Friday, 2 July 2010

Song of The Sea Wind

Hullo ma wee blog,

I step out of the sliding door and down to walk barefoot across the paved patio towards the grass and the apple trees. I'm carrying a large tub of bird seed and the start of my morning routine elicits excited chirps from unseen throats all around; on the house, from our neighbours roof and our garden shed, but most of all from the dense wall of uncut hedging at the far side of the back garden where I know there are several nests.

 As I stop at the low wooden bench that displays some potted plants to put down the tub and remove its stiff lid I'm buffeted by a warm and gossipy wind. It's brisk and breezy and full of energy as it moulds itself around me like the warm hug of an affectionate friend. It sings the song of the sea wind in my ear and it holds me for just a moment before rushing on with its tales of dancing white horses and the salt tang of seaweed and driftwood still fresh on its lips. It makes me pause and strain to hear the slap of distant waves at the cliff foot and the gentle rush of sea over sand and shell. It makes me inhale its perfume and consume its fragrance. I'm lost in its cadence for a moment before it leaves me breathless but smiling, like being held too tightly saying goodbye to a friend who has places to go and people to meet. Like any good friend it raises my spirits and I want more.

I return to my task and fill the plastic pot I keep inside the tub with seed, gold and flecked with the oily black of sunflower. I turn and step off the patio onto the grass and immediately I feel cool damp underfoot. There has been a silent shower during the warm night and I am given a delicious foot massage as I walk slowly, barefoot and smiling broadly, savouring every step, to the trees and the feeders, scattering the nights tears as I go. Self indulgently, I am in no rush and the excitement around me builds in a crescendo of eager voices and rustling wings as unseen watchers jostle for advantage in the greenery a few steps away. By the time I move to fill the second feeder the first is already greedily occupied, and a disorderly mob is forming on the nearby branches, the second similarly by the time I reach the third. I turn to walk away to replenish my pot for the last feeder which is in the oldest pear tree at the front of the house, scattering the last remnants of seed from my pot around me for those that prefer to ground feed. As I walk away the female blackbird swoops appreciatively past my legs in the rush to be first to the pick of the crop.

Pot filled, I walk around the side of the house keeping carefully to the massaging grassy carpet, wondering how great it would feel to take off my shirt and stretch out on cool grass to be stroked by the warm wind which has returned momentarily to this side of the house. I'm deep in thought when my neighbour calls me from the other side of the fence to ask if I would like some of the overproduction from his new hens. After only four weeks the output of his four hens is far outstripping demand and he explains that he and his wife will be happy to share some fresh eggs around the neighbours. As he rushes off to get me some eggs I fill the last feeder and return to the garden fence that separates us from the cottage. When he returns we spend some time chatting about this and that and he says that it looks like his fruit bushes are going to provide a bumper harvest of soft fruit. I too can see that we are going to have a substantial crop of apples, pears and plums as even our old pear tree is proudly hanging with young fruit and so without further ado we agree a communal aid plan which should meet most of our needs for soft fruit across the summer. To seal the bargain I carry away a dozen fresh eggs carefully held in the folded material of the front of my T-Shirt. What a wonderful morning.

 I put my stash of eggs into the cupboard and look forward to boiled eggs on toast for breakfast but decide that first I really have to pour myself a big glass of fresh orange juice and take it out into the garden where I will enjoy it as I slowly walk barefoot round and round the garden on that wonderful soft and gentle carpet of grass.

As I do so I can barely drink for smiling to myself in absolute pleasure. Walking barefoot on grass like this is one of my favourite things, yet I realise I do it so rarely, just like walking barefoot along the shoreline on soft sand with waves just lapping at my toes. I plan the day ahead as I walk and as I do I think of the song of the sea wind and decide that today will be the perfect day to walk the beach with my shoes in my hand. My feet begin to itch in anticipation of warm sand and ice cool water.

I reach for a towel to take with me. Breakfast can wait.

See you later

Listening to Leonard Cohen 'Dance me to the end of Love'


Rebecca S. said...

The innocence of morning is such a happy time of day, especially in the company of birds, a caressing breeze, and a walk along the shore. Thanks for a lovely description of your moment (very un-grumpy) of sheer delight.
I've been picking raspberries in the mornings here, but our weather has not been as pleasant as yours. I wouldn't walk on our damp grass for the bounty crop of slugs this season.

Unknown said...

Oh, sweet bliss! Your morning sounds so peaceful and good. I just got home from a very long day at work and you have restored my peace of mind. Please share your walk along the beach with us too.

Scottish Nature Boy said...

Beautiful - poetry in prose Al! I love mornings, being a natural lark at heart, and your's sounded idyllic! Oh, and our old pear tree is in a very rare state of "fruitification" too - must have been a Spring for good blossom pollination!

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