Motor Horn and Birdsong

In the quiet of this long, light evening there was birdsong.  It came from a dense patch of  hawthorn and wild roses, said in local legend to cover a disused nuclear bunker. I could hear it as I stood and looked out across a great arc of skies to the darkening hills. A neighbour, returning from his allotment with a little black dog greeted me. ‘I love these long evenings’, I said to him. ‘It’s the longest day’, he reminded me.

Every year I am grateful that I’ve lived to see another May morning in the season of Easter, and I trace the weeks that Christ walked the earth after his Resurrection, till Ascension Day, then Whitsun and Trinity Sunday: a lovely time in the Northern hemisphere. Perhaps I’m too attached to these lengthening days. The darkness of December is not alleviated much for me by the artificial lights of the Christmas season.

But tonight as I watched the sunset-lit clouds in the midsummer evening light, my perception seemed to enlarge into the huge space I observed. Wider and wider.

And I noted, in detail, the clumps of yarrow on the bypass verge, and the stray wheat ears, grown from last year, and the vast fields of ripening oilseed rape, and stray corn poppies.

And as I leant on my stick, lost in the middle of all that, my mood was broken by a car horn. ‘Parp parp’, it sounded and I saw a driver with a shaven head grinning, or rather, leering at me, to the amusement of his passenger.

That’s happened before. There’s something about an old man, alone with his thoughts, which is a challenge to some people.  I do not associate this behaviour with my generation, for there is a hint and echo of Nazi thuggery in it.

I understand though. No doubt the driver was a bubbling kettle of emotions and unfulfilled urges. He wasn’t that young but that’s youth for you. I include the young Llew in some of that heedlessness. 

This elderly gent thought of raising two fingers in the direction of the fleeting car’s rear mirror.

He didn’t: not from fear. It would have lowered the moral tone.

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5 Responses to Motor Horn and Birdsong

  1. churchmouse says:

    Hello, Llew — Another excellent post! I’m so happy you are back on the scene!

    Re the young man in the car — I’m very sorry to read about that. My mother and an equally elderly lady resident in her small block of flats had the same experiences on summer evenings with young men driving or walking past. I agree that this is an intimidating behaviour. Not sure what causes it. Sometimes it seems that our world is all about youth and, when that passes, the young see potential vulnerability. Not so many years ago, they would have seen wisdom instead.

    I, too, am enjoying the birdsong in our garden. There’s one little fellow who has been singing his heart out — beautifully — for the past few weeks. Spouse Mouse says he is in search of a mate. Nevertheless, his song is a constant delight. I hope that he finds his mate — he deserves it.

    Thank you again for all the beautiful posts. You help to make the web worth reading!

    • lleweton says:

      And thank you, Churchmouse. You have been an invaluable encouragement. As for the young man, it’s strange how the image of vulnerability can be a challenge. I say this only in hopes for him and not vindictiveness – that one day he will have lived long enough to understand. All that sounds pretty soupy but there are much bigger issues to worry about, as your current posts on Pastor Wurmbrand and Karl Marx, and also the splendid campaigns of Dick Puddlecote show.

  2. Pooka says:

    When you take the look at the youth and then at the old man he will become, maybe it doesn’t make sense, but it should lay the foundation for hope. Not all will come out right, but not all will keep their bird and the chip on their shoulder, either.

    In a relatively related quote: “It’s remarkable how wisdom of age commonly resembles wary laziness.” 🙂

  3. Pooka says:

    Guilty here, too. And I’m only half-way expired. Sometimes it’s good.

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