Theft, Solstice, Sweetpea

Bright yellow sticker on a corrugated steel wall: reads '24 hour CCTV'

At first we thought: we have moved them and forgotten. We went home from the land and looked- we doubted ourselves and went back to the land. The stable was all locked up as expected, so how our Mitsubishi strimmer (fitted with a scrub cutting blade) and our long poled Tanaka hedge trimmer had been stolen was a mystery until our contractor told us he’d found a latch on the floor- he thought it had fallen out and had pushed it back into place. (That’s the downside of honest people, they don’t expect dishonesty.)
On closer inspection the marks of it being prised off were visible.
From now on we will be noting all serial numbers, indelibly marking all articles of worth, photographing things, and remembering to complete our insurance documents. While we work on upgrading security we have moved all the expensive things to a secure lock-up.
Obviously, it’s not an actual tragic occurrence. No life or limbs lost, and we will purposely look to the bright side: how much we’ve learned about CCTV cameras, motion detectors, WiFi hotspots, and small-scale solar power packs.
It’s just like a harshly stubbed toe that twangs all of your insecurities.
Slept through the sunrise, a good solid sleep in spite of the heat, and the perturbing thievery.
We have bought Dog a cooling mat, to stop her old glue from melting. She curled up on it, solid-slept all day.
I toiled in the home garden, head safely wedged under a hat, limbs painted in sunscreen, ignoring the rest of the world, but in a celebratory way- recharging, as though I too am now solar powered.
In the evening, after work, we stopped at Meldon Quarry. There was a cool wind blowing, almost stormy, the sun was lowering and glimmering. Mr sat on a rock, wrapped in a sweatshirt, while I braved the water- which was warmer than the air.
I was in the river, swimming over dark rocks towards the lace-froth of a waterfall, edged by rowan trees and gorse and weather sculpted granite, watching the sun ooze orange over the edge of the earth, untroubled.
The stone track is rollered flat and done. We went to see; it is still a little rough, which is sufficient for this stage of our journey, we are happy. Toilet shed site looks good: level and capacious.
We made an inventory of shed tools- then find we are also missing a garden fork but this could turn up propped against a hedge. (Who heists a fork but not the matching spade?)
I look down the hedgerow at the bracken, brambles, nettles- all the scrub that we should be cutting but we can’t because someone thought it was okay to steal from us- all the overhanging branches we also can’t cut back- the work we should be doing vs the work we now have to do.
The cost of what we lost and the cost of security measures.
The hours worked to afford the equipment, the hours worked to mend and restore it.
Are there too many obstacles to following a dream? Is our budget too puny?
I walk to the bottom of the track, where the wooden gate is falling apart and the sizable ash stump sits. There’s a burst of deep red in the dead-hedge: the first sweetpea to bloom, winding through the blackthorn spines, surviving the crush of nettle roots and the city of snails that has established itself under the prickly brush.
I remember when we went on a social enterprise business course and a lady said you are going to feel overwhelmed more than once, this is normal, just keep going.
Okay, sweetpea, I hear you.
I’m a sweetpea too.

Beautiful sloping flower, bright deep red, backlit by sun


Steve Cromwell said…
That sucks that someone took your tools. I hope they lop off their toes. Well, not really, but I do hope they feel so guilty they bring them back. Or at least drop off some cash in a few years, when they've converted and need to make amends to everyone before taking their vows as priests. And then preach this story as a sermon on Easter morning once they're pope.
Lisa Southard said…
If they were in desperate straits, I hope they get helped; otherwise a painful epiphany will be fine- and a happy Easter is always a good outcome. Since one of our long term aims is accessible camping for people with mobility issues a set of lopped off toes does have poetic potential...

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