1 December 2018
Leaf falls from on high golden even in the clouded light; tumbles through the air to join its myriad cousins on the woodland floor where browns predominate and darken and paler colours subsume. What is left here of gold is old and has lost its lustre; damp on the outside yet drying out from inside the substance of this foliage is leeching out into the air and earth.
2 December 2018
Water is the word; still drizzling more reaches the river and swells it in places silencing the running over rocks now overwhelmed and elsewhere adding tunes only heard when it is full. Some barricades of debris resting on a fallen branch have been swept away and the water runs smooth and silent; new falls have tangled up and caught in turns and build their own noises as leaves and twigs accumulate; and ancient roots once resting in the bank are reached by rising waters and they become nature’s violins bowed by the river letting them sing to the breeze.
3 December 2018
Bent and broken branches litter round about; brought down by night winds these are not the great limbs of ancient trees but the growth of summer or a year or two; not tight held in a tree’s great embrace but loosely linked to grow and spread and feed and nurture; and when winter comes to become potential sacrifice allowing mighty trees to bend and sway and hold their place another year.
4 December 2018
Greek gods and goddesses sit and stare at the last living leaves upon the apple tree; no longer generous swathes of green blending from one to one but a sparse selection of doomed sprigs; for doomed they are by winter’s coming but first they do amaze and do delight; with a gold that outshines bars and trinkets that captures the very essence of the sun rising above the woods and stops it within its hands; that universal sign of life here held in a few thin veined flakes preparing themselves for death.
5 December 2018
Listen to the water; swift and raucous rivulets like children playing run down toward the river; lake spills and the gulley that has lain dry all summer now fills with the solid rush of commuters marching down the land; rounded is the river as it grows smoothing out the tumbles over rocks our elder who carries mighty weight with great solemnity; and to the side silent and thoughtful those little lakes that rise from the earth ancient of days waiting for the world to dry one last time.
6 December 2018
Thinnest mist drapes across the wood touched by the light of the as yet unrisen sun. Light grows subtly behind perception allowing more detail to percolate out and to penetrate in; and eyes change in this least of lights opening to forms unseen to possibilities and ideas that can never last the light of day.
7 December 2018
Roots run deep; branches fly aloft; and brambles creep between around and in; each blade of grass connected with the next as intertwining roots twist out; each bird takes twigs and builds new links in trees; occasional deer or even boar gnaw and rub at bark and bend the trees to their design; worms and beetles digest the seasons fallen leaves to feed the next; a flower bent by autumn winds sheds seeds that feed the rodents through the winter and grow new flowers in the spring; we eat the produce move the compost and take joy in icy spiders’ webs.
8 December 2018
More copper now than old gold one oak has held more leaves than all the rest combined. Proud she stands beside the orchard not huge and yet considerable. Bronzed leaves like fairy dust surround her. And like old skin her swathe of leaves have thinned so now the world appears between and through them misted by the seasons. She is fading into dormancy and all but one or two will fall leaving the last to mark the days of winter.
9 December 2018
More than breeze this harbinger of winter is a wind an arousing rousing wind that stirs the leaves upon the ground and grounds the leaves upon the trees. Buzzards three appear in stages; first upon the ground rising as we near a wing is raised and buffeted until the other added and together capture air and hurl the bird aloft; second from on high turning falling stooping through the whooping air to claim some prey beyond the trees; and then the last driven by the tailwind almost serene it glides low across a field and fades away.
10 December 2018
Between three worlds is water; leaves lie crisp amid the sharply bladed grass edged with the merest hint of rime; streams and river flow viscously coldly holding to their state; and as the sun crosses the treeline a chilled steam rises from the fields.
11 December 2018
Slithery slippery silvery spiders’ threads hang amongst the brambles and across the path between the twigs and under branches liquid jewels adorning every strand; the knots that tie the morning mist to earth and hold night cold close against the faces of the beasts and birds; pale sun will struggle as it rises and clear the haze but not till noon.
11 December 2018
Rain bursts from on high as we walk; sudden sharp and damp; globs of liquid falling from the sky and trees as if prepared to ambush us; short-lived this squall it peters out as we return to home; a warning that the winter is coming and will influence us all.
12 December 2018
Light gathers up her skirts and selects the pose she will take to set upon the stage that is the world entire; to step up in that dim half glow that precedes the sunrise; in that time of quiet contemplation when as autumn turns to winter birds have only just begun to call; animals and insects humans and their companions hold fast to warm snug nests; and night crawlers make their way to home to curl and snuggle through the day.
13 December 2018
Travelling with thunder; the muted roar of engines driving forward the song of the air whistling around every protrusion and the drum of the tyres beating on the road; all forward focused oblivious of the world outside the road barely noticing passing landscapes or most of my fellow travellers.
14 December 2018
Expressed baby’s pain drills into the ear and tears at the heart like no other sound especially when stomach acid brought to throat means there is no rapid cure or means of calming. And the gentle gurgle of a sleeping babe nestling in a cradle of mesh and metal or of cloth and flesh stirs the heart and thrills the ear.
15 December 2018
Military precision is needed to prepare and move a toddler and twins under three months; precision which can be brought only to the details of how seats fix and which child goes where to buggy packing and food sampling and the tonnage of supplies of wipes and nappies. But only love will pick them up and hold them lead them safely to the car sit them quiet them and allow parental breath to be drawn.
16 December 2018
Family gathering for an early Christmas before we spread to separate countries; furniture moving and rearranging; spare chairs hauled in to be dusted and brushed; food to be prepared to a careful timetable; the day designed around the times the children need to eat the babes to feed; presents passed amidst cries of joy and of surprise; the thanks clear and well deserved.
17 December 2018
No bigger than the hand that holds it a granddaughter’s face offers me a question and a squiggle and then a wondrous bursting mind-blowing smile in which the world spins into pleasure beyond imagination. Smile moves to contemplation and concern and then to deep focus on the digestive system culminating in a loud and warm and magnificently reverberating trump.
18 December 2018
My heart soars at your return the end of weeks away; I want you here forever and un jour; and I want you to go back and help where only you can help; where three generations gather so you my help the next prepare the youngest for the world; and being unable to have both I cry these tears of joy and sorrow.
19 December 2018
Ground squelches as I walk this ground again; earth and water leaves and grass that glorious complex sound of liquid moving in between the surfaces; the gentle squeak of thin grass on wet earth through the solid crunch of liquifying leaves on drenched pasture to the deep gurgle of leaf litter over heavily slurried mud.
20 December 2018
River has meandered through millennia and mote by mote has built a double horseshoe bend where when the waters rise in winter begins to sing a sonorous sad song of seasons past of fledglings that survived and swooped and stooped of worms that burrowed deep between the roots of ancient trees of beetles that wandered through the thickets of the understory of bees that buzzed and lapped at nectar for the hive and of deer that wandered in and wandered out and gnawed at bark and ran from dogs and man.
21 December 2018
Stair rods for solstice raise the river; all inlets load in water that rolls downstream as fast as it is able; that sits in puddles that puddle out until they meet each other and gather for conversation with the water lapping out from river banks; and that runs down slopes and builds small streams to aid the growing spread.
22 December 2018
Swept clean the thoroughfare prepared for the passing of some monarch with leaves in serried ranks along the side as if barricaded back. Water cleaned through the orchard as the river rose and spread pushing leaves aside and lifting piles of timber with an easy hand that now lie scattered lost and left when waters fell. Earth puddled and sodden releases bubbles from down deep as water percolates below.
23 December 2018
Back within its banks river rumbles grumbles on fumbling and bumbling with the weight of water whirling twirling tumbling and swirling round the bends; a mighty monstrous serpent sweeping through the land groaning moaning against the air; and rushing brushing leaves and twigs anything that falls within its grasp.
24 December 2018
Bright after night rain enough only to shine the leaves of bramble and of ivy to polish the blades of grass and buff the moss and lichen; there is a sparkle in the air as sun rises moments earlier than recent days; begins the long climb to rescale the summit of the sky; and as it passes illuminates these semi-dormant wells of life.
25 December 2018
A faint chill is in the air the remains of night’s careful work to hold the world quiescent through this mild winter; to hold back plants that are pushing at the earth as warmth and water permeate to greater depths; to hold animals in check so young are born beyond the deep cold that yet might come; and to hold birds from too much play around the feeders so energy is not lost and gone when it could be needed for coming months that may bring storm and wind and ice.
26 December 2018
Cold mist slowly lifts from Christmas past leaving skims of ice on standing water; a gentle haze remains through woods and over fields; almost nothing moves except the rising sun moments earlier than yesterday; the signal that the year has turned and whilst we will yet face cold and rain and storm the warm balm of spring and summer is ahead.
27 December 2018
Fine shards of ice melting slowly as they slip away from wet metal; trees that must be stationary appear to shift shapes and places in the mist that thickens in the distance; mist that sits on slopes ad stares back at me and steals silhouettes of dogs as they walk slowly toward it.
28 December 2018
Sky is dull and murky grey; dispiriting to painters and photographers who prefer a lively burning stratosphere to frame their images. An unchanging dreary lead the sort of shade they uniformly daub upon the walls of prisons imbued with melancholy loneliness and sorrow; the more to drain the light from out the souls of inmates.
29 December 2018
Under no nest nor obviously beneath a tree an egg lies open cracked in two; stolen by some fleet footed ground dweller perhaps it sits in grass empty and forlorn; the stain of yolk gives testament to life that might have grown; too small for crane or buzzard and too large for martin or for wren was this a falcon that will not ever stoop or some murderous crow that now will never know the communality of mobbing?
30 December 2018
There is a sound that’s made by nothing but a shotgun. Rifle or pistol Gatling or cannon each have sounds their own but none compares to the close blast of shot from barrel quietened only by a ramp of bramble and a stretch of river.
31 December 2018
A handful have found holes within themselves, some thinned past reasonable measure and others begun to crumble; myriads of greens have leeched their vibrant colours and golds and yellows given up their hues so now brown predominates with bronze and copper and even russet struggling to maintain a less than universal blanket; and with wind and rain and time with paw and hoof and foot that brown will darken to near black and leaves will move and grow to soil.