General Non-Fiction posted October 12, 2019


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Picture Perfect

by Heather Knight


The moment we arrive in Bourton, I don my rose-colored spectacles. I don't do it on purpose... it just happens.

The yellow stones caress my soul, their beauty obvious everywhere you look.

The river Windrush undulates and dances like a silvery snake.

I roll up my jeans, take off my flip-flops and join the hordes of English children who dip their feet in the water despite the cold.

This is probably the most adventurous thing I'll ever do, but it feels good. For a short while, I feel that I belong and that's not something I'm used to.

I look at the many little bridges that span the Windrush and wonder if I would fit under one of them. On the one nearest to where I'm standing, there's a tiny white-haired girl eating a blue ice cone. I wonder what flavor it is... Smurf? Summer sky?

After a while, I get out of the water and sit on the grass. I have some food, but no picnic blanket.

I eat my fish and chips absent-mindedly. My eyes dart from building to building. Most of the cottages opposite me have tiny little front gardens packed with flowers. The lilac ones are my favorites. Lilac is such a sweet colour...

Sitting on one of the green iron benches, I notice a Japanese family. Even the youngest daughter, a mere toddler, has a camera.

When I finish my lunch, I decide to go for a walk. I go into all the tourists shops and look at the same souvenirs I see year after year.

All the shops are quaint and some of them parade their wares on the pavement.

When I finally get to the war memorial, I gasp at the sight of the weatherbeaten plastic poppies. I toy with the idea of stealing them and then hiding them somewhere... they are so tacky. They threaten the beauty of my village.

When I get to the Motor Museum, I stop by the topiary shaped like a car. I never get tired of looking at it. It's so very cute and unpretentious, this little Mini made of shiny green leaves!

The whole of Bourton is picture perfect. I slowly stroll towards the graveyard and enjoy the silence. I like reading the inscriptions on the headstones and wondering what kind of lives their owners used to have. Not that it matters now, now they are at peace.

I sit on a moss-covered stone bench and look at the trees. There is no breeze today and even the willows are still as statues.

After a while, I look at the time and decide to go back home. I'm overflowing with a sense of belonging and beauty. Like many times before, I wonder if the stork made a mistake. I was surely meant to be born in the Cotswolds...


 



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