||November Contents Page
By Reina Free
It is now the last week of September and we are having an unexpected Indian Summer with temperatures of 28 degrees Celsius. I am only just back from a two-week visit to Holland and what a special joy it is to be walking again along Kings Lane. Although I have lived in England for over 50 years I don’t really feel 100% English and when I was in Holland I was conscious I am not 100% Dutch. Even so the English and the Dutch have many things in common.
Mist is draped over trees and fields. The birds are still asleep in small hollows and hedgerows, only a robin softly sings. It is not raining, drops of mist falling down on autumn leaves compose their own gentle melody.
Walking along I see in the distance of the now empty field a solitary harvester which looks like a spiky dinosaur. The barn is now loaded up to the roof with bales of straw, except for one small gap for the owl to roost or the kestrel to snooze in the early morning sun.
All the fields have now been harvested. Our farmers are busy ploughing, taking advantage of any dry weather preparing the soil for sowing.
In the hedgerows hundreds of very fine spider webs that look like small sails. Yet I see no spiders. I suspect they are hiding, probably among the leaves waiting to catch their unsuspecting prey.
In Holland, as in England and everywhere in the world, there are severe economic problems, recessions, huge debts, uncertainty about the euro; politicians pretending they have solutions which they have not and that they have things under control, which they do not. It could make me so downcast. But then I see the sun breaking through the clouds opening a heavenly window. My farmer friend Peter stops for a chat. The milkman blows the horn of his float for a morning greeting. David, a cyclist from Weston Turville, calls out “Morning Reina!”. Juliet on the school run with Rosie and James wave and I realise how blessed I am (blessed not lucky). Because it all could have been so different. How we all need small kindnesses from one another. They are not hard to do but it can make all the difference to the way we live the day.
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