online: 30 july 2002

30 july 2002 the architecture of the forest

18:47 The seat overlooking a valley. The view is changed today by a low haze, obscuring most of the clouds, which is at ground level between the nearest line of trees and those more distant - turning them into a softer greyer green...

...on the way here a yellow woodpecker (?) (yellow tail, red plume on its head, long up-tilted beak) kept hopping about 7 metres in front of me, flying a few metres further on each time I got nearer than that... I've never seen one that seemed so tame.

And now there is a stillness as if before a thunderstorm (which has been forecast all day but so far no rain or sound of thunder)... I look about, happy to be here again after being kept away for several days by too much heat and humidity and by a lung infection (or congestion) that afflicts me in smoggy weather.

But now almost recovered thanks to a change of wind direction (from east to west) and some hightech medicine (subatamol aerosol inhaler).

The grasses are moving a few centimetres each way in the slight wind and the evening jetplanes are returning to Heathrow unseen above the haze. The sun is shining reddish gold through the trees and I feel content to be here with no problem in mind - just a sense of peace and enjoyment and good memories of the last few days and of this evening.

On my way back through the spaces beneath and among some oaks and birches I felt alone and immensely happy to be there - sharing the interior architecture of the forest with the trees of whose presence it consists. If only human presence were so enclosive and so fine!... inside a Gothic cathedral it sometimes is.

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© 2002 john chris jones

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