Friday, March 18, 2005

A Fine Spring Day

It is a fine spring day in the United Kingdom. At least it is in my little corner of it!
At lunch time, I strolled across Thames Ditton along the church walk and admired the beauty of the daffodils and the crocuses in the church yard. They spring from everywhere! Headstones sprout out of patches of yellow, white and purple. The graves take on a festive rather than an oppressive feel. It is vastly different than that foggy evening that I almost killed myself on the statuary overhanging the path.

Spring Time in the Church Yard

…and speaking of statuary, I have to impart the wisdom I gained today at lunch. Out of the mouths of babes!

I took the long way through the church walk to the Village Bakery to get a bacon and brie sandwich on a grilled baguette. (Yum! Grilled cheese made with Brie!) It being a nice day, I was in no particular hurry to return to the office, so rather than heading straight back to the office along the main road, I took the church walk back as well and decided to eat in the memorial garden.

This was, apparently, also the day that the local kindergarten decided to have their Easter Egg Hunt! The church walk was packed with munchkin-sized children all gathered around an occasional adult headed for the memorial garden. It was at this point that I leaned an interesting fact. The children were filing past two-by-two, holding hands so that nobody could wander off unnoticed. As one of the couplets in the line passed me, a little curly-headed brunette child wearing an actual red riding hood (yes, just like in all the children’s books) was telling her companion child that “When you die, you become a statue.”

“A what?” asked her teacher who would have been just outside of comfortable hearing range.

“A statue.” Responded the little girl. “That is why there are so many statues in the church yard.”

The teacher could stifle her chuckles only a bit better than I could. I was still chuckling as I entered the memorial garden. Here I dug-out the sandwich and soda that I had brought for lunch. About a minute later, the entire class entered the yard.

The memorial garden is a beautiful, walled-in space that is incredibly tranquil. I went there a couple times in the fall, when I was last here. I can see that it is a far nicer place to pass a lunch hour on such a fine spring day.

The children were darling! They each had half of a paper Easter Egg clutched in their little hand. On a signal from one of the teachers, they ran around the garden looking for the half of the egg that matched the one they carried. It was obvious that this concept was a bit advanced for a couple of the children. More than one of them fled back past me on the walk to show their teacher that they had “found their egg” even though it was so obvious that they had the wrong half of the egg that I could spot it from across the garden where I sat.

One or two of the children approached me and asked it I was sitting on their Easter Egg. When I responded that I wasn’t, their teacher admonished them to not bug me and allow me to eat my lunch. After finishing my lunch, I went back to the office to get my PDA and take some pictures of this fine day in the garden. It was a beautiful lunch hour. I am hoping the fair weather holds.

I hope you have a wonderful day wherever you are! Don Bergquist – 18-March-2005 – Thames Ditton, United Kingdom

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