Sometimes life just seems to come up and bite you on the arse doesn’t it? Just as this year seemed to be settling into an easy rhythm with only the usual day to day worries of work, money, what’s for supper and where did I leave me boots this time to trouble me, something’s happened that just filled my head with dark clouds and sombre thoughts. I’ll not burden you with detail, it’s enough just to say that my father is going into hospital this Thursday to have what basically amounts to a live or die operation. Now I consider myself a fortunate person who’s life has not experienced to much tragedy, but the thought of my father perhaps being taken away really has had a profound affect upon me and coping so far has not been easy, and this is before the operation!
Waking up this morning the clouds were there cramming my mind with all sorts of thoughts, questions and what ifs? I really didn’t what to do anything, just lie there in bed, ponder and wait. But I’m also I lucky man who has been fortunate enough to have married the one person who knows me inside out and is the true connotation of the words ‘soul mate’, my Clare. She’s was working so she was up early, knowing that I’m not sleeping that well and talking even less well she skipped around any reference to Thursday, placed a steaming mug of tea by the bed, gently kissed me and left for work, leaving the bedroom door ajar (bungalow so all rooms on the ground), as well as leaving the back door wide open. As I lay there thinking morose thoughts and letting the clouds darken in my head, the smell of hot tea tickled my nostrils, wafted by the draft from the back door and mixing with the outdoor smells of a clear morning. Outdoors I thought, maybe, just maybe I’ll get up and go for a sornter. You know what?, that bloody dog, I swear, is telepathic! No sooner had the idea of outdoors squeezed its way past those clouds then the bog monster snuffled her way past the bedroom door (no longer ajar now!) and hurled herself upon the bed attacking me with that damn tongue until I had no choice but to throw myself out of the pit. Yep, I’ve got to admit Clare really does know how to make me shake a leg without any harsh words, just subtle deeds.
So an hour or so later one happy hound and her dishevelled companion are ‘out there’ upon the trails once more. The weather was absolutely stunning and nature was screaming at full volume welcoming spring. But for the first part of the trail this went by totally unnoticed, even if one of the ‘wild big cats’, that have been recently reported to have been sighted once more, had crossed my path I don’t think that I’d have battered an eyelid, for the clouds still filled my head and I was just basically walking on automatic.
But my feet led me upon a path unfamiliar and new, a recent trail reopened by the forestry commission and leading via a short, sharp, climb to a forgotten trig point. As I gained the top the views that greeted me were, well, just spellbinding, a 360 degree vista of unparalleled beauty. As I came to rest on the trig point something happened that I can safely say will never happen again, a buzzard (a raptor that always fills my soul with joy and yearning) alighted on the ground not 5 yards from my feet, we held each others gaze for eternity and then it was gone sliding down the slope of the hill until gaining an updraft and circling away to Moel Famau in the distance.
You think this exaggerated?, in the mood that I’m in presently, exaggerating tales to gain peoples favour is one of the furthest thoughts from my mind. It happened and it probably will never happen to me again, ever. Photographs, I’ll just say one thing Doh! Never the less the moment filled me with wonder and for the first time in sometime true joy. So the ramble continued with a certain individual enjoying her now famous (infamous?) pastime of bog wallowing. (Oh yes, plenty of pictures of that), and with me at last opening my eyes to the world around me.
Along a narrow trial, just on a crest a grey squirrel squatted in full view preening his ears, Lucy was some distance into the trees heading totally the other way. Ah thought I, a decent photograph for my friends in Blogsville beckons, forest, wildlife and sunny weather at last they will pour high praise upon my prowess of photographic and stalking skills, I mean to say hero worship and all that beckoned. Steady now compose yourself John, centre the subject, zoom in a tad more, just wait for that head to turn ever so slightly and wait, wait, wait and click. And below is the fine result of seconds of patient crouching:-
Yep she’d done it again, somehow gaining the trail well ahead of me and then hurtling along it back towards me at break neck speed the swine of a dog came flying over the brow and the pesky little vermin exited stage right, sometimes….. so if you want stunning wildlife photography just e-mail me and I’ll give you list of fellow bloggers including such as Wandering Owl, Butch and many others, just not me! But to be honest if anything the worst that Lucy had done was to lift my spirits, I found myself laughing out loud and my steps back to the fun cruiser were all the lighter for her.
Yes the clouds are still there, though not as dark – after all I’m only human. But there’s something, well, something wholesome about nature and about being part of her and her cycles. She heals and sooths like nothing else that I know. I still have to face Thursday and the aftermath, whatever it may be, but I’ll face it straight on and no matter what the outcome you’ll find me out there, eventually. Tomorrow I’m going fishing, first time in a long time, perhaps I’ll tell you about it…………….