Her Wild Boar Wood Adventure

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Always, in the past, she had known that things may be better tomorrow. She had known that in order to move forward she had to take a step. She had known that the cloying grey mud which seemed to engulf her was not a physical thing.

But now it just Was There…. as if it had always been and always would be.

Although it threatened to engulf her, like a burnt out actor she tried to continue to play her part, unable to leave the stage until, too weak to resist, kind hands led her away to an enchanting woodland far from the slurry pit of her unwitting, unthinking tormentors.

Blindly she followed, taking her battered brain with her, and looking neither ahead or behind, caught in an endless moment of dispair while her consciousness barely managed to attend to the rules of convention.

Although she instantly saw the beauty of the place, it took a while for her eyes to adjust to the light, but in that summertime haven she gradually sluiced off the filth.

She stood up and stretched muscles that had been crushed by the crash of a thousand thrown stones.

Hidden bruises healed and the sun warmed her skin.

People smiled and laughed, and her mouth and throat and belly opened to respond.

Strong trees of oak, birch and hornbeam offered up their beauty, and as their intricate patterns silhouetted the navy blue sky, she retired each night to enjoy sleep that had for so long evaded her.

Awoken as the dawn brought a cream glow into her tent, she would snuggle more deeply into her bed, luxuriating in the lyrics of a miriad of neighbourhood birds that seemed to sing of her escape to freedom. Gently she would drift back into sleep, until it was time to get up and start the day’s work.

Looking after the guests at this holiday campsite was a pleasure, as were most of the practical duties which needed to be carried out.

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Those unforgettable months were spent greeting and getting to know all sorts of interesting people. Pleasant evenings were enjoyed around their campfires, as she learned of lives so different to hers. There was the fun of helping guests to light a fire in the golden glow of early evening, and the thrill of seeing the excitement on the children’s faces, as together, they explored the woods. Dens were built and mock battles were fought between strangers who had so easily become friends.

With the generous blessing of the manager, when there were spare tents her family and friends sometimes came to stay, and she proprietorially showed off the unfamiliar lilac mushrooms which glowed as if radio-acive, and the wildflowers that were never seen in their home county.

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Every day she found a new treasure to add to the fast-expanding coffers of her heart.

Then summer ended.

She returned to the home that she loved. Everything was a little more crumbled and broken – everything except her.

She stood tall, with her head up and her shoulders loose. Her breathing was calm, her heart beat gently in her chest. She flexed her toned muscles, and then relaxed.

She was ready to mend her damaged world.

© Jane Paterson Basil

I offer up gratitude to all the people who helped me to lift my feet when they were heavy, and in particular I would like to thank my niece Heather for inviting me to apply for the shared job of campsite warden with her, and Hugh Sandie, who had the faith to employ me.

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