Sunday, May 16, 2021

Relief.


Ten o'clock on a stormy Saturday night. Three police cars with their blue lights flashing pull up in front of the church. Another three park by the village pond. Lights are turned on in the Salle de Fetes. From our drawing room window the new mayor can be seen deep in conversation with a group of gendarmes. More cars draw up. Villagers congregate by the church porch. More police cars arrive .... this time big powerful ones from Toulouse. The rain gets heavier. The man with anger management issues arrives at the front gate. A little six year old girl has gone missing from one of the new houses down by the 'T' junction. Everyone is drafted in to search outbuildings. The tracks that lead to outlying farms are checked. The wind picks up. Villagers pair up and set off in their cars to expand the radius of the search.

Then, as if a bubble has burst, the tension and the frantic activity stop. The little girl has been found on the side of the road, two kilometers away, drenched and frightened but safe. How she managed to get so far a mystery as is the reason she's wandered off.  Smiles of relief. Laughter. The police cars and the flashing lights disappear. By midnight the village is silent. We can only imagine what the parents have gone through. Doubtless, we will hear more of the story today.

Perhaps most memorable was the way the quiet, nothing ever happens here, village sprang into life. There is, despite what some politicians would have you believe, such a thing as 'society'. The lines from a Philip Larkin poem, taught for 'O' level English suddenly swim into focus from a long forgotten place  ' We should be careful of each other, We should be kind while there is still time'.


 

10 comments:

  1. What a frightening thing to happen. I am glad it turned out well. It looks like Sophie was also contributing to society.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Such a relief to hear the child was found and is now safely with her family. Larkin was an early favourite of mine, and remains so.

    ReplyDelete
  3. What a relief for everyone. How lovely to be supported by the whole village in times of need. Have had a taste of it myself this week and kindness and care can never be underestimated.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thank goodness the little girl was found safe and well, though it must have been a terrifying experience for her, and her parents. It's at times like this that 'society' pulls together, all disagreements forgotten.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hari OM
    OH my... first, thank goodness the child is safe. Second - what a fabulous Sunday Post it produced... Third - blessings upon all who turned out to search. YAM xx

    ReplyDelete
  6. I could not have said it better than Yam. Our small community—of dog people—turn out to search for lost dogs (known, or not). Happily, no children have been lost in our area.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thank God the little girl is ok! I love the lines from the poem!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Bailey Bob Southern DogMay 16, 2021 at 4:46 PM

    What a frightening experience for the community, thankfully ending in relief.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I am also grateful that the little girl was found safe and unharmed.

    I am familiar with the poem by Philip Larkin. The last two lines have become an inner affirmation for me...

    ReplyDelete