The branches close over my head, replacing clear sky with a pattern of fragments. The wind still penetrates, but it’s slowed and warmed, sweetened by the shade and the scent of the ferns. The sun still feels bright in here, the shade doesn’t hide it, but accentuates it, and the fragments of brightness seem brighter by contrast. It’s like being in a birdcage, ornamented with fluttering leaves.
Further in, the light fails further, though sparks of sun still dance on the trunks. The roots of the trees grip deep into the peat and the path cuts a gully between them. The trees are barely ten feet tall. I have to stoop under their branches, following the path onwards into the deepening shade
We are surrounded
by gold and silver;
leaves woven of air and sunlight,
intricate knotwork of silver twigs.
Scarcity is a tale I tell
to excuse myself.
The world is rich
and hoarded with treasure,
there for the taking.
The clouds have gone completely and the sky is deep blue above a haze. Everything is fresh, but soft, and I feel like I’m on an island in an empty sea of blue.
But then I see something, off to the left. The turf slopes away there, dropping down to a hollow, and above its edge I can see branches. A little wood of twisted oaks, bark worn silver by wind and sun, and leading into it, a path, like a channel in the peat, studded with smooth white stones. The branches arch over it, and inside the light is warm and green.
I pause for a moment, soft wind in my hair. Then I start down the path, drawn by the thrill of woods and caves and holes unexplored.
Spring suddenly kindles, from nowhere, from the bitter Northerly wind. Bright sparks of daffodils spring up and blaze, green flames spurt from every twig, and the warmth of life, it seems, forces the year to turn. The wind revolves, warmth rolls from the South, the sky is white in the West and winter is over, even as the snow still lingers on the hills. The grass is growing. The air is moving. Everything is changing.
The leaves move against the sky, the soft yellow-green of spring. Their edges loop like a child’s handwriting, the story ever-changing as they meet and cross, lock together and swing free. Between them the silver-bright sky shows in chinks and stars.
For the most part, though, my eyes are filled with green, soft green, sweet green, the many-layered green of the leaves, the vivid green of the grass, the soft green scent of the ferns.
A green place; a soft place; a place of leaves, and the leaves are for healing.
And suddenly, to my left, the cliffs fall back, leaving an opening like a doorway. I leave the road and walk through.
And inside is a pool of quiet, a round bay of cliffs. It’s a moist place, soft and vivid green. The dripping walls are coated with green moss and liverwort. Ferns spring from cracks like long green feathers, bright against the rock, dark filigree against the silver sky.
The ground is carpeted with short green grass which rises in a mound, the margins thick with irises and ferns. In the centre grows a little oak tree, its bark silver with age, its leaves shivering as the air moves through them. Its leaves are like a dome, casting a circle of shadow on the grass below. I sit there for a while, watching the leaves shift against the sky.
Earth like tapestry; sky like rags.
Sea like foil.
Flowers like tapestry. Grass like hair; like bristles; like silk.
Flowers like bells.
Like porcelain bells.