Ode to amazing us

Peter Leith is 90 and describes himself as ‘half-deaf and half-blind’, but he has never been one to dwell on his challenges. Ode to amazing us continues his Aspects of Ageing series of short stories.

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Lying awake at night, I often reach out – very carefully – so as not to wake her, and put my arm across the sleeping shoulders of my partner.

My hand, gently clasps the point of her distant shoulder and my forearm feels the rise and fall of her torso as she breathes. With my other hand, I gently cup and hold her sleeping head.

My arm and hand feel the miracle of one of the major wonders of life itself – the simple act of breathing.

My other hand, cradling her head, senses and rejoices in the miraculous multitude of life-support activities that are going on within her skull as she sleeps.

Lying there in the silent darkness gives me an almost incredible feeling of reassurance, connectedness and peace.

I am not a religious person, but find I feel the same sense of awe, respect and admiration that one experiences sitting alone in the silent darkness of a large empty place of worship.

The caste, creed or colour of all those who have worshipped in such places is totally unimportant. What is important is the sense of sharing in and being a part of a barely understood miracle.

A sense of shared communion with both life and infinity …

Do you have a story or an observation for Peter? Send it to [email protected] and put ‘Sunday’ in the subject line.

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Written by Peter Leith

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