As you may have deduced from the thinly disguised hysteria in recent posts, I've been feeling rather overwhelmed at the sheer busy-ness of Lent this year. (Please note, I say "This year" because I am fully determined not to get drawn into quite such mania ever again. I know it's neither healthy nor sustainable and both WonderfulVicar and I plan to refuse to play next time round: and yes, please DO hold me accountable...I need it)
Part of the problem has been that I've not had a full day off, for my very own self, since Lent started, as our Lent talks (which I arranged) had to be on Wednesday evenings. Add to this the Wedneday funeral in London, the trip to Cardiff (lovely, but stressful thanks to the car) and a general sense that there is stuff that I should be getting on with whichever way I turn, at home and in the parish, and one way and another I was really REALLY longing to get right out of Ch Kings and take the dogs for a serious walk somewhere this Wednesday. Sounds good, doesn't it?
However, sadly LongsufferingClockmaker's car obviously felt that mine had been getting too much attention, and had a breakdown of its very own while he was visiting customers in London yesterday, and had to be brought home on an RAC recovery wagon. This meant in turn that LC needed my car to get himself to work and the boys to school. And no, there was no hope that his car might be repaired in time for me to go off somewhere later in the day, if I went in with him and hung around his workshop (not something I enjoy anyway, as it feels odd being just across the garden from our house, but not actually living there).
Cue very unedifying tantrum (clearly the whole thing had been engineered just to spite me! it's obvious, isn't it?!) and a sulky start to the day off.
But it's definitely spring today, so even I couldn't just sit in the dark in the corner of my stable muttering about dirty straw and cobwebs...The dogs and I set out following a woodland footpath we use quite often. Generally we run out of time and have to retrace our steps as the path begins to climb, but today we went on, till we emerged from the trees onto open hillside. At this point, having guided me through a kissing gate, the footpath signs left me stranded in a field with no obvious exit route, so I put the dogs on the lead just in case we were suddenly trespassing. 30 seconds later I was so glad we had. A deer emerged from behind a clump of gorse, all of 20 yards away from us...It was intent on its grazing, and didn't notice us for almost a minute, then Dillon (ADHD JackRussell) awoke to the reality that I was thwarting his pursuit of something far more exciting than a tennis ball and let out his (all-too characteristic) frantic bark...and it was gone. With unimaginable grace,-it's hooves barely touching the turf. Breathtaking.
As was the view spread out below me in the spring sunshine. All those houses, offices, shops...so many many people hurtling around in their daily routines....but from the hillside all seemed calm, even in the parish of St Mary's, Charlton Kings.
I'm glad I couldn't escape as completely as I'd planned. Staying put but getting a fresh perspective was far more helpful.