Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Calm at last....

 At last the howling gales have subsided - this morning I set out on my usual route and for the first time in a week I didn't have to fight and claw my way up the road from the cottage.

There is a hint of movement in the air: buds are swelling on the blackthorn and the first green shoots are sprouting on sunny banks. In truth, the grip of winter is still upon us and this morning, whilst calm and still, saw a sprinkling of frost. The winter sun, low and heatless gives rise to long shadows along the rural lanes with their bare, wooded verges, and in the fields there was a swarming mass of foraging pheasants

As I cycled to the top of the first green ridge, with the sun in my eyes, the broad frieze of the brown, winter fields stood sharp as cut glass under the palest blue sky.
In the distance it was as if a water‑colourist had passed a wet brush across the top of the horizon to introduce an alien, beige stroke.

As I went along the quiet, sunlit roads, the light turned through lemon to gold and a sound caused me to look heavenwards to see a squadron of wild geese at great height, heading out towards the sun. At that moment I thought how thoroughly fortunate I was to be out on such a glorious morning.

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