Monday, 28 May 2007

Rain, My Companion

A walk up onto Croft Ambrey, Sunday 13 May.

Pouring Rain, all day long. I walk up through Fishpool Valley, then cut up throught the woods onto the lower banks of Croft Ambrey.

I look at the colours on the woodland floor. Even in the rain the green colours seem so vivid and bright - even yellows that contrast with the greyness of the sky: spurge, dog's mercury, ferns... Such vibrancy, so many shades of green, they almost have a light of their own.

Then I pass into the conifer stands. The mist is almost purple between the near distant trees. Greens give way to the browns, oranges and the smell of pine.

I pass a sheet of corrugated iron, possibly an old pheasant shelter/feeder, propped up by a wooden frame and brambles. The face of a startled fox peers out from its dry shelter only about four feet away from me. Then off it runs through the dampness.

I exit the pines onto the lower edge of croft Ambrey - common land with new bracken unfolding. The air is still here on the sheltered side. Low cloud envelopes the hill. Quiet and still. The heavy scent of the surrounding hawthorn blossom fills the air - strong, damp, peaceful in the surrounding mist. I look at the hawthorn flowers close up. So beautiful - white, with pink anthers and silver drops of water.

I am alone on top of the hill.

Walking back down the track. I observe the rain falling on the oaks and other other broadleaves edgeing the stoney path. Water drips all around me, so close. And then I side-step into the pines - the sound is so much more diffuse, high above me the rain touches the top of the canopy - a more ethereal and distant sound that fills the larger space.

I have touched the cool rain. It has touched me. I am refreshed. The rain has become my companion on the lonely hill where few have tread on this very wet day.

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