First breaths of spring

img_4622There is a storm forecast; high winds and heavy rain. But right now the sun has made a brief appearance. I make a bid for air and light and peace. I sit against a tree trunk feeling the damp from the thick, green moss seep in through my clothes. It is worth it though because I can feel sunlight on my face, a warmth I had almost forgotten, a luxurious indulgence. Although unable to dispel the cold draughts behind me, the bright rays touching my clothes and feet bring heat; a lovely spring radiance.

The air is gentle; it shifts the strands of hair that hang down across my cheek, stirs the empty grass stalks whose seeds are long since gone. Strands of spider silk drift in the eddies, shimmering as they catch in shafts of light reaching between the trees. The wood smells fresh, birds are singing to the stillness. Blue tits and great tits call to each other; they sound happy, unhurried.

I sit long enough to see clouds gradually creep over the sun, to feel the breeze pick up and whisper through branches. I hear the squeak of bough rubbing against bough. The few leaves left on the hazel trees begin to tremble. Winds catch at the tallest of the trees, bending them, leaving them to sway out of step with their stationary neighbours. The wind becomes more insistent, other trees join the dance. The silvery trunks around me turn to a dark woodland mass. Bird song changes, becoming more functional, less chatty. A buzzard, disturbed, glides down the woodland ride in absolute silence – had I not happened to be looking in the right direction, I would have been completely unaware of this birds presence. And then comes the warning shower, almost imperceptible at first, a quiet tapping on the woodland floor. Quickly the rain drops become heavier, thudding, moving the fallen leaves on the ground, wetting my hair. I know my time is up, those few first breaths of spring have passed over, and the storm is coming. The rain eases, and I take my chance to make it home before the storm really hits. But nature has given me a little reminder, a little piece of good news to hold onto in the storm; I take away from the wood with me the knowledge that the spring isn’t so far away and that somewhere around the corner, things will change.

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