Nice to have a day off.
A day to enjoy the quiet of the country. The peace and tranquility of Nature.
The garden is full of visitors, birds of various species pecking away at the feeders, some in the throes of mating courtships in the air, the song in the trees.
And the noise of the traffic going by.
The farmer is in the field and sowing the next crop, the chunter of the tractor like a trembling heartbeat against the soil. Two donkeys bray to each other from the property on the other side of the bridge.
As the wind picks up and the trees begin to sway, the birds fly away. Dark clouds circle the fields around us, and fat raindrops begin to patter against the glass. A storm is coming.
And traffic goes by.
The dog stirs in her basket, but doesn’t rise, her four feet poised in the air as she dreams of some blissful place where rabbits are plentiful and she is still young enough to catch them.
A booming bass rhythm can be heard in the distance, gradually coming closer until the house almost rocks on its foundations with the vibration and the culprit is revealed as a Citroen Saxo. The driver is tapping the steering wheel in time with his forward propulsion, blithely unaware of the damage he’s doing to his eardrums, and the fact that he is spoiling the laziness of my afternoon.
The rain has come to nothing yet, and the birds return to their feeding stations. Other than their song, the air is still again and all is quiet.
Until a wave of traffic goes by.
Wayward leaves are suddenly tossed on the wind, dancing across the lawn in a frenzy of activity as if seeking refuge from the onslaught of the rainstorm that is about to materialise. I can see the black clouds, feel their threat, and can only wait. It won’t be long now.
The traffic continues to pass.
But there is another sound to shatter the peace of my ‘day off’.
The jet aircraft are coming home to base. They continue to circle on their flightpath and on the fourth circuit, the dog is up at the window, barking at the sky as her peaceful slumber has been interrupted. Nothing else is heard as they all approach the runway from the desired variety of directions as determined by their landing manoeuvres manuals.
And a steady stream of traffic goes by. The runway approach lights have changed.