It Is Now Or Never

Ah, those days…for many years afterwards their happiness haunted me. Sometimes, listening to music, I drift back and nothing has changed. The long end of summer. Day after day of warm weather, voices calling as night came on and lighted windows pricked the darkness and, at day-break, the murmur of corn and the warm smell of fields ripe for harvest. And being young.
If I’d stayed there, would I always have been happy? No, I suppose not. People move away, grow older, die, and the bright belief that there will be another marvelous thing around each corner fades. It is now or never; we must snatch at happiness as it flies.
J.L. Carr, A Month In The Country

Photograph taken in Churwell, Leeds, Summer 1989. I was 21 when I took this picture, and looking at it now only serves to emphasise what Mr Carr expressed so eloquently in his novel A Month In The Country. Those fields were once farmland, though that farm was already an abandoned derelict when I was a child, and a housing estate has been built in its place. From this vantage point today, you can’t see the horizon with Leeds in the far distance, in fact you can’t see further than about 10 feet in front of your nose as a dense copse of trees has grown there during the intervening years. Churwell was still very much a village back then, surrounded on most sides by farmland, but now it’s just part of the vast urban spawl of Leeds and I don’t expect anyone much cares. Except me, and I don’t even live there anymore, though part of me, I am forced to admit, always will.

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