Saturday, June 03, 2006

A Study of a Summer's Day

[Here is the view that inspired this post.]

A soulful Rufus Wainwright CD is playing quietly as I lay on the sofa under the windows, overlooking the wooded area behind our flat. He’s singing in French, accompanied only by a soft piano. One of the windows is open and occasionally a gentle breeze of warm air brushes my face. It’s lovely to just sit here and enjoy the day.

As the music fades I am surrounded by the countryside. The only sound is the lazy birdsong of a warm afternoon and the occasional movement of air against the leaves of the taller trees. It sounds like rain falling, but there are no clouds in the glowing sky.

I am reminded of a similar afternoon some years ago, that I spent in the Kent countryside with someone I dated briefly. A warm, humid summer’s day, far from civilisation sitting in the shade under a tree, watching the world turn, enjoying the fresh and clean smell of the Garden of England. Even a gentle shower of summer rain didn’t spoil the day for us under that canopy of oak.

A small bird, it could be a robin, but I can’t be sure, just that it has a coppery breast, has just paused on the end of a branch a few feet from my window to observe the scene. Only for a moment though, before it flits onward. Now two grey birds, the size of pigeons or doves, wing silently by in the middle-distance and every now and then, some solitary emerges from the shade of a branch and wings its way from one tree to the next.

Suddenly there are two planes in the sky, far above, segmenting the sky with their white vapour trails, tinting the natural sounds with a barely perceptible roar. And then they are gone; almost as quickly as they appeared, and the sky is clear once more; an unbroken powder-blue.

It is just me and the sensations of nature again. Little specs drift around in the breeze; maybe insects, maybe dandelion spore moving in the heavy air. The sunlight, highlighting some leaves, others in shadow. The red leaves of one of the trees almost look wet the way they glisten as they move in the sunlight, such a contrast to the dark matt-green of the sturdy, motionless conifer that frames it. Between here and there a montage of foliage; layer after layer of leaves and branches, flora and fauna; a web of life around me, gently wrapping me. And tiny patches of sky peeking through.

I close my eyes and breath deeply.

This is life.

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