As The Driven Snow… a winter run

“The wood, under a winter storm.  A time when all creatures thought of good sense seek shelter of burrow or nest.  There remains though, dancing through the tempest,  a runner, chill of finger, wet of foot, wide of grin.”

Desk work day done.  Storms are building, both ADHD and weather.

So.  Night run.  Winter night run.

Headtorch, leggings and lifa, hardshell and hat.  Lock my door with glove clumsied fingers, quick step up the ginnel.  Grin growing on my face.  Couple of hundred metres of sleet slick pavement ‘twixt house and wood.  Most times a skippy dog walker dodging warmup, tonight it’s a lone stroll, chilling fingers and feet. 

The wood.  My local patch, a bright place of birch and willow and hawthorn hedge. Not this night though. This night it’s a wildwood waiting. Tonight the gate is a liminal space, a creaking transit from blandly civilised suburbia into an older place.  Into a dark wood galethrashed and sleetlashed.

Step through into the wood anyway.  Go, now. Go run.  

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The Alder Pool.

The voice of a cuckoo

      Dropped to the lake

                           Where it lay floating

                                                       On the surface.

A foreword;

A foreword? To a short piece? Yes, there are a couple of words in here that bear definition. One very old, one new. Both I think deserve more use. 

Mogshade: an old English for the welcome cool shade cast by trees in leaf

Shivelight: a word coined by Gerard Manley Hopkins for the gleaming shafts of light shining through trees in leaf 

The verses are haiku by Bashō, from Sumidawara, published in 1694

Now that’s done, let us away to the story…

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Petrichor

Early summer, the driest on our modern record.  The birchwood copse, moist cool haven where I run, is parching now.  A grass bleaching, footpath firing, tree wilting parching. But this evening, just for a little while, the parching eased.  The long cloudbare sky became cloudspeckled.  Clouds grew, darkened, grew rain Read more…