“Hythe Bay – Orange” mixed media on canvas 22.5cm x 30cm
This two thousand miles I roamedSongwriters: Steve Cropper / Otis Redding
Just to make this dock my home”
Wait a minute! (..enter needle scratching across a vinyl record here…) Only 2,000 miles and he’s giving up already? That’s an impressive start, I agree, but he should be patting himself on the back and moving on to a new adventure!*
Personally, I have roamed a lot more than 2,000 miles to make this place my home. It actually comes to a whopping 11,022 miles! This does include my “gap half-year” when I travelled Europe (literally living out of a suitcase), but does not count any other holidays (and there were many). And to think that my original dream was only to breach 91 miles, the distance from my small home town to the big city. It seems like such a small baby step now, but it was an important one that set me on my way and, 21 address changes later, I find myself living on the side of a hill overlooking a lovely bay (it doesn’t have a dock) in England, the faraway land of my teenage dreams.
When I look out my front window, this is part of the view I see. And much more. The sun admires its own reflection in the water as it casts shadows on the little villages across the bay and makes its way down toward the west. The hard, permanent line of the horizon contrasts with a spindly, yet determined, young sapling and an impressive reflection on my window pane. This semi-abstract landscape glows with the admiration I have for this ever-changing scene presented to me every day.
I do see the ships roll past. I see the morning sun and I see the evening come, but mostly glimpses while I’m painting or gardening or doing other things, because I’ve got lots to live for. And lots to get done. Life used to get me down. Now I just get on with it. And I’m much happier.
Anyway, I could never waste time. It’s the only commodity I can never get back.
*This is advice to any else but the singer/co-songwriter as Otis Redding actually had done a lot before he wrote that song, much more than 2000 miles’ worth, in my opinion. He died in a plane crash shortly after recording it and continued on his journey in history, as it was the first single ever to hit number one posthumously (and on 2 different charts, simultaneously).