A memory for the dverse picnic prompt. We weren’t great picnickers. There was always some small catastrophe. This was the first picnic we went on after we moved to Picardie and got our lovely 1973 Series III Land Rover, one of the original South African station wagons.
First foray into the countryside in the old Land Rover for our little city kids, they lurched in unison as the lane meandered then petered out into a track, and the forest enveloped us. Nowhere looked like the sunny, glade-dappled woods of picture books. We were intimidated by the dark, moss-hung mass of it. We piled out into silence, picked out way over fallen trees, feet sinking into sphagnum moss and sundew plants. Jays screamed. We walked through tall green silence, Papa striding on ahead carrying the youngest, the rest strung out in an uneasy line, until number three sat down by the side of the path, tired, prepared to sit there as long as necessary. Number two, almost hysterical screamed, We can’t leave him there. The wild boar will eat him. We made out way back to the Land Rover. Children huddled in the back to eat the picnic, peering out at the silent trees, peering through the slanting light, looking out for wild boar.
a living silence growing
cell by green cell.