I have an ally in my secret war against stones.
This morning it was an early start for the writing job, but I still had to do a quick 20 minute walk with the dog first. So I didn’t go all round the field, but cut across it at about a third of the way round. I’d already kicked a few stones into touch, but now I was going to be in the middle of the field that was no longer possible. So I decided I’d pick up as many stones as I could easily carry (it was five biggish ones) and then when I got to the other side make a little cairn on the edge, which I could add to over the remaining years or months of my life. I was pleased with this idea. It would be quicker to come to fruition than the wall (though I would only be adding to it on days when I was taking the short cut) and also clear some stones from the field rather than the periphery.
It would be a talking point for the other dog walkers. And no one would know who was putting it there. Because I would never tell anyone it was me. And there is nothing suspcious about a dog walker reaching down to the ground, as they have to clear up their dog poo (even if only I ever seem to do that, based on the evidence all over the path - I have also been making a point of trying to bury as many exposed turds as possible, by kicking soil [but not stones, as that would be counter productive] over them).
But when I got to the point where I intended to build my cairn I was surprised to discover that I had been beaten to it. There was already the makings of one, beneath one of the signs that shows where the footpaths are. Who did this? Has someone else had the same idea as me? Or was it me that made the cairn and I forgot or lost track of time? Am I ghost crossing those fields endlessly, unaware of the job that I have made for myself betwixt now and Doomsday?
No one knows.
I threw my five stones on to the pile. And felt good. I will be surveillancing my fellow dog walkers to see if I can spot the person who is doing this. But I hope I never find out who it is. It’s nice to know I am not alone in my insane vigil.
As long as the wall doesn’t end up being named after them.
They can have the cairn.