Thursday, 11 October 2012

Pottering about

I was walking out from my house an hour ago and was reminded of something truly lovely. 

There had been a heavy downpour all morning and I had been getting on with tasks inside until I needed to go out into the town to collect a parcel. 

I donned my Wellington boots and grabbed my big umbrella, just in case, and stepped out down the garden path looking up at the clear sky. Not a drop of rain was falling and I set off into the town with a sense of wellbeing and delight and suddenly a tune came into my mind. It was the serene melody that plays in an animated episode of Beatrix Potter, with an introduction and final scene acted by the lovely Niamh Cusack. I used to love these programmes. This particular episode started with Miss Potter sitting on a little stool out in the Cumbrian countryside, painting the landscape she knew and loved so well. She feels a spot of rain and quickly shuts her box of watercolours, picks up the rest of her tools and notebook, gathers her skirts and dashes back through the grass to her cottage where she looks out at the suddenly grey sky and decides it's time to write a letter. So she settles down to write to her friend, launching into a charming story and so the animation begins. 

When the story of Peter Rabbit is finished and the letter is sealed, a beautiful song begins to accompany the credits.The rain has stopped and Beatrix Potter emerges from her house, walking into the quietly bustling village. Children pass her and greet her, hens part for her as they peck at the ground. "The rain has moved on and it's a new day. Everything is still, nothing seems to move." The clear voice of the singer washes over the scene as we follow the letter to the bright red postbox and the group of children chase, carefree, through the bluebell woods. 

Beatrix Potter's garden at Hilltop, on our Honeymoon in 2009.

As I walked through the modern, rather grubby town of Cullompton, the sense of newness was just as refreshing. I love the rain. I love to watch it, and be in it. But when it stops, there is a certain, delicious peace over everything. As I strolled I heard the music in my head, remembering only half the words, but all the heart and beauty of it. I will always love it.

End scene for you to enjoy on youtube. (Thank God for youtube!)


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