It’s 5.30 when I set out, after a grey day that started bright. As i enter the Glen over Sunview east are two herons in flight squawking at one another, is this a territorial thing I wonder as they fly off towards Dillon’s Cross. I descend and plan to head east and up the zig zag to check out L’s signs for the clean up tomorrow, they are in their third iteration and this is something we are proud of, date scrubbed out and new one applied 3 times and going strong, same old recycled cardboard and remnant paint in 2 colours – white and ‘aqua’. On the way I spot another heron still peacefully fishing in the bayou and I snap a shot of one of my favourite trees in the water, a sort of goal as the ball demarcates it. It’s a kind of obligation that brings me here as I have been sidelining the zzzzz for sometime now. There are trees with many new branches sprouting forth all along the main spines, cactus-like and a playful cloud tickles their tops.
I am often struck by the musicality of the tree forms in the Glen, not so much in captured image where this sycamore looks corporeal and serpentine, but in the moment and the night air they breathe song.
I pass the large podium stone framed by trees, creating space for a missing body, what Glen character could be orating from this soapbox I fancy…..
The white stripe has taken on its own presence since it was painted last summer, and it gleams and doubles through the watery vegetation. The Hazel holds out her arms, promising next year’s bounty, and here I always check on L’s little hidey-hole for sharing nuts, the guardian ferns are in abeyance at the moment, rather frazzled and brown.
The Glen is full of portals self-seeded and cultivated, i pass out through the entrance to the O’Brien residence. there are still oak leaves, still intact and delineating themselves on the ground, even though this patch has flooded many times since the fall – some leaves still cling to the branches, I have read that the oak is a late starter.
There have been movements in the pencil factory, the tree matter has all been pushed back by heavy machinery and it is only as I turn away that I get the faint scent of cedar.
The 16-years-out-of-date National Development Plan sign faces the downing sun as bats flit across my path and a spillage marks out a fellow two-legged traveller on the ground in front of me.
I head home as the moon is rising and hear some rowdy shouting like I haven’t heard in a year as I walk up to my gate, which I find is closed. I set off back into the Glen in the darkness and realise that curiosity often conquers fear, i want to know more about that commotion I hear.
As i come up towards the exit on the hedgehog road the darkness plays with my vision and I am not sure if that’s a pair of white runners I see ahead. As i move forward I see it is indeed a man, coming towards me, incongruously holding a helium balloon, the kind that says happy xx birthday on it, I believe it’s blue with white print but it’s hard to say in this light, we say hello as we pass, me upward and outward, he downward and inward to the darkening valley.
By the time I get to the top the shouting has died out and I press on home. I wonder if the man with the balloon had been part of the illicit festivities and worry for him. I just had to pick the camelia head from the footpath.