The gate to the two great fields was shut. It is supported by a sturdy post on one side and by undergrowth and brambles on the other, just beginning to sprout. I looked out over the hundreds of vegetable acres (I’m not sure still whether they are cabbages). The world was silent.
Looking away at last I saw a lone cyclist who had paused by the road to drink from her water bottle. She appeared to be as absorbed in her thoughts as I had been. I continued my walk down the country road. She did not look round.
A house, large, rambling and possibly late Victorian – no older – was to my right. It has a large garden, probably the size of a football field where the grass is cut in circles, like hay, and the rushes of a pond can just be discerned. The garden is protected from the cow field into which it extends, by tall trees which have yet to bud. The house is the rambling sort that a child would love to explore: a hidden house with a secret garden. A dense row of fruit trees which in the autumn produce small, reddish plums, obscures it from the road. The plums usually seem to be left unpicked.
These trees are now in full bloom. In the distance the hills were covered by mist and rain clouds. The wind blew – cooler than of late. It came from the east. I looked round and saw the cyclist setting off, into the wind. Quite alone. As was I. I was impressed by her lonely self-possession.It takes courage to set off on one’s travels knowing that the happiest outcome is to find home again.
But who knows what discoveries she – and we – make on the way? It is those that give us meaning. They involve past, present and above all, the interpretation which time and reflection create.
As I walked on, the white plum blossom was blown from the trees as if it were snowflakes.
Autumn is implicit in Spring but the hopes of my travels rest in the message of Easter.