If you follow a sound…

look closely, maybe you’ll see a Magpie’s nest

The sun warm here too, but us less focused than you Glen-clearing folk. I so happy to go out without our dog, but with my drawing book, our son, and permission to play for an hour, just looking, while he walked. Such freedom under the blue sky, given to me. We talked of the long quiet woodpecker , and then we heard him. Rat-tat-tat into the world. “I am alive”.

Walking one way, then another we felt him move but did not see him. I was led by his sound to the river bank, where he may have been when we set off for it, and my son went on his way, and I was complete in the sun under the trees, quiet and waiting , perhaps for another knocking joy, perhaps for something to grow upon a page and in my soul.

As I looked up at the texture of the ivy on this tall branch of willow, I felt a Magpie watch me, and became alive to the nest against the sky

half rotten stems from last year’s nettles before the hawthorn

I was so full, so happy, I could not stop, and rested my attention then upon this density of through-betweens that was the tangled half broken stems and the hawthorn against the still blue sky. As I drew, I noted one family in a real-moment crisis of exhausted 3 year old wanting to pedal no further at odds with a faterh who needed to be heard and obeyed. Another was full of play, building deep wells of happiness in one another.

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