Sitting down on a rickety bench, I admired the view from atop the little hill we had climbed. It was a good enough day for a walk; sunny but not too warm or bright, there was a gently breeze and Spring was busting awake in the air. The countryside rolled out below me, seeming to shake off a grey winter’s blanket to start popping with colour once again.
I breathed in the sweet, flower fragrance air and thought about how much I’d just missed this. I raised my hands and put them up to the breeze, feeling that invisible and freeing force. Lowing them, my coat and long t-shirt sleeves rolled down and I caught sight of the fresh looking, raw scar along my right arm. It went from my wrist to my elbow, were they had to put pins in to help heal the bone right.
I can’t bare to touch it and before the memories had time to build again, I looked out over the countryside. I could see some sheep in the distance like little puffs of clouds, there were a few trees just getting their green leaves back and down in that twist of valley, a river was meandering through like it had been for hundreds of years. Birds were twitting and singing passionately, though I couldn’t see them. There was all this natural blue and green everywhere.
Was this Eden?
A few shaky breaths came out of me then I noticed my arm was shaking. I drew my sleeves back down, hiding the messed up skin. Hugging my arm as a hurt child would, the mantra I had adopted began to repeat in my head; at least I’m still here. Looking down, I saw my knees were pressed hard together. I relaxed them, only to feel dull achy pain in both my legs. The right leg was scared the same as my right arm, from knee to ankle. The left wasn’t that bad because that side hadn’t been trapped by the motorcycle.
A dog’s barking drew my attention away. I raised my head and looked around. The barking was from my Westie, but I couldn’t see that white fluffy ball against the green underbushes. I clung to the bench, as I twisted around looking for him, my fingers curling over the weather-worn wood. Then he appeared trotting down the little pathway with my older Scottie dog tailing him.
‘Hey, where you two been?’ I asked them.
At the sound of my voice, they both raced over and jumped onto the bench. I laughed as they both crowed my lap and licked at me. I felt wet, muddy paws on my jeans and coat, and even wetter noses and tongues against my skin. I hugged them both, breathing in the countryside in their furs.
Two more dogs appeared at my knees; a faithfully golden retriever and grey hound. I freed a hand and patted them both. I’d missed all these dogs for the last few months and to be out here walking with them now was like a dream. I felt tears of joy coming to my eyes.
From behind me came footsteps and my husband’s voice calling my name, ‘Casey? Are you all right?’
I nodded and wiped my face.
‘I thought you were behind me. I didn’t mean to go off like that! Are you tried?’ he questioned.
‘Not really. I was just looking at the countryside,’ I replied.
My husband sit down and I put my head on to his shoulder. He slipped an arm around me and I put my hand to his chest. I shut my eyes and for a few moments listened to his breathing and the rustle of his coat. He put his other arm around me, hugging me tightly. He smelt better to me then any countryside ever could.
‘I should get you home, you’re shaking,’ he said softly.
I felt more tears in my eyes and nodded into him without saying anything.
I still had along way ahead of me to go but I was going to get there.
(Inspire by; https://scvincent.com/2018/03/15/thursday-photo-prompt-ahead-writephoto/ with thanks).