Thursday, November 16, 2006

The Heath (Updated)

An reworked version of the post I put up earlier today. Just wasn't happy with the first attempt. Apologies to everyone on Bloglines!

The afternoon has turned chilly and overcast, the morning’s sunlight wiped off the face of the day. A fretful wind tumbles the clouds and releases a flurry of light brown and yellow leaves from a sycamore at the edge of the copse.

I've been promising myself a walk on the Heath for weeks, and feel calf muscles work and lungs expand as I head up a steep incline. Avoiding the puddles on the muddy track I pass a dozen or so noisy and fractious rooks feeding on acorns in the grass. Ahead a jogger clad in blue singlet and shorts cuts across the russet carpet beneath the beeches, while a young mother enveloped in a fur-trimmed parka waits to one side of the path, her attention apparently elsewhere, as her little boy painstakingly ties his shoelaces.

I pause, listen and breathe. In the nearby undergrowth an invisible dog scuffles and barks, and the faint hum of distant traffic drifts like woodsmoke through the trees. Unseen, the moon wanes and Mercury slows to its station.

Wanderers all of us here, looking down on the city beneath us on this November afternoon, strangers connecting for a split second as we pass, exchanging a glance maybe, then moving on.

Photograph taken on Hampstead Heath. Click to enlarge.


Blogger Pauline said...

Such a perfect little vignette. I was drawn to the place, standing behind your eyes, seeing it all. Beautifully done!

11:10 am  
Blogger leslee said...

Very nice scene painting, Mary. Good photo, too - captures the wind perfectly.

12:01 pm  
Blogger rdl said...


1:05 pm  
Blogger Mary said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1:33 pm  
Blogger Mary said...

Thanks Pauline, Leslee and Rdl!

1:52 pm  
Blogger MB said...

I love this photo. I love this post.

4:11 pm  
Blogger Dave said...

I felt as if I was there with you. I even had to stop a couple of times to catch my breath.

Great words.

12:56 am  
Blogger zhoen said...



12:57 am  
Blogger Sky said...

mary, this is beautifully written!

10:37 am  

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