Friday 4 July 2014

Good Morning

The sky today is mostly white.  A high overcast has swathed the canopy in loosely woven gauze.  It diffuses the sunlight, making it a curiously sharp, silver-bright haze that highlights every detail of the landscape.

Our dry weather has turned the wild grasses of the marsh and estuary gold and they have run to seed, their purple and red and silver-white seed heads running in contrasting waves above the stems and blades below.  When the wind blows, they move like white caps do across the water, following the motion of the wind as their stems bow and dance below them.  Today, though, the wind is quiet and they stand undisturbed; motionless as a watercolour painting on the broad page of the fields.

I walk a path built atop a dyke between the river and farm fields. The well-trod gravel is worn clear of growth but plants crowd up against the edges:  Wild roses still sharing a last, few, blushing blooms and tightly furled buds next to new green hips that will later tip the branches with blazing red, blackberries wild with growth and abundant with both white blossoms and hard green berries that will ripen soon into purple-black fruit so juicy that it stains the fingers of those who come to harvest them, stubby grey-green stems topped with the bright white of pearly everlasting, delicate umbels of Queen Anne's lace, and pale blue chicory standing like ragged bunting at the ends of tough, wiry stems.  Yarrow grows there, it's flowers in cumulus formations just above the seed heads of the grass, and a few stems of early tansy glow bright yellow, their blooms encouraged by the reflected heat of the pathway stones beside them.

At the water's edge a flock of geese set sail.  The food is so abundant here this is their year-round home.  No migration for them. With river and bay so abundant with marsh grass and small fish, they are fat and glossy; regal as they glide down the river channel towards the bay.

The river is deep green today, reflecting the tall evergreens behind it and striped with occasional bands of surprisingly bright blue wherever there is a patch of clear sky above.  Dragonflies, their wings quicksilver in the morning light, flit across its surface, and a single heron, standing in the lee of the dyke's piled stones, fishes patiently.  A golden eagle perches in the bare branches atop a tall fir tree, his fierce yellow eyes focused intently on the channel below.

I reach the end of the trail and turn back, dawdling on my way to watch two brown rabbits peaking out of the already-lengthening hay in the recently mown field on the landward side of the dyke, and to gaze across the wide view the farm's expanse affords me. Fields give way to time worn maple trees, bearded in pale lichen, their trunks and dead branches burnished pewter in the morning light but still so full of life force that new limbs reach up, green and vital, from the blasted wood.  They in their turn give way to ranks of conifers, and in the distance to rising blue hills that ring the valley.  Above them the great dome of the sky arches round and perfect.

There is a feeling of forever-ness in a view like that.

I am reminded daily of how much I love this place, and how very blessed I am to be here.  That reassurance is restorative to me. No matter what each day may bring, there is, all around me, in the very air and ground and water of this place, a constancy.

I hope that you are able to find that constancy where you are too: to pause, and look around, and be enveloped in the timeless tides of season and place.  Drink in the gifts around you and let them fill you with calm, and quiet, and joy.  Have a blessed day.