It’s a place of peace. Habitats intermingle, awaiting nothing so much as time. Trees lean over the rocks, seaweed rots where winter storms have pushed it into the woodland. Sunlight glances off a single strand of spider web and a small fly drifts by. The waves creep forward and retreat, the boat bobs slowly. The air is still, nary a breath of wind to be felt. Time hesitates.
The trunks of the aspen glow grey-green in the warmth. I think of all the processes within the skin, the breath of the tree. The air I breathe feels tree-fresh. They are still in winter garb, but there’s a quickening happening out of sight. Spring is around the corner, and the world knows it. The wakening has begun, though it might be some time before the aspen sings again. A crow sits in the uppermost branches and caws a question down at me. I reply: ‘good morning, it’s just me’ and he gives a single, quieter caw and peers at me through his right eye. One more caw and then he flies, unhurriedly towards the seashore.
This, this hollow where the aspen grows is a place I dream of when I am not there. Protected by the straight stems of the aspen clones, with more chaotic shapes of oak and birch around about, the floor is a bright mess of mosses. Their names slip off my tongue: Thuidium tamarscium, Rhytidiadelphus triquetrus, Pseudoscleropodium purum. Little else grows on the ground, other than aspen suckers which are invariably eaten by the deer. I have protected some and await their emergence from their winter slumber.
Things are awakening. A coal tit was just there searching a crevice: could he have been seeking a suitable nesting site? The waters are turquoise and the sun on my shoulders warm. There’s a vivality to the air, the promise of things to come, a future awakening.
A robin sings a lighthearted five notes and then stops. I hesitate to await more, then finally drag myself away and let the day continue.