Hebden Bridge Snapshot
I am greeted by an archway of majestic trees as if they were somehow awaiting my arrival. They stand to attention, dark branches stripped bare; skeletal frames against the grey dreadnought sky. A warm welcome always awaits in this incense infused oasis. A caraway seed cake bubble of hope away from an always too busy to even look at you while you’re talking world we seem to be running headlong through on our oh so important mission to who knows where.
All that seems to be suspended for a pleasant hour or two here as I dip in again watching ducks try to swim against the flow to the island they nest on. Makes me think how I’d love to settle here too. And so enchanted with the idea of the idyllic lifestyle here in this tiny palm of your hand town I bought a bike with a clip on wicker basket just perfect for all those imaginary shopping trips picking up free range eggs, a few beeswax candles and the odd packet of spelt flour. Oh yes riding along Market Street and through the valley stopping for a light lunch of hummus and salad checking the Ashtanga yoga class for vacancies...yeah well where do I live? - surrounded by hills on a hill..we can all have dreams...
And today I’m happy just to be here soaking up the atmosphere, passing the time of day with shop keepers and checking out their products. Time seems suspended here, no one’s rushing, everyone seems busy about their work content just to let me be. How refreshing.
And so I look through a steamed up window and think how lucky I am to be able to share in this magical place. An organic, self sufficient world where happiness is sold in a recyclable bag. And rainbow hats with matching mittens are de rigueur.
And then I hear it: “She knows I’m going to ask soon, but not when.” He sounds so in love and devoted to her, how lucky she is indeed. I want to look and see his choice of ring but it seems such a private moment I blush and pretend I’m looking for my keys, make my departure from the shop as unobtrusive as possible. As I open the door he looks across and I can almost see his heart pounding and the aura of love that surrounds him drifts through the rose scented air and infects me a little and I smile and say goodbye and walk back onto the now bustling street. Back out into reality.
As I make my way back to my car I notice the sun has begun to break through the dark clouds and the birds are singing and there are beautiful snowdrops blooming in the tiny gardens. I put my brown paper wrapped parcels into the boot and drive back to my life and smile to myself thinking a visit to Hebden Bridge never disappoints. Well it wouldn’t - it’s so Hebden Bridge.