I decided to go out for a while at lunchtime. I needed a couple of things from town and I thought I could relax a little in the Woods. It was a beautiful day today, the only thing that spoiled it was, it’s a Bank Holiday In the Woods there were a lot of people about, but not if you know where to go.
Sitting on a secluded bench, there was a ‘cool heat’ and a smell of almost unworldly freshness, and the noise of dirty traffic and chattering people seemed an eternity away. Its strange how the mind is so often distracted – trapped – by material things. Sometimes only quiet solitude can help awareness of this, and provide a temporary escape from the monotonous droning.
It was almost blissful just sitting there aware that all material commitments had temporary faded into oblivion. I was still aware of them, of course, but they had certainly lost their immediate potency.
At one stage I idly wondered what the time was. I never wear a watch – although I have one – and very rarely have any precise sense of time. Now, I realised it was sometime between 1.o’clock and 3. but that was mainly because I’d noticed the Church clock on my way to the Woods. I knew it wasn’t as late as 3 – you could tell that by the sun – so I guessed it was somewhere around 2 o’clock.. I knew it didn’t matter anyway, I could just go home when I wanted.
When I eventually left the woods, it was after 3, and a woman approached me.
“Can you spare a cigarette”, she asked almost pleadingly. She had obviously seen me smoking, so I gave her one from the packet.
“Do you want a light”, I asked, noticing she was just holding the cigarette limply in a fallen hand. She didn’t answer but silently nodded her head. I lit the cigarette.
“God bless you”, she mumbled quietly, then she just walked away quietly.
I had never seen her before but I guessed she was from the mental hospital just around the corner.
For some reason I am always being approached by some patients, even when I’m not smoking!
Maybe its just the way I look, I don’t know. But its not because they recognise me in any way which is why some other people approach me. Those people I do mind (unless they happen to be friends), but never the hospital patients.
It was quieter than normal back indoors, but that was still due to the Holiday.