“It’s the most perfect shade of blue, isn’t it?”
Maureen didn’t think so but she knew better than to offer an opinion. When Edmund started in on one of his observations nothing could interrupt or contradict him. Mountains would move before Edmund Jenkins admitted he was wrong.
“This must be the most celebrated view in all the world. It must be. The only reason Wordsworth never wrote about it was because it humbled even him.”
More likely, Maureen thought, was that the view just wasn’t worth writing about. It was barely worth stopping for and yet, year after year, Edmund did just that, unscrewing the thermos and leaning against his stick for a good hour or more whilst he talked. And talked. Year after year he talked about daffodils and imagination or some other Lakeland theme he’d unearthed from a National Trust leaflet.
Not that Maureen knew more about this place. She was a city girl at heart and didn’t much care for the hills or the weather this time of year always brought with it, but she had accompanied her husband regardless, visiting gravesides and churches and garden centres and listening, always listening.
There were many things Maureen might have said to her husband but on the subject of the grey sky, the tumbledown fence or the car park she kept her peace just as she had in the forty years of standing in the same spot listening to the same talk on the perfection of Nature.
If only they had walked to one of the many places with a bench. That at least would have eased the pains in her legs. But those places had been claimed for other couples, all of them dead.
Two years on, Maureen Jenkins continued to visit that same spot and look across that same view. Her crumbling hip was glad of the bench she had paid for with its single name and long awaited sense of peace