I zip up my fleece further, feeling the dew already settled in a fine mist, wetting my fingertips. The viaduct rises thickly out of the brume, and a train passes over, muted in the cloud. People come and go and cars pass by but somehow the greyness stills this day, blanketing the coming and going of the village.
The weather fuels an uneasiness, unknowing, unseeing. A feeling as though we are somehow intruding on this secret valley. The modern day life seems out of place, jarring, disturbing. Instead a quiet footfall, a soft journey, wisps of time and stories carried in the tendrils of cloud.
My boots cross the cobbles, slick, shining, greens of moss and algae, forest, midnight. A pile of wood breathes organically, diamonds glinting from the webs hanging from the logs. The moisture deepens the bark, giving a second life to the wood. It rests.
The canal winds its set way, nestled at the bottom side of the valley. Huge fronds dip gently over, grazing the water’s filmy surface, passing their drops of fresh rain into the waterway. The hum drum of engine sounds fades into the distance as I stand, breathing the cloud deep within me and feeling the grey spread through my lungs and veins, at the same time refreshing and soothing. Stillness surrounds me. We are waiting, but we know not what for. Time stands still, enveloping the hills and the dips and all within. A knowledge of something larger than we all know. A time stretched deeply, linear, far far back and as far again forwards, infinite.
I lock this feeling within me to revisit and wonder, bringing it forwards and myself to the present. The wooden sign for my destination is quietly hanging, shadowed by the cloud. I step indoors.
A wooden table, flour on the floor. Pastry and hot camomile. Floral scent, rising in a different steam, mingling with the essence that still flows within me. A sense of comfort swells and rises, passing through my skin and coalescing with the warm air in the building. I imagine this raining down on me and smile this smile of the truly happy.
My lesson from cake and camomile is that it is not the cake and camomile. It’s the journey, the wonder and the world, the wonder and the realisation along the way. Stay curious and inquisitive. Open your eyes to life.