Saturday, November 30, 2019

The Man in the Woods

It’s another cold clear bright morning. However, this spell of cold and sunshine ends tomorrow and we start a long spell of cool cloudy weather with, most likely, lots of rain showers.
Last night I went to the panto but it wasn’t easy to take because of my Sciatic nerve. My leg started hurting with the referral pain of Sciatica a few weeks ago. Usually it’s hardest to sustain in the mornings, but last night it was really making me uncomfortable. I could not straighten my leg and the pain was distracting.
As a term, “aging,” at least in my experience, is the slow amassing of minor pains and losses. The spa is spectacularly successful at rendering them briefly and wonderfully forgotten.
So this is what happened yesterday: I was walking Sheba in the 707 Park and as I turned a corner I saw a man and woman walking ahead of me. He had his hand on the small of her back as he disappeared around another corner and I found it touching.
When I rounded the second corner I suddenly saw the man on the side of the trail crouched over with his pants down whist his wife stood in the trail. Sheba was barking at them, so I grabbed a stick from the ground, called her and threw the stick in the direction from which we’d come. And I slowly followed her.
Within a few moments, I heard a man’s voice yell, “All clear.”
I turned and Sheba followed. And this is where, for me, it got weird. The man and woman were standing in the trail waiting for me and we fell into an immediate and comfortable discussion about the heart-melting five-week old Bernese Mountain Dog puppy in his arms. 
It was a one-minute walk to the trailhead where we said goodbye and got into our respective cars. And it’s the proximity to the road and parking that had me decide this old gent should’ve made more of an effort to be invisible. And why wait for me to catch up to them? Although he was the one with his pants down, I was the one who was cripplingly embarrassed. 
Country life!
The Queen offered her “thoughts and prayers” to the families of the man who stabbed and killed people on London Bridge yesterday. One of the richest, most privileged people on earth offers up a hackneyed cliché. Instead, I reckon a monarch should follow God’s example and offer up a son to atone for our sins. (And not Andrew.)
This morning, the pastures on either side of Buttercup Road where I turn onto North Road, were glorious. They were once working pastures, but wild shrubs and grasses have taken over and this morning there was a thick white frost on everything, radiantly shining in the morning sun. It was breathtaking. 
And a nearby home had smoke coming out of their chimney; the smoke trapped close to the ground by the cold air, hovering over the glistening fields of frost-covered flora, giving the landscape an antique Christmas card look. What a way to start my day.

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