Bentley hamlet. The duck pond is just visible, to the right of the last building, on the near side of the road. I flew overhead just for you!
This evening I took a stroll to an adjacent village to feed the ducks on the pond.
A pleasant, relaxing outing; one that allows my writer’s mind to relax, to take a break from its normal state, which is one of constant overdrive of complex inventiveness.
I walked to this small village which contains, seven houses, one which is a converted chapel, and two farms. To be absolutely accurate, I should call it a hamlet rather than a village.
This hamlet is only one and a half miles from my own home and most of the walk is along a quiet country road, or via farmland and woods. Dependent on which route you choose. I took with me a bag of half-stale bread and some old cake to treat the ducks that live on Bentley’s pond.
Near the rear of the pond, the area furthest from the road is a wooden bench of the type often found in public parks. It was donated by a group of women, I’m uncertain who, but their names are etched into a plaque on the backrest of the seat. I thank them.
It is a tranquil spot, idyllic even.
On my walk to the hamlet, I watched wild rabbits scurry into the dense undergrowth of bracken and bramble, dive headlong under hedgerows as my approach disturbed their grazing. Birds sang evensong, apart from the swifts and swallows which hunted on the wing, darting to and fro, seeking out their prey in a wondrous acrobatic aerial display.
I often walk, choosing various routes, partly as exercise, partly as relaxation and partly to wonder at the sheer variety of nature that is, so to speak, right on my doorstep. It is something I enjoy immensely.
This evening was no different until I saw a small rabbit, white tail bobbing as it ran down a steep bank, dodging the saplings, looking for somewhere to hide from my presence. Uncontrollably my mind took this as a prompt.
How would a body look rolling down that bank? “Imagine pushing it with your foot,” my mind said, “watch it turn over and over as it rolls downwards.”
“Hey…what about this? running from zombies, or a mad axe murderer. Think about scrambling up the bank, slipping back into their gasp.”
I fought NOT to think of such things, pushed them to the back of my mind. Luckily, looking up, I caught sight of a Buzzard circling above the woodland. This stayed those musings… but only for a time.
Soon, I was at the pond, sitting on the bench, watching a raft of ducks as they squabbled over the dried bread and old cake I casually tossed into the pond.
But today my muse would not be quieted. “How deep is that water?” it asked. “Look, look a body is floating to the surface”. It was not; it is too heavily weighted to rise!
I shook my head to clear these notions. It worked, momentarily.
You see, the cottage opposite the pond has a small window, through which a pale yellow light was shining.
My mind spoke out again, “That is a lover’s hideaway. Two lost souls finding solace and love, a future together after all the turmoil and pain they have suffered”.
Sometimes I cannot control my own mind. It seeks inspiration and finds creative fertility of its own accord. Many times this is visual, like on this evenings stroll. Other times a voice, a sound, a few overheard words, sends it spiralling out of control.
I count this, most times, as a blessing and I am grateful to have this gift; but other times I regard it as a curse, as I did this night.
That’s all I have for you just now.
© Paul White 2016
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