I am just back from a visit to the beach. It’s broad daylight well into the evening in Orkney so we can go late, and still get the benefit of the long days. I went on my own but for the company of my dog and a
very hairy big dog with big poos I’ve been roped into I’m currently looking after whilst her owners are away.
There’s one particular memory that often comes back to me when I go to this beach and tonight it returned again. It was three years ago and Orkney Beef was very ill at the time with an undiagnosed auto immune disease. He was in hospital and no one really knew what was wrong with him as his condition is so rare; so he was just becoming more and more ill and jaundiced every day.
A friend asked me if I would like to go to the beach for a break and some fresh air. It was a Friday evening and the beach only a mile or so away. We met up there and sat on the bench. Two women, two mums, each with difficulties that sometimes seemed insurmountable. She pulled out of her rucksack a flask of hot chocolate and two mugs. This simple act of kindness had a profound effect on me. It said ‘I can’t do anything, I can’t make it better, but I can do this, and right now this may help’
I’ve never forgotten that hot chocolate moment. So simple but one of those forever memories.
What sparked that memory today, was a long email I received from a complete stranger who is loving the blog and finding it a big help to her in her current situation. I was moved to tears that she had taken the time to write her story to me and encourage me in what I am doing in return. I often have lovely and encouraging comments but this person had gone the extra mile and I was greatly touched that they should want to share some of their story with me. She is a single mum just like I was for many years and I know the struggles.
As I was at the beach I came across this stone seat that someone had made for others to enjoy the view. I’m obviously way too emotional today as I nearly cried again! moved that someone had taken the love and trouble to make something for others to enjoy. I sat on it, pulled out my flask and mug, and drank a hot chocolate; raising my mug to all those people who may just need it right now.