We had a lie in – our son woke us at 6:20 this morning. It felt good. Pulling up the blind we saw a beautiful morning glow, pink across the sky. There was a frost. Everything was crisp. It had an edge.
Later we went out for a walk. Ostensibly we were trying to get my son to sleep in the buggy. But it became something else. A memory relived. Setting a new path, with three of us. Setting new shadows.
It became a trip to the oak, a tree I always used to pat as a kid as I went by, walking Tess the dog. A huge beast of a tree. Grand and proud on the roadside. It was icy and we slipped and we slid, holding onto each other and the buggy, until we were out of the shadows where the black and white ice lay.
Then it became a walk to the church. Some say that the church is far out of the village because everyone moved to start again after the plague. Others say the village moved to be near the main road, to affect passing trade.
It’s a peaceful place that church. Some of the old boys of the village are buried there. I pay my respects when I go. Now I can bring my son. Here’s Sam grave, who was on the parish council with me when I was fresh out of university and he was facing his final battle with cancer. There’s Jeff’s grave. He always had a kind word for me; told me stories about the fields and brought the past alive. Other names I recognise but can no longer connect with faces.
Some of the scrub has been cleared, other parts have grown. On the way home the sun is shining stronger. A small flock of birds flits around the field never close enough for us to make a strong identifications. Linnets I say, only because the word feels good to say out loud. They sound like chaffinches.
Then we’re home again. But this isn’t home anymore. It’s just where my parents live. Time passes and home moves. One day the time will come when I’ll only have memories to connect me to this village.
Janathon stats: 6,138 steps