Monday, 7 May 2018

Return of the King?

On my short regulation walk yesterday I decided to make the uphill climb through a big field which runs from Mill Lane up to the creepy copse on Church Lane. I wondered how I would manage it in my current weakened condition; I thought it might be an indicator of some improvement or otherwise. And do you know what? I found it easier going than I had for several months before all this health business began.

It suggested to me that the cancer in my kidney had been growing for some time and affecting me physically without my realising it. I’m sure I mentioned on this blog that for maybe a year or more my walks were being undertaken purely for the sake of exercise rather than pleasure.

Today I walked along the gloriously sunny Church Lane – probably the prettiest lane in the Shire – and felt the joy of it all again. It reminded me of that last long, warm, dry summer we had in 2006, the year I first moved here and discovered the beauty of the Shire. I thrilled again to the sight of the grey-green aspen leaves sitting alongside the lime green of the horse chestnuts, and the first blooming of the May blossom was a particular thrill. Soon the hedgerows in these parts will be covered with the kind of snow which doesn’t melt in the warm sunshine. I’ve often wondered where that feeling went, but it was good to have it back again.

And I was reminded, too, of that long talk I had with the Lady B a little further along Church Lane on a sunny June day in 2008. I was struck by what a blessing that woman has been, leading me down a road that was familiar but showed me angles and emotional scenery hitherto unknown. I thought of the confusion and the unfamiliar adjustments I’ve had to make in order to deal with an impossible situation. I thought of how she smiled while I struggled, and of how she developed into the paragon of loveliness she now is. And I was glad that the effort she educed from me has led me to a point where I can now simply admire her from a distance and be content.

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