After a week of long sunny days there was rain this afternoon. When it was over it had done little more than settle the dust. This evening the sky is still heavy with storm clouds and a trickle of breeze in the air, a promise of more to come. These are ideal conditions for a walk, as Lady is so keen to inform me, also ideal conditions for reflection.
I’ve been away for a few days, a trip on the River Berounka. I was with a group I’ve been with before, I know three of them well enough to call friends, friendships cemented by mutual help and shared experiences over the years. Each year they construct a raft, boards laid on planks sat atop old inner tubes. Everything required for the four day trip is carried on board and the craft makes its way downstream sometimes paddled, occasionally gently turning on the current. It is pushed, pulled, man-handled over the weirs loaded and unloaded. The group gets down the river through teamwork.
I’m happy to be in a team, contributing what I can to the common good, but sometimes, just sometimes, I have to express the unease that I feel. There’s that feeling that I’m being coerced, manipulated, I’m losing something, my individuality is being nibbled away. In many situations in my life I’ve felt this, from the positive side proud of a tough independent streak, from the negative side embarrassed by the selfishness of it.
This evening I’m with a dog, a less demanding relationship.
Such is farming.
4 days ago