Monday, 12 March 2012
This time half a mile to the south, I found a trunk too large to carry back, even for two. Days later it’d been battered so hard against the seawall it was broken in half. I fetched the wheelbarrow, wheeled it along the seawall’s embankment and set it at the top of the embankment to then spend almost an hour rolling half the trunk up the wall to the barrow. Upended I could drop it onto the barrow. It was heavy. The metre-long trunk rolled awkwardly across the lip of the barrow. I decided to cut a third off my journey home by crossing the field rather than taking the corner round the seawall.
I hadn’t considered the mud. The cow hoof-ruts. The trunk must have fallen off the barrow into mud seven or eight times by the time I got part way home. I was muddy. My arms ached. The sky a blank grey above me. I drew more mud from the field. The wheelbarrow’s wheel thickened with mud. The tree slithered in mud. I could have cried mud. I wrote my name in mud on the bark. Mine. Hands off. And left the trunk, the barrow and all their accumulated mud to wade across the field to fetch help.