online: 14 november 2003
modified: 2 december 2003

14 november 2003 first winter walk

15:06 Seat overlooking wooded valley. It's several weeks since I sat here, or anywhere outdoors, to write on the handheld. I've been indoors, sorting and discarding, and refiling papers from five decades. It's a pleasure to be out again - among trees and winds and skies.

More than half the leaves have fallen. As I sit here I keep seeing many falling at once in successive gusts of air, which they make visible.

I pick up a tall aluminium can that someone has left standing here - and I am surprised at its lightness, the accuracy with which it is made, and that the wind makes it sway but does not blow it over. The can, and my clothed body are I suppose out of place - visual intrusions, here beneath grey cloud and amongst trees, fallen leaves, and crows... Only the jumbo I see and hear turning high above has affinity with the manufactured can and my manufactured clothing, and computer.

And what of this writing? Does it connect? Yes it does. And is that why I write it? Perhaps.

Now I'm looking at a seagull, gliding and turning in gusty air - though the air feels cold the seagull seems to be finding an upcurrent (of warmer air).

Feeling backache as I stand up, I lie on the bench for a few minutes and see the grey sky through a pattern of branches with few leaves. One small leaf falls on my cheek. It has 11, possibly 12, projecting parts (are they called lobes?).

And now the can is blown over.

As I walked beneath trees and through rustling leaves I realised that this is my first winter walk - and I'm acclimatising to it after a summery autumn.

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