Copyright © Louise Bostock 2007-2013. Please give credit where credit is due.

Monday, 15 November 2010

Morning walk

Warmish. Rainy. Gloomy.

Jakob!'s back legs are once again working, and this morning we put them to good use as usual in the woods. Autumn is under foot, yellow, brown, red, obscuring the craggy path. The dampness has damped-down the woodland sounds, and I hear only the rustling hood of my oilskin, the trudge of my boots, already sodden, against loose rocks and the white noise of water rushing downhill. 

Oh and the occasional panting of Jakob! as he streaks up to me, nuzzles me with his wet nose to makes sure I'm still there and then hares off up another boar-run.

Where the woods open out onto the old Roman road, the mist closes in. Ten metres. Five metres. Two metres. A twilight Appian Way. Here old standing stones and broken tree trunks loom up to meet me in the fog. And the mist turns everything to legend. These shapes are now partisans, rock-steady snipers waiting their chance. Now felons hung on the gibbet by the path for all to take the warning. Now the ghost of the Viggiona miss, who once lay crumpled at the foot of the crags, pregnant, jilted, desperate and oh so alone.

At the great Elephant Rock - overlooked by a ruined chapel, built over a ruined temple -  the little reed-fringed meadow is plashy. Soon it will be splashy. And then it will be icy. And as the world turns it will once again come dry next summer. A long way off.

At the Belvedere there is no sign of the lake. Nothing of the majestic, ever-changing view that is our usual reward. Just a sudden gust of wind rising from the vast hidden space before me. Just cold mist drifting across my face and in my eyelashes and over my cheeks. 

We both pause here, Jakob! and I, breathing in the start of the day. I take a moment to work over its possible shape in my mind like a blind woman searching out the contours of a face. I raise my arms and take in a deep, steady breathful of mist. Then we turn home as the rain strengthens and the last remaining leaves fall onto the path in ones and twos.

Now the Faithful Little Woodburner is alight, with a pair of steaming boots standing on top. There's a mug of strong, sweet tea at my side, a cat on the sofa and a tired dog snoozing in his den. And Hildegaarde.


Time to begin.

4 comments:

Vanessa said...

My morning? Pavement. Bus. Traffic noise. Traffic fumes. Starbucks. Strip lighting. Enjoy yours.

chrysalis said...

Loved the descriptions - really brought it alive for me!

Woodman said...

What a wonderfully descriptive piece. That BA hons degree you were awarded was well deserved. Start on the book you have been promising, soon.

ladyfi said...

What a wonderfully lyrical piece of writing. 'The mist turns everything to legend' - that is PURE genius!

Monday, 15 November 2010

Morning walk

Warmish. Rainy. Gloomy.

Jakob!'s back legs are once again working, and this morning we put them to good use as usual in the woods. Autumn is under foot, yellow, brown, red, obscuring the craggy path. The dampness has damped-down the woodland sounds, and I hear only the rustling hood of my oilskin, the trudge of my boots, already sodden, against loose rocks and the white noise of water rushing downhill. 

Oh and the occasional panting of Jakob! as he streaks up to me, nuzzles me with his wet nose to makes sure I'm still there and then hares off up another boar-run.

Where the woods open out onto the old Roman road, the mist closes in. Ten metres. Five metres. Two metres. A twilight Appian Way. Here old standing stones and broken tree trunks loom up to meet me in the fog. And the mist turns everything to legend. These shapes are now partisans, rock-steady snipers waiting their chance. Now felons hung on the gibbet by the path for all to take the warning. Now the ghost of the Viggiona miss, who once lay crumpled at the foot of the crags, pregnant, jilted, desperate and oh so alone.

At the great Elephant Rock - overlooked by a ruined chapel, built over a ruined temple -  the little reed-fringed meadow is plashy. Soon it will be splashy. And then it will be icy. And as the world turns it will once again come dry next summer. A long way off.

At the Belvedere there is no sign of the lake. Nothing of the majestic, ever-changing view that is our usual reward. Just a sudden gust of wind rising from the vast hidden space before me. Just cold mist drifting across my face and in my eyelashes and over my cheeks. 

We both pause here, Jakob! and I, breathing in the start of the day. I take a moment to work over its possible shape in my mind like a blind woman searching out the contours of a face. I raise my arms and take in a deep, steady breathful of mist. Then we turn home as the rain strengthens and the last remaining leaves fall onto the path in ones and twos.

Now the Faithful Little Woodburner is alight, with a pair of steaming boots standing on top. There's a mug of strong, sweet tea at my side, a cat on the sofa and a tired dog snoozing in his den. And Hildegaarde.


Time to begin.

4 comments:

Vanessa said...

My morning? Pavement. Bus. Traffic noise. Traffic fumes. Starbucks. Strip lighting. Enjoy yours.

chrysalis said...

Loved the descriptions - really brought it alive for me!

Woodman said...

What a wonderfully descriptive piece. That BA hons degree you were awarded was well deserved. Start on the book you have been promising, soon.

ladyfi said...

What a wonderfully lyrical piece of writing. 'The mist turns everything to legend' - that is PURE genius!