Janice Howard – Mapping 1 (2016)
She was nervous about the hedges. They’d been cut and didn’t look the same. You could see over the tops now into the next field.
I let her support herself on my arm. I realised that in all my adult life we’d never walked through a woodland before. I had to slow to her pace but I was happy to do so.
I remember thinking how strange it was that she was so timid, frightened of everything. The puddles had frozen and the ice had cracked. It was as if she had never seen ice before. I didn’t want her to feel how anxious her reactions made me. I knew I had to relax if she was going to.
The ground was uneven and I had to be careful to avoid the furrows. It would be easy to slip and break an ankle. It was safer to keep to a well-trodden path, apparently, there was security in it.
Stop pulling, relax and keep talking.
It was the talking that I found difficult. She’d once said she didn’t know what to say which at the time seemed odd, it annoyed me. I kept trying to use my voice to reassure her but I was aware she could probably hear how nervous I was.