Acts of Grace on a Monday Morning

Sitting in my bedroom feeling low – the ginger cat rushes upstairs howling, and sits his bare bum on my bare foot. He’s the one I rescued as a kitten 11 years ago, and who shivered silently for a year until he learned how to purr.

Neighbours are talking quietly outside my front door. We exchange greetings. I pause to chat to a mother settling her small daughter into the car.

Driving on to the Burrows, I stop to allow the horses to come across the little bridge. They take their time. Another driver comes up behind them, and forces them into a trot. I try to give him a disapproving look as he passes, but unfortunately burst out laughing at myself, ending up looking like a deranged lunatic.

An elderly man walking slowly and laboriously arrives back at his car, accompanied by a collie. I can see they have had a good time. The dog is panting. His feathery tail is blowing in the wind. He drops the ball from his mouth, and it is put into the car.

The man puts down a plastic bowl for water – but it blows away across the grass. He manages to catch it and fill it from a plastic bottle. He touches the dog’s shoulder, then touches the bowl with pointed finger. The dog drinks. The man refills the bowl, and again touches the dog, then touches the bowl, and the dog drinks again.

A flock of starlings rises up into the sky, turns and swerves into the light and disappears. I wish I could find a way to express the corresponding circling movement inside my body.

A couple come along. They have been for a walk – except that the woman can barely move. She has a Zimmer frame, and they inch along to the side of their car. The man brings out a stick for her to lean on whilst he turns the Zimmer frame to the edge of the grass. I watch them negotiate the last few feet. They are both fairly old, but the man is much bigger, stronger and fitter than the woman. He moves briskly, quietly. Everything gets packed away and they drive off. I know he will spend all his waking hours and minutes caring for the woman’s needs.

I haven’t actually got on to the Burrows yet, but it is time to go home for lunch.

About throughstones

I am primarily a visual artist, living on the North Devon coast, a beautiful semi-rural area in South West England. I am interested in full engagement with 'place' and the eternal movement of life - particularly as it relates to what we call 'the natural environment'.
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5 Responses to Acts of Grace on a Monday Morning

  1. Proud Mary Entertainment says:

    Hello,
    New here. Thanks

    Mary Aloe
    Proud Mary Entertainment

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  2. redstarcafe says:

    Acts of grace. Very nice and, as bettyslocombe said, calm. I love your eye on the countryside, especially the little details. Feel like I’m there and not an hour’s drive from anything remotely resembling your idyll.

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    • Well, I wouldn’t exactly call it an idyll – I love living in Devon, it is a beautiful county – but round here is semi-rural, rather than deep rural. I just don’t focus on the built environment. I have to get out a lot, and ‘touch base’. Though I do miss city life sometimes – awkward to get up to London from here.

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  3. Ah: a little liturgy of calm human being. Thank you. You deserved your lunch for your looking.

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