Thursday, 4 October 2007

(Un)common grace in a common park

The autumn crispness in the air has not yet reached biting point; the sun still hangs over the tree tops to warm my back as I watch. Against a copse's background shadow it lights up a sprinkle of silver fluttering from a tree, while a moment later at the foot of its neighbour a golden wave shimmers over the grass: leaves lifted by the wind. A rustle overhead as a solitary dry leaf falls, jogs against a twig, then spirals silently to join the patchy carpet. The horsechestnuts, bravely reaching up tall from dense base of holly and laurel, chorus with birdsong - a riot of calls in chiming competition amidst the foliage. Squirrels run from ground to trunk to branch, occasionally pausing, front legs suspended in midair, eyeing me: threat? Curious? A terrier charges past noisily, faintly hailed by human voice. Squirrel doesn't stir. Curious, then. Brambles bereft of fruit: picked, no doubt, by eager juice-stained fingers; now in vain nettles reach to sting, vainly to keep that which they could not enjoy. What joy in grass, in undulating surface underfoot, crisp leaf. Squirrel bounding unawares. Radiant white drifting softly: feather floating, sun-reflecting, touches down. Consider the trees: the many hues, shimmering in the breeze with a gilding of death. Grace?

No comments: