January stormed in yesterday. The ash trees certainly knew his presence. Like masts of tall ships they rocked in the wind.
Today we peer out at the world from under a watery blue sky. No menacing weather fronts threaten on the horizon and the garden is still.
Time to head to the fields beyond the copse.
Along the edges of streams the past reveals itself, through fossilized shells and ancient mare’s tail. The dank undergrowth is lit with the bright berries of the deadly nightshade.
Words bubble up to the surface as I walk. Some find fellows and are strung into sentences. Others prefer to stand alone.
At the foot of an oak tree we discover a hoard of golden cups.
From there we process up the hollow way, shielded by elder and ivy. Sunlight slants across our path: a groove worn deep between the fields. Enveloped by overhanging branches we continue on our way, enclosed in a woody tunnel. Sheltered.
Who knows of the people who have trodden this path before us?
A kestrel waits for us at the top, hovering as if in mind to tell us the answer, but then darts off at speed above the fields.
And the January man comes round again in woollen coat and boots of leather
To take another turn and walk along the icy road he knows so well.
The January man is here for starting each and every year
Along the way for ever. Dave Goulder