a fallen leaf,
the hand of a child in mine,
real butter on real bread.
A hot shower,
the feeling of cleanliness,
a crisp, dry towel.
The warmth of a fire after a walk in the wind and rain,
A conversation that winds around us,
a perfect idea
discovered at its heart.
The clarity and space of a day of fasting;
the joy of a day of eating.
and the written word.
Stories and sounds that enter into your soul and reside.
Being able to see the stars.
A harvest moon.
Clean, safe water in every tap in the house.
A door that closes and locks,
but also opens readily
for a welcome.
Friends that are nearby,
friends far away,
family right here,
family over the phone.
Deep, peaceful, healing sleep.
Today I have been thinking about…waving.
I’m just back, and was driving through the village when I got stopped at the only set of traffic lights. As I sat and waited, my friend, her husband, their son and their dog crossed in front at the pedestrian crossing.
By the time I had managed the soft beep, rather than
the hard parp that is easier, all but the husband had disappeared through the doorway to the woods.(Yes, in our village, we have a doorway to the woods.)
But I waved, thinking, ‘I’m in the wrong car, I’ve got sunglasses on, he doesn’t know me well. Hi!’
He looked, and then waved back. And before the lights went green, my friend had reappeared, waved, and her son had popped his head back through the doorway and waved too.
I had pizza for lunch.
An exquisite chopping board, one of the pre-sliced pieces lifted. A perfect, crisped base, not too much ‘edge’ and in no way too dry or too wet in the middle.
To say it was delicious would be an understatement. I savoured each mouthful, marvelling not only at the wonder of the recipe, but also the joy of not having to cook. The café was beautifully turned out, the company close and familiar. There was even a cool light fitting made of milk bottles.
I had pizza for tea.
Deep-fried half pizza supper.
To say it was delicious would be an understatement. I savoured each mouthful of one of Scotland’s more eccentric national dishes. Chips warm and mushed, salt and sauce…
Two pizzas, both alike in their dignity.
‘Where do the dollies go?’ I say.
‘We don’t want the dollies anymore, Mum.’
I don’t care whether they want the dollies now.
It was having them in the first place that mattered. My sons, having dollies. They played regularly with them, often in the pink buggy.
They know that pink doesn’t belong to girls.
They dote on their teddies, now. Their nurturing instincts are intact. I worried, before, that they could be eradicated by a house full of lego, cars, the colour blue.
Maybe I worry too much.
Maybe I don’t worry enough.
I put the dollies in the box of hand-me-downs. They will go to sons of a dear friend.
There’s no such thing as girl’s stuff, my son says.
The rest of the toys: cars, Lego … and yes, teddies … get put away, neatly for another day.
I’ve just turned right at that corner that is so sharp that a right turn is literally straight on. There’s a tractor up ahead.
Not particularly noteworthy, I live in the country, and it’s harvest time. I love everything about living in the country including tractors: graceful giants, with almost-always friendly drivers, happy to wave back when they pass my son in the street.
This tractor has a fetching swivel-orange light. Like a siren. But orange. I slow down, but keep coming.
The tractor flicks its lights to full beam and back. Oh.
I slow down further.
The tractor flashes its lights brightly, strongly. I stop the car at the side of the road.
The tractor passes. It’s not a particularly wide load.
What was that all about?
Driving on, I realise. And switch my own headlights off full beam.