Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Woodland wonderful

Tuesday 24 November 2015

cool 4 degrees

Surprisingly cold this morning.  Back really bad.  Lugged in some wood and lit the fire immediately.  Trees and lawn silver sheen.  Arum lily leaves drooping.  No bird song. Threads of breath in the air.

Sat on the sofa and felt one hundred years old.  This is a pain literally and actually.  There is so much I wanted to do this week.  Spent the morning replying to emails and OH rang and said he was coming back south and the weather was grim.

Dragged myself off the sofa at lunch time and took dog down town.  He is now very deaf and his eyesight isn't brilliant, so I have to find walks where it doesn't matter if he cant hear me calling to get over to the side of the road.

In the centre of our town is an ancient woodland on a hill known locally as Sugar Bread hill. We have been here twelve years and I have never been up the hill.  Today, it seemed like a good idea.  The hill is a good 50 meter climb up steps full of mashed up and rotting leaves. It nearly killed me.  However at the top, the view was worth it.  The whole town was spread out before us, the chateau and the ruined spa hotel where Manet used to bring his mistresses, the clustered orange roofs of the 17th and 18th century houses in the heart of the town, the casino and spa.  It was my town but as I had never seen it.  The traffic on the ring road hummed distantly.  A woodpecker drilled in the woodland.  How little it takes to step outside of the ordinary.

We walked along the hill crest and through ancient woodland.  Tall trees bearing flouncy balls of mistletoe, glossy white berries.  Trunks furry with moss.  Fungi sprouted on fallen logs.  Lichen green and silver and brown on the branches.  It was magical.  Woodland for me is a direct conduit with the past. I felt the presence of horsemen and foresters, foragers and lovers.  I went up the hill with bursting lungs and I came down with a heart full of the beauty of nature and a feeling of peace and the spirituality of the place.

thanks Yorkshire Wildlife Trust