Walking slowly behind or ahead of beloved is an acquired skill, the factors change
- Are we in a hurry?
- Is the sun shining?
- Is there a hazard ahead?
- Is the path narrow or wide enough to pass ?
- Are we on a well known path, road , car park, field or garden?
- Is anyone coming towards us?
- Is anyone wanting to overtake us?
- Do we need to converse?
- Have I got my Hearing aids in ?
We have had some spats when I’ve been talking and beloved has not heard as I walk ahead of the ‘who do you think you are talking to variety’ from him, to ‘I cant hear you ‘ from me ,when unable to lip read as have my Covid mask on and therefore no hearing devices.
So it has been stress free here in Wydale on the holiday break I never thought we would ever manage again. The trial run of 2 nights in July has made way for 4 nights in September. We don’t have to talk as we walk in convoy of two ,carrying all the necessary equipment for the shortest even sojourn abroad ,in a Herons bag cleverly masquerading as shopping or a picnic.
We are staying in the new ground floor Self - catering accommodation in the Emmaus Centre but having Full board. Geriatrica it certainly is not. We are the only guests needing to sit near the breakfast buffet . Other guests are walkers, dancers, artists and writers, groups of young looking men and women in clerical dress and/or jeans and piercings on Day courses, and occasionally men and women in purple , but not spitting in the street.
Beloved and I are free to roam the paths until we find a quiet bench , then we may talk, or not .We mostly enjoy , a luxury for Beloved , a stop for a chat in front of the various shrubs , trees and annuals of interest.
- Is that a Cornus or a Viburnum?
- Take a pic of the Monkey Puzzle tree for Alice
- That’s a yellow Crab Apple
- Ken’s done a good job on the Lavendar
- The new Meadow Strip is a good idea, they’ll have to dig out the perennial weeds that have grown so quickly. Best put black membrane down until it’s seeded
- Shall I give them a packet of Yellow Rattle
- Don’t interfere
- Take a pic of those
- Here’s Jasper
- It’s all looking so good
And it is.For the last 20 months some people have discovered for the first time new pastimes. Never was the name pastime more apt. Never has an interest in gardening been such a lifeline in difficult times it seems. On this day when the government Furlough Scheme ends some people
- will have had their lives radically changed as they can no longer afford their rents,
- might have to plough through paperwork and bureaucracy to get Universal Credit
- or a new job
- or come to terms with redundancy,
- or an inability to pay a mortgage.
The Global Pandemic and its sister disaster Global Warming have marshalled I hope those of us in the west to start rethinking all our entrenched assumptions of the Good Life, family life, life without Europe, the NHS and even our security , into hoping that we can have a Global reboot of everything that will turn us back to the place where we can halt both toxic sisters.
Here in the place where I have had time to think about Covid and Global Warning, and plenty of leisure to walk slowly behind my beloved , and sit awhile on garden benches, and walk past stone walls with seedling trees and ferns bravely living in the crevices, I’m more drawn to the Lichen growing on branches, a sign of clean and pure air. The lichens give me joy, a God Given and amazing life form, not Fungus, not Algae but although the taxonomic classification is Fungus it is a symbiotic relationship of the two.
The joy of them does not end here. They can convert Carbon dioxide into Oxygen, fix Nitrogen and are the cheapest way to detect Pollution, and shout aloud from stones on which they live.
The lines in the Morning Prayer liturgy used at Wydale include this couplet
If Christ’s disciples keep silent
These stones would shout aloud
I get it .
*note to self , send email to audiology as have just lost yet another Hearing aid on the streets of Filey in the putting mask on quickly move .