The elusive nature of happiness is that when you're in the midst of it, it's sometimes impossible to know it. That it take a horribleness to underscore the bliss, if you know what I mean. And so these long summer days, with their soft rain, in the countryside seem like a dream. The little house, the apple tree, the dogs, the cricket pitch dotted with men in whites, the wood pigeons cooing like they're on a Kate Bush album, the field larks, the sweet smell of hay, the lunches under the hazelnut tree - it's all too much to take it for its full beauty. But the other day I said to Charlie, if I die now, I would die happy. So all those books and gurus that tell you to remember to be grateful - do that. I read an interview with Arianna Huffington about her sleep routine (in typical Huffington style, she now has the corner on sleep, critiquing the president based on his sleeping habits and so on) and she mentioned that she writes a 'gratitude list' every night. I want to roll my eyes, in fact I probably do roll my eyes, but actually, I think she's onto something.
It's all so quick, isn't it? Why is it that the best weekends are over in the blink of an eye?
Yesterday I rode a new route, following my Ordnance Survey map app down a path through the woods to Kings Ash and then back up a lane that connected with the bridle path portion of the Ridgway above Wendover (Charlie calls it Bendover). The ground is still damp from the rain so we were able to canter a little and noticed a little fox trot across the path in front of us. Bella's eyes bulged and we stood as still as she could muster, just staring at each other. He a few feet into the woods, we on the path. It's one of those moments, the mind meld, when you wonder if we are in fact all connected and all understanding each other in some crazy Jungian way. The young fox is not scared, just wary, just keeping his distance, inquisitive. Bella is spellbound. I try desperately to get a photo (a fool's errand).
(Martin has come to cut the grass. He leans over the fence and takes time with his sentences. I like this about him. He's my zen reminder that I'm too quick and grumpy, especially when I'm interrupted at my desk. He tells me that glis glis are a problem that won't go away, that he's been going to some houses for years and the problem still remains. He also tells me that some people use rat traps and that it's illegal. And no, drowning them is not allowed. I like Martin.)
I'm on a journey of connecting places, all these names I'd heard as a child, some of them I'd visited and now I'm beginning to see how they all connect, like giants gobs of knowledge, creating a new framework, a spiderweb of paths on which to hang my life.