Thursday, 29 July 2010

The Extra Five Minutes

I was walking along the coastal path and decided to cut off and head up through the woods taking the high route back home rather than the low one. I had a miserable start to my day. Determined to paint I had got ready a new canvas and set out some paints. I should not have bothered I knew I had nothing in mind and was merely going through the motions. So here I was walking. I had tried a sketch of a grandfather playing at the edge of the water with his very young grandchild. The two looked so happy. Another disaster. So here I was just walking.

Having left the coastal path I had to cut through the children’s play area. Just a few swings, a level area for cycling and a grass area for playing and running. The park was almost empty and yet it was a beautiful afternoon. The bench at the top of the park looks down and out over the river forth with its famous bridge. There was one man sitting on it so before heading up into the woods to the top path I joined him to enjoy a moment.

His daughter was running up and down the hill and tumbling with another lad. The father shouted to tell her it was time to go. “Can I have another few minutes?” she asked. “Well just five,” said the father. Five minutes later the same thing. Another five minutes. BY this time I was chatting away to the father he was so proud of her. Again it was agreed a last five minutes. I commented to him on his wonderful patience.

It was then he told me about his son. he had been killed on the road a short distance from where we were by a speeding driver. He said he had not given his son enough of his time and how he wished he could just have another five minutes with him. The same thing was not going to happen again. he was going to give his daughter all the five minutes he could.

“Anyway, I will tell you a secret,” he said. I have made allowances for the extra five minute slots up to four times he laughed.

I left them and took the high road through the woods. I have run this route often and walked it also. I has never looked as good before as it did yesterday. If I see that father again, I will thank him for the five minute slots he gave me also.

I wonder who I could give five minutes to this day. I know for sure no matter what happens, good or bad, I will find a slot to give somebody a smile.

Oh and I came home and did the sketch attached to this blog, first steps in painting again the lavender fields for my wife.
I will share it on the other blog: Lavender Fields Sketch


  1. A lovely story.. Thank you for the 5 minutes reading your story. :)
    I have had many times when I sit down to draw with nothing in mind. No use trying... I walk away until I have an idea or something inspires me.
    Thank you for following my blog.
    Love the lavender field.

  2. Thanks for all the 5 minutes you have given me Ralph :)

  3. Ralph, your wife is going to be so thrilled! And I echo Cherry Ann's comment!

  4. Five minutes. I have some people I should go give five minutes to... Thanks, Ralph.

  5. Hi, Ralph, I am very late today. but alive and well. A rather sad tale with a happy ending! We all had more time when we didn't wear watches!

  6. Gracious the man who told you his story. Gracious the man who heard the story and shared it with us. Thank you.

  7. A gentle reminder there, life is transient, just play our roles on this earth perfectly to the best of our ability each moment, because the spent moment will never come back. Thanks for this post!

  8. Can't say it better than you or padmaja.