Speaking Soul (12)

I didn’t know her very well. We’d see her whenever we went to the hotel for a meal, which was only on special occasions, Christmas twice, lunch with my father and step-mother, dinner celebrating our re-marriage and afternoon tea. She was always gracious. There was no side to her, he said, as I read out the piece about her in the Cambrian News. An elegant woman who loved her work. She lived for that hotel, he continued. She cared about detail, everything was just so. Calm. She exuded calm. It was a special place for me. An oasis of ease. I loved sitting in front of the fire in the back bar looking out of the picture window at the little grotto with a put of good tea. We meant to go over Christmas but didn’t find the time in the end. I am sorry for that. I didn’t know her very well but I shall miss her. I shall miss her place on this earth. Rest in peace. And thank you.

There are snowdrops, a clump of them. Clump is the wrong word, a clumsy, rather oafish word. A smattering. A cluster. They have sprung up by the pavement along Llanbadarn Road, pushed up through the moulding leaves. Their white is stark against the russet red of the leaves. Their drooping heads are so tender, so freshly white. I celebrate them. A gift indeed.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.