Solitary Walks

For a start the sun was out today. This morning my kitchen was filled with light and warmth as I sat with coffee, toast and marmalade and it almost, almost felt like any other Spring day.

I tackled the online paper and of course, it’s wasn’t a normal Spring day. People are dying, all over the world, they are dying. We’re told to avoid each other, stay two metres apart. People are covering their faces.

I can’t help it, I conjure up images of the Plague of 1656, the strange bird masks that doctors wore, stuffed with dried flowers, herbs and spices. They believed the disease was spread by miasma, noxious air. The sweet smells were thought to guard against it.

I had to leave the house, and I walked down the road, past the churchyard full of primroses and celandines, that made the gravestones look almost like an afterthought.

I walked to the common, past a woman on a bench, woolly hat and sunglasses, lifting her face to catch the sun. “I’m getting my dose of vitamin D”, she shouted, across the divide.

Beneath a tree three small children were having a lovely time carefully picking tiny things from the grass. Their mother, a few metres away, on the other side of a low wall that separates the street from the common, was standing at the end of a garden path talking to her mother, who stood in the doorway of her house.

It’s Mother’s Day.

It’s “Keep your distance, I love you day.”

Of course it is. Of course you do.

It’s just the way things are.






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