Man on the Hill

This is one of the shorter pieces that my Dad wrote and one that we read out at his funeral:


I was walking on the hill behind our house when I met a stranger. There was something about him I couldn’t quite put my finger on. He was a stranger and yet I knew him. He greeted me, as country people do.

The stranger said to me, ‘’Isn’t it wonderful to see the signs of Spring bursting out all around you?’’ And I said, ‘’Spring, what Spring? It’s mid-Winter. I don’t see any signs of Spring. The fields aren’t green. The buds on the trees haven’t given any clues that they are about to burst out. There’s no sign yet that Winter has lost its grip.’’

The stranger went on, ‘’Spring is definitely on its way, the signs are all around you, if you only have the eyes to see. Look at the violets, for example, don’t you love that purple?’’

Then I looked into the stranger’s eyes and this is what I saw; I saw that this old, old man had been around since the beginning of time.
The man gave me a conspiratorial wink. Then he faded till he was gone. I was left alone with the greening buds of another spring with the pinks and the whites of the blossoms and the other signs of the year on the change again, as it does every year since Time Immemorial.
That is the only sign that I ever met the man on the hill.

And the purple violets, they remind me of him.

1 comment:

  1. The vicar at his funeral said that she thought it was about God.