Rain before dawn had left a fresh tingle in the air and wind made music with the dry autumn leaves as we set off, well wrapped against the chill. Hoover rushed ahead, beckoned forward by the hint of a friend lurking on the far side of the gate. Low sun shot light under the clouds, illuminating the churchyard, lending an enticing sparkle to the headstones. Sometimes we wander through it on our way up to the hills rather than sticking to the path and once again I was drawn by the idea of being buried where visitors, if tired or dispirited, can at least enjoy the view.
Hoover and Rana bark at each other in greeting; the sheep ignore their foolish games, turning their backs and sauntering off to nibble at some thirst quenching grass. Beyond them the sun seeks out a pair of oaks, throwing a brilliant mantle over them as they stand against the Paynes grey clouds.
There was something about the light that made me look for rain as the wind buffeted against us. Hoover’s ears flapped as she ran ahead of me, casting a look over her shoulder to check that I was keeping up. I changed my mind about the burial plot, returning to my old favourite. I have always asked that my ashes be scattered from a high hill on a windy day. I think it is a desire to be blown free, to travel in the wind, running my fingers through the hair of those I have loved, hugging them as the wind hugs me. I want to be found in the open places, not to tie anyone to a place or sense of obligation to visit.
As Hoover and I headed back towards home, invigorated and inspired, as rush of colour streaked the sky. We had walked with our eyes on the sky, convinced that rain had to be falling somewhere between the puddled sunbursts. The dash of vibrancy grew until a full arc crossed the sky reaching from the far hills where we had been walking shortly before, far over into the valley beyond us.
A rainbow always looks like a promise; a promise of good things to come, of hope; a reminder of all that we have that we cherish. I arrived back at my desk with a light heart, plenty of ideas and an extra willingness to work.