2021 Nature Story

A national lock-down was prescribed, and a strange time had stricken our lives.  While physically apart, our hearts remained connected. We had discovered a local hide away, isolated within nature. 

My hand in his, we took a short walk and nattered in symphony with the springtime birdsong.

The leaves rustled from above and the sun shone. It was a glorious day indeed.  

We strode through the tall grass, wildflowers, along the hedgerow and past the mighty monuments of mature oaks.  A dazzling flare waved before our step, followed by a second incursion before flying up in tandem, two orange-tipped butterflies paired on the wing.  

My eyes focussed in on a fallen ash tree, ideal, we seated for a while to rest.   

The ash tree was like a mini Metropolis. The crevices and deep indentations in its bark served as micro homes for all sorts. We could hear the sound of bees and hoverflies being busy at their work.   

We paused for one moment, not a word was spoken. Sounds radiated from flying insects and birds in the foliage rich trees. The palm of my hand reached out to encapsulate his jaw line, drawing him gently onto my lips. Just then, a heavy winged wood pigeon clattered through the branches above them, parachuting debris which attached to the locks of my hair. 

There was chirpy coal tit darting around and foraging in the trees. It appeared to be interested in something. A treecreeper walked sticky toed up the vertical of the ash, perhaps to find a snack. It too showed a fascination in the two of us that had trespassed in its domain.        

I admired his eyes precisely for the first time; they were blue as the ocean I could drown.  Founded by strong emotional bond and nature around us, I felt completely alive. Beneath our feet, huge bumbleebees played hide and seek in the short grass as they sought for somewhere to nest. 

The wildlife paparazzi continued to look on – the foraging coal tit, the inquisitive treecreeper and a third pair of eyes watched on. A male robin, hardly a sign of winter but strutted his striking red breast for all to see. 

The sun drew in the clouds and re-emerged once more. The sweet perfume of hawthorn blooms and emerging bramble blossom filled the air like an aphrodisiac. Nature had given me the perfect ambiance that day.   

An incredible surge of unseen butterflies were released as we shared the finest of adoring words until heading off our separate ways. The sun began to hide behind the clouds in the passing afternoon and the skylarks wondered in the clear blue sky above.

An unexpected union two misplaced souls.     

A passing glance, a smile, occasional word

Latin, local, deep or absurd  

“Quercus” I called an utter of thanks. 

You tapped twice on your heart 

Unwitting, clear this was the start

In nature we belong, we embrace untold love.    

Months had past. Commitments to others and further restrictions meant we hadn’t met for a while.              

We planned to meet at the old ash tree; the place where it had all began. The ash, by now had completely died. It was a sad picture. Its bark had turned red, like blood from an oozing wound and its leaves had completely crisped. I noticed fresh greening lichen growth on the dead wood. It was strange how after the death of one thing, life would prosper for another – in this instance, two organisms growing in perfect symbiosis.  

Nearby ash trees were also becoming affected by the die-back disease.  

It was late in the season; the chatter of birds seemed a distant sound. The birds seemed noiseless and tired. They had mated, raised their young and were now getting themselves ready for the seasonal change. The summer migrants were getting ready to fly back far away over the seas and oceans.       

I waited by the ash tree. Our conjoined embrace was long-awaited. Tears streamed down my face and fell onto his shoulders and soaked into his shirt. He closed his beautiful blue eyes, a tear was born.

There wasn’t a breath of wind, or sound of nature to be heard during those long moments.  

My hand released from yours, fingertips slip away

From skies to revive and embrace, I will look above

My survival, my butterfly, my nights will turn to day. 

The changing wind above unhinged the acorns from the Oak and the blackbird chanted his prolonged distinct song that resonated throughout the trees.  The light retreated quickly into darkness that day. 

As I walked away, I buried a fallen acorn. 

Life is a journey. We all seek to embrace the exhilarating life force of true love and our natural world.          

I have.   

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