Woodsmoke and Red Kites

Woodsmoke …  some distance away. It is a quiet visitor to my open window. And I welcome it. Close to, its fragrance will be spicy and pungent. Here it is like an echo.

It is itself, yet it carries associations and memories. They are memories of which I have a sweet sense – but no recall.

‘I can only say, there we have been: but I cannot say where.And I cannot say how long, for that is to place it in time.’

(TS Eliot The Four Quartets, Burnt Norton)

So many of my experiences of the natural world have such resonances, especially now, as it wakes into a new Spring. I walked today towards the encircling Chiltern Hills, while red kites wheeled and drifted in the west wind.  Ditches were green with cleavers, young mallow plants, cow parsley and lush cushions of moss.

A black cat was perfectly still as it gazed into the base of the hawthorn bushes. Horses grazed nearby. This Arcadia does include violence. What was the cat waiting for? A mouse or sparrow or robin?  The sense of new life dominates though.

It contrasts with what goes on in my inner life. There, all  four seasons have their parallels in my soul, simultaneously. Despite that I trust in the triumph of Easter.

Slowly I walked home. The black cat still waited, by the hedge.

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2 Responses to Woodsmoke and Red Kites

  1. churchmouse says:

    Oddly enough, I was just reading an article in a French magazine about the dangers cats pose to wildlife!

  2. lleweton says:

    Yes,makes me think of two quotations from Tennyson poems. One refers to nature ‘red in tooth and claw’ and the other to the ‘Flower in the crannied wall’ : …’if I could understand/What you are, root and all, and all in all,/I should know what God and man is’.

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