This Day Is Your Last

More Mayflies today, and the first (what I think were) House Martins of the year too – feasting on them not too far from Sonning Common. If many Mayflies live for just a day, and if there’s a fair chance of a predator eating you before your day is up, then that all puts the need to get the most out of life into a fairly harsh perspective.

If there were such as thing as reincarnation, I can think of a few people who merit no more than a day back on the planet. On the other hand, perhaps it be more fitting for such people to be condemned to be born again to a long life, albeit of suffering and misery.

It was very windy today; the Red Kites were keeping low. I saw another bird of prey up near Christmas Common that wasn’t a Kestrel, but I’m not sure what it was. A Sparrowhawk perhaps, or a Hobby.

Photo: The River Thames at Sonning

A full River Thames, here in Sonning

Today’s was a longer ride that crossed the Thames a couple of times. I like to think of the river as just a big ditch – which, fundamentally, is what it is. After all the rain it’s a very full ditch. I guess quite a few of this seasons’ river bank nests will have been washed away. I don’t know how resilient the birds in question are in terms of trying again.

I hadn’t quite realised just how windy it’s been lately either – there was a fair bit of wind damage to be seen, broken branches and the like. Some low lying fields were flooded but only the usual suspects; it’s not dramatic yet and here’s hoping it stays that way. Drama is pretty well always misery for some.

I see on the news that a chap has died in his car trying to cross a deep, fast-flowing ford, not too far from here. Everything else aside, what often strikes me about a death like that is that it was surely the furthest thing from his mind when he set off to go wherever he was going. There’s a starkness to that, a bluntness, that I’m never sure how to react to.

I don’t know if you can, or should, live as if every day might be your last. It’s easy to say it but living it in any practical way … ? I don’t know. Or perhaps that’s just laziness.

I think I hope if a genuine, freakish accident happened to someone close to me that I could more-or-less shrug it off as just that: surely it would be something that there’s nothing to think about; something that just happened. I know that that’s how I’d like others to think if I was the victim.