Showing posts from May, 2012

On migration

The loss of swallows. The wind had backed off and swung around to the north. It was not the hard edged summer northerlies that leave you cut and dried, fearing fire, dusty eyed. This was a softer, rounder, wind. But still it grabbed, sticky fingered, at the pages of my book, trying to hurry me along, impatient to get to the end In defiance of the wind’s urgings I stopped reading and looked out into the surf, hoping for dolphins, but none showed. Switching from a near gaze to a more distant one breaks the book bubble in which I am wrapped, and I noticed the air is filling with birds. Swallows. One, two three. Another group over there - four, five six. More - seven, eight, nine, ten. More - eleven, twelve. More and more counting until counting no longer makes sense and they become simply lots. Their speed and flightful movement, conscious, way beyond Brownian, makes it impossible to do more than estimate numbers; ball park at best. Buried within the sea sky of movement are a few

Time Enough

The big horizon-wide windows faced south towards the sea. On most days they were still, but on some days you could feel them buzz as the wind from the west pushed across their surface. I would stand there at the start of each day just looking, waiting for the kettle on the stove to boil, waiting for that first, all important, cup of tea. A kestrel would often perch on one of the bushes between me and the sea, waiting just like me, but waiting for something different. It was a perfect place to stand and day dream, to plan the day ahead, to think about the day before, to wonder if it would be possible to get close enough to the kestrel to photograph it. It was a place to stand and for a few minutes – I never really could tell how long – become lost in the distance and the surf. I would be called back to the morning by the growing silver whistle of the kettle, sounding old fashioned, urgent and warm. Reminding me that, for a short time anyway, we were not connected by wires or waves to th