Category: Story #7

Autumn into Winter


Saint Cuthberts, Earls Court

And so it went… Lemmy was busy making an album with Sam and Roger.  He hadn’t talked about it, except through intimation, but being the oblivious girl that I was, it didn’t really sink in.  Now I knew he was rehearsing with them and that they were a band.

Having discovered St Cuthbert’s through Lemmy, I would go now to explore the church.  Compared to the  magnificence of Saint Paul’s Cathedral which I had visited on the day Lemmy and I met, I saw Saint Cuthbert’s as a quaint  church, but in spite of being a good deal smaller than St Paul’s,  it is an majestic work of art, known as “much the grandest church to have been built in western Kensington”.

At sunset I’d walk into the church, loving the ominous echo of my footsteps on the marbled floor.  I sat on the small wooden chairs, reflecting on the depth of my feelings for Lemmy.  I always found myself alone, I never saw a soul there.  I breathed in the solemnity of that hallowed place.

There were alcoves on the sides of the church, Gothic arches looming overhead, where parishioners could light candles for loved ones and ask for prayers.  A little school notebook sat on the old wooden table in which to write your requests, with the pencil provided, attached to the book with string.  In my carefully written, child like handwriting, I asked for prayers that Lemmy would have everything he wanted in life, that he would succeed in achieving his desires.  I wonder if they save those notebooks forever?

Loving Lemmy was all that mattered to me.  Somehow he had connected me to my spirituality, maybe through my unconditional love for him.  This is not something I was aware of then, this is what I see now.  In spite of my youthful immaturity I knew this was the way it had to be.  I could not have any expectations of him.  It was bittersweet and sad, but I felt a graceful peace and acceptance of who he was, and what our relationship was.

On All Hallows Eve I went to the church with a portable record player which I placed on the lavish ancient alter.  I wanted to hear Donovan’s voice infuse the air with “A Gift From a Flower to a Garden.”,   “Catch the Wind”, and Celeste”. (As I sat here revisiting that evening, that majestic song,  forgotten in my subconscious,  welled up in me and escaped my lips).  These enchanting sweet songs informed my life.

But “Catch the Wind” would be my favorite, the theme song of my life.  When I hear it I drift back to Lemmy Willis, the boy I knew way back then:

In the chilly hours and minutes of uncertainty,
I want to be in the warm hold of your loving mind.
To feel you all around me,
And to take your hand along the sand,
Ah, but I may as well try and catch the wind.

When sundown pales the sky,
I want to hide a while behind your smile,
And everywhere I look your eyes I find.
For me to love you now, would be the sweetest thing,
T’would make me sing,
Ah, but I may as well try and catch the wind.

When rain has hung the leaves with tears,
I want you near, to kill my fears,
To help me to leave all my blues behind.
Standing in your heart is where I want to be
And long to be,
Ah, but I may as well try and catch the wind.

The serenity of that church had become something of a  sanctuary for me to feel my aloneness.  I was not unhappy.   I was loving being in love, whether lamenting the poignant sadness or inspired by the delicious spirituality of love.

Lemmy had written: “Make up your own mind, give me a reason, why you are running small and alone.  No one is lonely if they are ready to live for living and living alone.”

Maybe I had created the reality of my life and Lemmy sensed it … maybe he knew me better than I knew myself.