest and most delicate of sponges.