A big yellow digger came and cut a gash in our road. It cut into the bowels of this place and made a great deal of noise and caused dust to fly around like talcum powder. The men who stood about in bright orange jackets and hard hats looked bored. They fumbled with their packs of cigarettes like someone in a church counting rosary beads and they gazed into the vibrant green fields as one might look into the deep freeze section at the supermarket. I cursed them. They knew nothing of this place and what the gash meant and what they were disturbing.
I watched the road disturbance crew from my car. The man held a stop sign to prevent me from moving forward. I was listening to Miles Davis. I turned up the volume. I didn't know if that would please or irritate the stop sign man and I suppose I didn't care. He looked at me through the glass of my car. He never blinked, just kept staring at me and I wondered if he had decided to look through me or beyond. The music almost drowned out that big steel needle that penetrates the earth, causes an almighty racket. The earth that Mary, my past neighbour had walked on herding her cattle along the road in the evenings, head down, always down, a big stick in her hand, belting on the herd, cross countenance, soft skin. And Coley, her brother, breaking down a stone wall to bring whatever was necessary out to the fields and then, just as easily, building the wall up again, the lacework as intricate as it initally had been.
I walked my children on this road before it became a known shortcut for the commuters in the celtic tiger neighbourhood to the south of us. No cars before then. Walk down the centre I could, one child on a bicycle, one in a stroller, one in a carrier on my back. Stones, they saw, my children. Stones and gorse and heather and buttercups and pheasants and furrows and birds and horses and cows and waves and smiles and skips and daisies and memories... and big skies, grey and blue and white and moody and laughing and sad tinged with magnificent rainbows dipping into faraway fields. No rainbows now only this big digger and the laying down of new water pipes or something like that. Water meters, that's what the guy in the hard hat said. Water meters, no more free water. No more free road, free walks, free bogs, no more walking down the centre of the road. No more light-hearted, carefree days on the road and Mary gone a long time now and Coley in the nursing home and their house full of weeds and neglect and nothing only memories resting beneath the constant irritation of the earth being bored into as if nothing matters at all anymore and it was all but a stupid little dream I had once upon a time.