Time spent alone with my husband is a rare occurrence so when the opportunity presented a couple of days ago I insisted that we go out for lunch. Once the food had arrived we tried to talk about something other than our offspring but inevitably ended up talking about nothing else. School, nursery, after school clubs, us living our lives around them, through them and in danger at times of having no life beyond them. I worry that one day when the children have gone we will have nothing left to talk about and voiced this over lunch emphasising how we shouldn't allow this to happen. He agreed with me but already I could see the danger signs.
In an effort to cooperate he talked to me about fishing explaining in great detail the intricacies of spinning and the different types of bait he uses. I told him about my blog and I know he tried to look interested but didn't quite succeed enough to convince me that we do or ever actually did have anything in common.
Lunch lasted around 55 minutes as the place wasn't too busy and we were served quickly. At any other time this would have been welcome but today I had wanted it to be leisurely, full of vibrant chat and laughter rather than punctuated with long silences as we each tried to think of something fascinating to say. Eventually, he suggested a trip to a nearby Retail Park to look for an item he'd seen on offer so away we trouped.
Inside the shop he wandered away as usual leaving me to browse in my own time. Meandering up and down the isles I picked up this and that without paying too much attention to the brick a bract until a few seconds later.
The picture spoke to me visually, emotionally, spiritually. I stood and stared for a good 5 minutes overwhelmed by the size and composition. Trees, woodland, the sun's rays beaming through from the top right hand corner so that the trunks in the foreground loomed out of shadow in comparison to the background where a leafy trail was illuminated through the forest as far as the eye could see. The photograph had been shot in black and white and transferred onto canvas. A natural Utopia representing peace, tranquility, grace, promising stillness and calm to troubled souls.
I looked at the price tag then went in search of my husband rehearsing the sales pitch in my head.
' Oh, yeah, I noticed that - quite liked it.' Was the response to my dumbfounded ears.
' Do you? I know exactly where we could put it, what do you think?'
I'm looking at the picture now in our bedroom. It dominates the wall opposite the bed above the radiator and was worth every penny. He spent a good hour making sure it was level and well supported. I loved him for that, for knowing without asking how much this meant to me.
Sitting on the bed I study the endless line of trees and watch as the shifting light in the bedroom changes the composition revealing hidden areas not yet discovered or explored. Our youngest tells me she's seen a reindeer running through the foliage and warns me to shush in case it comes back.
I get up to stand so close the view swallows my vision...a few more steps and the ground beneath my bare feet gives way to the richness of Mother Earth, her healing touch seeps gently through my toes injecting, renewing, enriching and extending her bountiful rhythm of life. Sunlight dapples my face beckoning me nearer, enticing me to reach out my hand and run my fingers over bark and tall, green fern. A breeze ripples through my hair teasing, delighting, sweeping away all fear and doubt.
I breath deeply, inhaling the sweet freshness of early morning dew. The Great Creator indulges me, lifting the veil of self knowledge to welcome clarity and truth.
Shielding my eyes I recognise a figure in the distance trudging towards me carrying a fishing rod in his hand. He looks relaxed, at one with his surroundings. Once or twice he stands perfectly still to listen to the music of the woods or study a particular bird perched high in the cathedral canopy. There is a sense of deep contentment about him as he threads his way through the gleam.
The crackle of undergrowth announces my approach and he looks around to see who or what has disturbed Natures' song? Catching sight of me he waves and I find myself breaking into a run towards him.