Abstract Landscape Painter. Rural Dweller. Lover of Modernist Art and Design.
I awake at 4.30am with an all-to-familiar sensation of sore and sickening pain in my face, my forehead, and at the base of my skull, accompanied by a loud ringing in my left ear. I slip silently out of bed, gently stretch my neck and back, and take my medication. I return to bed and fall quickly into a sleep composed of short, vivid dreams – another symptom that I recognise as an indication of migraine. Fortunately, I have caught it soon enough, and I awake at 6am to find that a summer-like morning has arrived.
It is already 18°C at the top of the hill and the gentle breeze and warm air soothe my fuzzy head as we descend the undulating path. At the bottom of the valley, a buzzard flying lazily overhead, begins its high-pitched and elongated “mewww, mewww”. We step onto the small wooden bridge, accessed through a gap in the hedge, and cross the brook, which chatters over pebbles, beneath the sulphur explosions of willow catkins and slender, unfurling leaves. We pass through rabbit-ville and out onto the road…..
….Well, it’s hardly a road really. Along the bottom of this picturesque little valley, a lane snakes and slithers its way between rising fields. The views are stunning.
The only aspect that saddens me, is the litter which has been thrown from passing vehicles and which finds its way into the ditch and beneath the hedgerow. I collect as much as I can. It is mostly plastic bottles and cans for “high energy” drinks, and cardboard and plastic wraps for sandwiches and burgers. I feel sad that the hands that discarded these objects, belong to eyes that do not see the surrounding beauty, hearts that do not appreciate it, and minds that do not think of the potential harm to nature. Many people are now, quite rightly, concerned about how we can rid the environment of plastic. It is ironic that it is being put there daily, by other people, who do not share their concerns. One hand gives and the other takes away. There are clever technical solutions currently being proposed, but really it all comes down to the blind eyes being opened and that, as we know, takes a miracle.
The warm air is bringing out the blossom – the hawthorn hedges are decked with small, white flowers and the cherry trees with pink.
When I return home, the magnolia tree in Barry’s garden is shimmering in the sunlight. This most ephemeral of tree flora often falls victim to frosts, which scorch its delicate petals, causing them to turn brown and die. Today, however, there is no such danger. It basks in the morning sun, soaking up the warmth, which is predicted to rise to 26°C tomorrow. After the chill fog of last week, it feels as if we have been sent to the Mediterranean for a couple of days – and no queue at the airport!
All text & images ©2018 Carol Saunderson