Up early to take Hannah to the railway station so she could travel to the north of Scotland Ivy and I made a slow journey to Hay on Wye. We travelled by chapters of Barkskin, escaping in time to the forests of Canada with the help and transportive words of Annie Proulx.
Early, we drove, out from Hay and up a steep narrow road to a place where the road ran through a farm and past a chapel. Here we parked, Ivy and me and we went for a walk to the high hill top and the world stretched away from our feet with a beautiful view. We walked, past lime, and hazel, holly and ivy, willow, ash, mountain ash and oak. Down below a beautiful house sat on the hillside. This was where we were going.
Bella died at the beginning of this year. We had been together for 16 years. I will write about that when I can, not now. I don’t want to face that now, don’t have to face that. But a few weeks ago, having decided not to get another dog I saw that some pups had been born. I asked if one could be mine. The answer was yes.
So we went to the house on the hill, where the boys let the dogs run out into the garden and I watched for a while, and ate cake and drank tea in the sunshine, then left with a small and golden bundle of beauty.
She doesn’t fill a hole that Bella left. Nothing can. It’s ok to grieve, for as long as it takes, for as long as you want, for as long as you do. And life does go on and the past becomes a bundle of memories.
It’s a big world out there for a small puppy.
I guess that’s what happens when you do a book about numbers.