The Foxtrot

When there is nothing but bad news, doomsday approaching on poison-fume horses ridden by scythe swinging riders, I walk the woods. Patchy as they are nowadays, there are still places where the magic of old withdrew. It’s preserved in last year’s shed acorns crackling under your boots. It glimmers in the manifold green shades of beech, sycamore and oak the wind shifts like silk fans and it’s always in the light that gains strength by degrees as the sun wanders westward, more exuberant as the hours roll on, a gradient becoming smaller but more intense until it highlights naught but the center of one’s vision.

At times, when waiting for the evening light, I fall asleep on bracken and breathe in dry earth and rotting reeds. Insects hover then move along and the birdsong becomes multifold, reaching me through slumber. When I open my eyes I find myself in a world of characters that dance and play through centuries. Furtive, then playful, wary then carefree, forever young.

Those are the hours I share their world and restore my mind. It’s then that I refuse to believe the end to our planet is neigh. Given the right circumstances, a new willingness to share, the magic withdrawn into these small pockets of forest and dell will roll across hills and valleys again and make them wild once more.