I woke early to find the Sun was up before me. The low shafts of golden light flooded my surroundings with an unexpected warmth after the stormy weather of the previous days and nights. At last… a warm morning... a calm morning... a dry morning. The prospects for the day were good.
Old habits die hard and this morning was no exception. Water on for a brew, tea and breakfast consumed and then the first ciggy of the day sent curling veils of smoke drifting away on the light breeze. There was a special quietness about the place, the sort that makes you feel guilty when you break it.
I pulled on my boots and stepped out into the world. An extended family of blackbirds were foraging nearby, not minding my intrusion into their territory. Slowly the other resident wildlife announced itself to the new day... voles scuttled around in the undergrowth... a hedgehog rustled in the leaf-litter on a quest for worms and slugs... a thrush had found a juicy snail and was busy thrashing it against a well-used anvil-stone, this latter fact being borne out by the adjacent pile of discarded shell-shards.
I strolled through the long dew-laden grass, marvelling at the variety of wild flowers and seed-heads. Each step sent a shower of silver droplets into the air around my feet, and soon I was wet from the knees down.
I wandered over to a hoary old willow tree and stood beneath its canopy of weeping branches. The ground was drier there, and beneath my feet a multitude of insect lives were going about their daily routines, oblivious to the giant standing amid their microcosm. In the branches above, more birds were waking from their overnight roosts and the chorus was soon in full swing.
This was a place to tarry a while, to soak up the atmosphere, to appreciate the wonders that Nature puts in even the wildest of places. I sat back against the trunk of the tree and relaxed without a care, watching the world go by at its own pace.
I was so engrossed in this place that it took a long time for me to realise that I was not alone. Looking back down the slope I noticed a lone figure approaching. Not wanting anyone to spoil my appreciation of the morning, I slipped around to the other side of the tree in the hope that the intruder would pass by without noticing me, but it was to no avail. When the newcomer reached my place of rest I looked up, smiled and ventured a polite “Good Morning”.
The reply of “Haven’t you cut that bloody lawn yet?” wasn’t entirely unexpected.