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A kiss in the bog

It was a day to meander. Around town in the morning, a cup of coffee in my favourite Italian restaurant, al fresco, The Guardian newspaper fluttering in the soft September breeze. Tons of things to make you think and muse and discuss. H and I like to do that, ramble into the city, do nothing in particular although he did want to visit the Pork butcher to buy some shoulder to make pulled pork tacos. He was cooking tonight. I felt free and easy and not bothered by much. 

When we got home we had a light lunch and then he took off into the garden to hammer nails into things and spray WD40 onto rusting orange bolts and feed the hens and do whatever men do out in the garden in September. I felt open to rambling. I put on short wellington boots and grabbed a bowl. I wanted to make an apple cake with cinnamon. I had picked up some good Fall apples at the store and then had a small brainwave that I might throw in some blackberries, if I were lucky enough to find them, that is.

I called the Small dog from where she was snuffling around in the fuchsia hedge. She was willing. She ran after me as I bade H goodbye to climb over the fence at the end of our property line. Property line sounds terrific. It is only three quarters of an acre but still, property. Wild blue cornflowers were stunning. They were everywhere, upright and a sight for sore eyes. I don't think they have grown so well in all the years I have lived here noting growth and nature. I could have stopped there. Sat down beside them. Photographed the blue. Picked them. But I moved on into the briar in search of dessert.

The berries were sparse. I think I should have been content with the picking of two weeks ago and left it at that but I figured if I only had half a bowl it would add to the cake. There were some berries but they were, as usual, difficult to reach. I did my best, stretching and reaching into places most likely left untouched but I got, at best, half a kilo. On my way back to the house, as I climbed back over the fence, I landed into several inches of gunk. Dark mud squelched its way into my boots and socks and jeans. I screamed. H shouted, are you okay? All I could say, is oh, oh, oh. Small dog looked distraught. Paused her discovery. Eyed me with one feeble paw raised as in a question mark.

I showered then. Put all my clothes in the washing machine. And then, put on another pair of boots to walk down the road and into the bog with Small dog and the beagle and H and the berries were ripe and plentiful there and I found that I had nothing to put them into. I cursed my lack of insight. I should have known. Berries grow better where no footfall causes worry to growth.

But our walk was stunning. Worth the effort. The squelchy mud could have been a problem but we were well equipped in our high boots and even though the dogs were filthy from the weathered paths, they loved the jaunt up into the heather and across the old stone walls with the  soft wind  and the bay, stunning and we saw two herons flying overhead. Regal and fabulous. I held H's hand. I asked him if mine, my hands, felt coarse from all the work, the baking and the scrubbing and the picking and the pulling at weeds. He said, they did feel coarse, but that it was a nice kind of coarse, like bog grass sways or how heather can look vulnerable but when you try to pick it you are met with an unexpected strength. A stoic resistance. We kissed then. It was a fleeting kiss because the beagle saw something rustle and beckon him from the gorse bush  but that kiss meant more than what romance is supposed to mean.

Because a kiss in the bog is like fine wine, crab salad, apple and blackberry cake with a dash of cinnamon, stone walls made of lace and muddy boots laden with real life and honest coarse hands are surely made for something. Something like this.

16 Comment count
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I felt I was walking with you

I felt I was walking with you and Small Dog, Mary--love just "rambling." And apple cake with blackberries sounded marvellous! I grabbed my hubby, gave him a hug and made a batch of blueberry muffins instead. Tipping my glass of wine to you and yours tonite, Mary!    Cheers, J

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Glad you grabbed your hubby,

Glad you grabbed your hubby, Judee. I mean it is always something one can do. The wind and the air can do strange things to people and honestly, what could be better than a kiss. mx

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That's better than romantic

That's better than romantic :–)

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Ha, Katherine. Romantic, I am

Ha, Katherine. Romantic, I am not sure about that. It is deeper as you say, better, more organic, if that is the word. Something that years bring about. And Small dog didn't even bat one of her beautiful eyes to. Sad but true. Love from the bog. m

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I'm trying to remember that

I'm trying to remember that passage from Captain Corelli's Mandolin – do you know the one I mean? Where Pelagia's father explains to her that love is what happens after an earthquake, when your roots are so entwined, you can't tell which are yours, and which are his... It's something like that.  I now wish I'd kept the book, so I could quote it exactly.

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Found it! My copy of the book hails from 1999!

Love is a temporary madness, it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion, it is not the desire to mate every second minute of the day, it is not lying awake at night imagining that he is kissing every cranny of your body. No, don't blush, I am telling you some truths. That is just being 'in love', which any fool can do. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Your mother and I had it, we had roots that grew towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossom had fallen off our branches we found that we were one tree and not two.

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That's it! Thank you!

That's it! Thank you!

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Oh, phew, so glad you got to

Oh, phew, so glad you got to see it. I flicked through my book for ages and there it was and it is incredibly beautiful and apt. I thank you sincerely for bringing me back to a book that I had forgotten about, a truly amazing book full of wisdom. Yours in writing, Katherine, m

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Mary, Funny how our ideas of


Funny how our ideas of "romantic" shift and deepen as we grow older, and wiser. It pops up so often in those little slices of real life, like a perfect, dark piece of chocolate that melts slowly on the tongue, savory sweet.


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Love your comment, Annette.

Love your comment, Annette. Dark chocolate is certainly a seductive device! m

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hey m ~ the last two

hey m ~ the last two paragraphs summed up the walk beautifully. it's been a long time since I've visited, but your words are as poetic as ever. i'll try to stop by more often.

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oh my god, d. where have you

oh my god, d. where have you been? no doubt writing up a storm instead of bumbling around writing blogs. great to see you. happy autumn. happy lighthouses and happy dreams. m

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Oh my, I'm so jealous of the

Oh my, I'm so jealous of the bounty of natural beauty at your fingertips and toetips!  I see and hear and smell it all, especially, but not limited to the squishy mud.  Thank you for enlivening all the senses.  And the romance of it all. 

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Eva, you comment is much

Eva, you comment is much appreciated. Squishy mud is challenging but still, the reason I live here in the middle of rocks and gorse and heather. Romance is always an issue. Rare is the night out in town with the cloak of what is supposed to be. Instead, I light our own candles and strive for something deeper, more meaningful. Lovely to connect with you. Keep in touch. m

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You have a way of making the

You have a way of making the mundane charming, Mary. You gotta watch equating food with romance, though - too much sugar. :)


btw, my wife said to tell you she went to every place you suggested in Dublin, except the cafe.

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Thanks Bob! I hope your wife

Thanks Bob! I hope your wife enjoyed our little isle. Tourists keep this place going. Best, m