Sunday, August 17, 2008

Sunshine and clouds



Between the heavy clouds the sky is blue. Between the rainstorms there is sunshine. Between the houses there is the little bit of heaven, fallen from a story book, that is Mr Griffith's house. If you listen you can hear birds' song and the walls whisper stories of heavy horses, old farm dogs, a childhood wild on the hills.
When there was no work to be done he would take a sandwich packed by his mother, with love, and out onto the hill he would run with friends from St Davids, to the beach at Porthmelgan, and down to the Gessel beach where now there is no path and not even a cat with fine paws and delicate balance could go. Here they would creep into the caves that were said to go far under the land, as far as the Bishop's Palace. And when they got so far under the cliffs where the light was only a pin prick behind them they would turn and run scared from the ghosts of smugglers and pirates, back to the light and the soft calls of buzzard, the falling song of the skylark and the turn of the waves.
He went away for a while when he was older, to Africa, to Europe, but then he came home. And he measured out his life in cats.
Now he is old and the friends of his youth have all died, or moved far away. The bones of the cats lie buried in the garden behind the house with stones that carry their names, Smokey, Daffyd ( a fine and fierce black tomcat as brave as any cat could be), Ewan the ginger. He can run over the hills only in his memory of summers long gone. So we visit and tell him how the old village fares, how the birds are singing, how the seals are back with pups again on the beach.




Meanwhile we hunt, and we hide in the golden wheat field that blends with our pale stripes. We search out the pheasants that hide in the long grass. And when we go home we tell Mr Griffiths what we have seen. We rub ourselves against his legs to let him know that we are there and he strokes our soft backs with his hands that see more than his eyes now can. Sometimes he thinks we are Ewan come back to him. He smiles.



14 comments:

Rosalind said...

What a lovely way to begin my day, reading about mr Griffiths and his memories. So important, so easily lost. Thank you for sharing them with us.

Jane said...

What good and caring cats you are to visit Mr Griffiths.

Griffin said...

I was just wondering if they ever got to the Bishop's Palace...! All those cats, good friends all to a man full of memories... and Ewan the ginger... just like the three musketeers.

The ginger tigers in the long grass too, elegant, sharp-clawed and all slink.

Moonroot said...

So lovely. Thank you.

Gandalf and Grayson said...

What great adventures! Brilliant!

BumbleVee said...

I second Jane ...how nice and how pleasant it must be to visit dear old Mr. Griffiths...I bet he loves it....

Estorbo said...

Meester Greeffeeths mos' lorb you a lard. Maybe he need anorder cad?

Kitikata-san said...

Mr Griffith must be happy when he pets you and thinks you are Ewan. Do you think he is sad when he goes inside by himself, and Ewan is not following him?

Shammickite said...

Mr Griffiths likes it when you do that.

Casey said...

Seems like both you and Mr. Griffiths are lucky to have each other.

sparrow said...

This post brought tears to my eyes. What wonderful sociable gingies you are.

Pam said...

A beautiful post, and charming read.

moreidlethoughts said...

Lucky is the man who calls a cat his friend.

Thankyou for sharing this.

leslie said...

I'm hoping Mr. Griffith is well...