Witness

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Sometimes the mountain
is hidden from me in veils
of cloud, sometimes
I am hidden from the mountain
in veils of inattention, apathy, fatigue,
when I forget or refuse to go
down to the shore or a few yards
up the road, on a clear day,
to reconfirm
that witnessing presence.

Denise Levertov

The aftermath of Storm Doris (who seems to have enjoyed a second coming) has left our fells and mountains veiled.

And I might as well have been swimming when I returned from my walk. Beneath the layers, even my inside pockets had been given a soaking.

And there has been the sort of constant-attendant greyness that, coupled with irritation about the rain keeping one indoors has had the potential for getting under the skin.

(Oh, the perversity! – in one who is perfectly happy at the library desk!).

But the rooms of our home are presently housing assorted glass vases of Cornish daffodils – and no matter their size or shape, all appear to me to be smiling and nodding.

So it’s been up to me really. Be grumpy about the grey veils and ‘having to’ stay close to the warming hearth. Or look around me once in a while, recognising the festal presence of yellow and gold – and a million other life forms …

and witness.

Monday morning

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Riotous birdsong this morning and – though I’m almost certainly kidding myself – a sense that Spring is not far away. Snow along the Pennine ridge is a feature of Spring up here – and somehow looks lovelier than usual when viewed from a landscape strewn with daffodils. Not many of those around yet, though there are a few hardy yellow souls numbered among our garden snowdrops.

I’ve been wondering today how a heron I’ve been watching for a few days can stand for so long in a freezing cold river. (And rehearsing chunks of Mary Oliver’s Upstream in my head). This most watchful and patient of fishermen must have thermally protected legs and feet. I’m minded to look up how that could be. Plodding along, close to home, I was startled and delighted by a deer just feet away. Or perhaps I ought to say that the unsuspecting deer was startled by me! Too quick for a photo today, I shall keep a closer watch for them in future.