Once Upon a Time in the English Countryside

Update (22/04/2014): This was when I actually had horses. My life has changed quite dramatically since this was written, due to unfortunate and unforeseen circumstances. Although it saddens me to read this back, the message in it stills remains the same, which is why I have decided not to delete it. 

I am going to tell you a little story, with some pictures to accompany the writing.

***

Once upon a time, there was a girl named Jenny.

It was a charming day within the English county of Wiltshire, with the gentle sun residing in a bright blue sky, smiling down upon the earth, and a breeze danced around to the sound of spring’s song. But the weather did not reflect Jenny’s feelings on this day. She was feeling fragile, and the dancing breeze twirling with the grass and leaves only reminded her of how alone she currently felt. Why could she not frolic joyously with not a care in the world? She felt like the bitter, howling wind of winter; she wished that she could somehow be this jolly wind of spring. How could she become this?

Perhaps, if she ventured outdoors, the sun’s rays would dry up all her dank dejection; however, she thought this unlikely, given how far she had fallen down a gloomy hole. She could not see the sun’s light, only shadows produced by the imprisoning dirt walls. Regardless, she had to go out at some point anyway, and surely anything was better than wallowing in the mud.

So, out she went to the farm.

Still feeling wholly miserable, she went about her typical routine. She walked into storage barn number three to acquire the two hay bales she needed, and pushing them on a wheelbarrow, she started the long trudge up to the top fields.

On her way, she came across a little mouse.

Jenny could not deny that she was reasonably surprised to find a mouse sitting in the middle of the farmyard, and even more so about the fact the mouse did not run away from her as she approached. She crouched down, saying hello to it, but after a moment it became apparent to her that something was not quite right with the little fellow. It did not seem well at all. Slightly dismayed by seeing an animal in such a way, Jenny thought the last place the mouse should be was in the middle of the farmyard. So, she picked up the mouse and took it to one side, placing it within the lengthy grass so it could convalesce in comfort.

Continuing on with her journey, she made her way around the back of the cow barn.

Jenny very much liked the cows, especially watching them grow from tiny calves; they were most adorable and amusing when they were young, for they charged about with one another and were cautiously friendly towards the humans that approached them. When she reached this location, she heard one of the cows low in a rather bizarre way, and that made her smile. It was a smile that was far overdue indeed. She had not been outside for long, and already the breeze had taken hold of her hand to make her carelessly skip and forget her troubles. The sun had pulled her from the hole and banished all lingering shadows away. This was why she loved the country so; the purity of nature was so prevailing over any kind of man-made corruption that it was impossible to stay foul-tempered. And it was a pureness no lowly human could ever emulate. One should feel privileged to be in the presence of such unmatchable beauty and essence.

Being silently thankful to the cow that made her initially smile, she went into the cow barn to say hello to them all.

And it seemed that the cows returned the greeting – or, perhaps they were just being nosey. That was probably the more likely scenario, but, nevertheless, she welcomed their company.

Again, she continued on her way. This time, Jenny did not stop until she reached her destination, and she could not deny that she was somewhat puffed out after hauling around the two hay bales.

It did not help that the journey to reach her destination was also up a slight hill. However, she soon recovered, and she decided to sit upon the soft grass and simply embrace the nature which surrounded her.

She gazed out at the beautiful view amid the pleasant evening, watching the golden, setting sun shine in splendour, but although it was starting to fall from the sky, never did it cease its warming touch. The rays seeped through her skin, and indeed it seemed that the sun did succeed in drying up her dank dejection. She never should have doubted it. With a small smile planted on her face, she listened to an array of birds tweet their eventide tunes, performing to any who were willing to hear. What a glorious stage they had: the stage of nature – the stage of the world. In a way, she wished she could sit there forever.

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As she was quietly sitting, all of a sudden her horse came over to say hello.

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This made Jenny’s smile firmly establish itself. Her horse stood beside her, munching away on the hay, and did nothing more. It was as though her horse wanted to enjoy the view with her.

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It wasn’t long before another animal came to say hello – Jenny seemed to be quite popular with the animals that evening.

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“Hello, Billy!” said Jenny. And yes, Billy the cockerel. But that’s better than Boris (who is another cockerel) – named after Boris Johnson, naturally. She watched Billy strut around, clucking away, and every now and then he came precariously close, eyeing her up with his slightly disturbing bright orange eyes.

After a moment, Jenny happened to look behind her, and she saw something that made her chuckle; although, it must be said, she felt ever so slightly immature for laughing at it. She’d had a long day…

For some reason, the length of her horse’s legs in the shadow made her laugh, but not even she understood why. Perhaps she was just merry after being dried up by the great outdoors.

Jenny stayed up there with her horse and the cockerel, soaking up the countryside, for quite some time. How long, exactly, she could not say. She would have stayed there forever had reality not intervened, but finally, she decided that she had to go. By the time she started to push the wheelbarrow back down to the farmyard, the sun had fallen beyond the horizon.

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Although the sun had now said goodbye to the world, having a well earned rest, the warmth and hope it had given Jenny did not leave with it. The sun had bestowed her its light, placing it within the unreachable soul so that nothing could darken its reign. Even if she found herself in the dingiest stone cavern, this light would show her the way out; all she had to do was remember it was there.

It wasn’t until the world was painted navy blue by the dawning night that she went back inside, back home.

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But she went home with a smile, not a frown, because no matter how broken you may be, you can always put yourself back together by taking a stroll outside through the country. Nature has a way of saying, “Hey, it’ll be okay,” without actually saying anything at all; it silently talks to you through the sun, the trees, the birds and the breeze, whispering sweet words of hope that give you the strength to stand tall despite the fact your foundations may be cracking. Nature has the power to heal itself, to regenerate; the mightiest of forest fires may devastate the land, but, in time, little green sprouts push up through the blackened ash to wave at the world once again. We are living, just like nature – we are life – so why shouldn’t we be able to heal ourselves, to regenerate our broken hearts or shattered spirits?

There is no reason.

Once upon a time, there was a girl named Jenny. She started her day crying, feeling hope drain from her with every tear that fell. She ended her day smiling, feeling that very hope return to her, because she realised that we can learn a lot from nature. We can learn a lot just by taking a look at the world outside, the world around us.

In the noise of nature is silence, and in this silence is strength; when you listen to it, you will hear nothing but eternal song.

Jenny intends to live happily ever after, no matter what life may bring, singing along to the music.

The End

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"What does your heart tell you?" - ToO, chpt. 32

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