Today’s perfect plan was to get up before it went dark! Haha, great idea. So we stirred mid-afternoon (or at least I did) and managed to plant the idea in Olivia’s head of going for a walk before the sun went down. So we hopped out of sleep land quicker than usual as the clock warned us of the oncoming early winter night. We were wrapped up in “gloves and scarves” before you could say “Where’s the toothpaste?”. It was a little windy, warmer than previous days but still bracing as we walked out of the house. We slipped through the garden and under the skeletal drooping fingers of the weeping willow, forlorn, waiting for the glimmers of spring. Two houses sit at the end of a short driveway, Olivia’s parents’ house is the one on the left, its aesthetically pleasing A-frame roof makes it an appealing home to arrive at whether you live there or are visiting like us, Olivia, of course, lived there as a teen and today we went on one of her memorable childhood walks.
On the driveway that leads up to the two houses is a small local cemetery (Friedhof in German, peace court). As you walk by beyond the small chapel, a tiny building with a steeper A-frame, you can see the names on the graves of old local family names that have been in the village for generations and rest here. Although the graveyard seems like a modern space, the village itself is over a thousand years old and in the cradle of the surrounding village houses, stands an old church with older graves from the village’s history. The clock tower chimes every quarter of an hour, you don’t hear it after a while.
We walked towards the fields, past the half a dozen sheep grazing behind the low voltage electric fence (their acupuncture jolt experience) and their deterrent to escape. A shrine sits on the corner near the main road where a plaster Mary holds a plaster Jesus in her arms, you realise that religion stands firm in the countryside despite the younger generation’s failing interest in the concept. Suddenly we are out on the pathway that skirts the village on the left and the patient crops on the right, waiting for the warmth before they grow into spring and summer. This particular field was once the sunflower field where I posted a video of me playing and singing. What it will be this year is anyone’s guess, hard to tell from the smattering of green that rests on top of the cold soil.
We pass by lots of people walking their dogs, they all say hello and maybe wonder where our dog is? We walk the length of the field and see a hawk struggling in the wind but still managing to land and balance at the top of a tree before it tries again. Two larger birds that might be geese fly and land in the field across the way, too far away to recognise what kind of birds they actually are. We take a right towards the road, Olivia tells me there is a pathway on the other side of the field and suddenly we are walking back in the direction of home with the sinking sun in our eyes. Somehow the sun had managed to find a way through the mass of clouds and briefly attempted an appearance before nightfall. As the clouds and the rotation of the Earth won the battle, the temperature dropped more but the act of walking had us sufficiently warmed up till we reached the house again, happy to have experienced the fresh air, the light, and imagined Olivia as a child on her bike or skates doing the loop from home to home.
Music today continues with Tom Verlaine’s fourth album Cover, released in 1984. Somehow, the album is not on Spotify, only the first three and two live sets.
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