She doesn’t know what it should be, what someone would expect, what the place would look like. It’s not even a village—a through road with paths leading from it, an awkward turning at the bottom of the hill, a back alley behind the cottages. Twice she drives through and turns around, then gets out the car to read the noticeboard. The third time she pulls back the gate to the churchyard, early morning, pale shadows, trying not to think someone else here.
In the atrium of the door to the church she lingers back. Closed handles, a health warning. It’s too much, she realises, what she’s asked for, what it cost to stand here in the silent yard, keys in hand, just warm, eyes glistening.
Please forgive me.
Shall we sit?
Our figure takes a moment, returns to itself, then leaves with a screenshot of hopes and dreams. Rich earth, riches, this country of stones.
Our parish hero.
In G—— there is a road that runs through the hamlet, placed lightly in the palm of a hill. Take a left at the stately home and weave your way into the open, trees parting into wider lanes, then junction, then further on, the waste disposal, recycling, granite works, a queue that can form on a Sunday.
As you pass through the village note the modest features: churchyard, bridleway, one of eight saints, a converted book exchange.
Have you seen the postman today?