Monday, July 21, 2008

Crunching gravel

Lauren and I were out walking, single file on a narrow gravel path in the forest. We stopped every half dozen metres to listen to the sounds around us: the wind rustling the leaves of the trees, the sparrows and honey eaters squawking, the quiet busy-ness of nature. Then we'd move on.

I watched Lauren's feet shift and crunch the gravel as she put them down, one after the other. "How do you suppose all those people in books and movies move so silently?" The question was out of my mouth before I could think about it.

Lauren, bless her, didn't hesitate. Within half a second she'd bent her knees, slowed her stride and begun placing her feet carefully on the path, rolling heel to toe, trying to be as quiet as possible. I followed suit, but we still made too much noise. I changed my stride to match hers, only putting a foot down when she did. That helped, but nothing we did made our passage silent. After a couple of minutes the absurdity of it all struck me and I giggled. Lauren turned and we all but fell about laughing.

"This is the sort of thing my friends and I do when we're drunk," laughed Lauren.

"Who needs to drink?" was my reply. "I can be an idiot any time."

We were both still grinning when we finished our walk an hour later. I'm still smiling. Those few precious moments sharing joy are lasting a long time. I have a lot of moments like that with Lauren.

I must be the luckiest woman on earth.

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