Nice weather for ducks

HelleboreIt has been raining yet again. So much for getting anything done outside today. Walking the dog will be enough. The camera is getting used to it by now. Though not designed as waterproof, it has been out in all weathers, tucked under coats and shawls. It is seldom that I move without it. A road trip, where I know that all I will get to do is drive, still sees it tucked up on the back seat of the car, looking at me as hopefully as Ani when it is time for her walk. You just never know what you will find, or where you may be able to pull over.

magpie struttingOne recent, rainy day saw me drenched and with squelching feet, wandering around a west London park. My son was there on business, and I was there on taxi duty. While he was dealing with the sharp end, I wandered off for a while and was glad I did, in spite of the fact that the little lace slippers were rather less than appropriate. That too, seems to be something of a feature.

mallard“Nice weather… for ducks!” grunted an elderly gentleman sheltering under a big old tree. The ducks may well have been appreciative. Other birds were less so, though the rain did not appear to have dampened the amorous ardour of at least one determined suitor. It is, after all, spring, and, in spite of the drenching they were getting, or perhaps because of it, the trees and flowers were making the most of the season.

pigeonsI think it is the contrast between freshly washed petals and rain-darkened bark and earth that does it. While sunshine shows the playful gaiety of spring, rain seems to highlight the details on every leaf and petal, throwing textures into relief and marking a sharp contrast in the colours. The sparkling drops add an extra dimension that links earth and sky in a very intimate manner.

blossomThinking about it, I realised that our instinct is still to think of the sky as being ‘up’… like the blue strip a child paints across the top of a picture. Yet the sky and the earth embrace, their meeting as close as it can be as every contour of the earth and sea, every grain of sand, every leaf and blade is touched by the sky, without any possible separation. As are we.

wet thrushYet we imagine a separateness; simply accepting that the sky is above us. The poets tell us so with their starry heavens… yet those heavens are here on earth too, all around us. How could I have missed that, all these years? What logic knows lacks a soul until understanding illuminates it. We are not children of earth, but creatures of earth and sky.

flowers bike 032I remembered my younger son, drinking the water dripping from a rock face half way up Ben Nevis one day. He had asked where the water came from, so high up… “So, I am drinking clouds, then?” he had said. The child’s logic too was poetry to me and I realised that by extension of the same thought, I was myself poised between heaven and earth, breathing in the sky. I wondered about that; an analogy could be made there… how many other things do we live and breathe and know without Knowing?

magpieThinking about that as the rain fell changed the feeling of the day from simply soggy to glorious. The all-pervading damp was no longer a chill imposition but the kiss of the sky upon my brow. The little plumes of steam that rose from both me and the sheltering creatures more than just a drying out… it was a reaching up, an answering embrace, like a child stretching their arms to a father.

water bird with big feetA little clumsily, still learning to find our feet in the world, unsure of quite who or what we are, we walk through life in unconscious wonder. We may focus our gaze upon the earth and its rewards, or we may look up to a distant sky and reach for diamond stars. Yet perhaps we do not need to strive so hard to reach the apparently unattainable; perhaps the beauty we seek was right here with us all along.

magnolia

About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at scvincent.com and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email: findme@scvincent.com.
This entry was posted in Birds, earth, England, Landscape, Photography and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

27 Responses to Nice weather for ducks

  1. Birdies!! I love birdies! I’ma bird lady! 😀

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  2. noelleg44 says:

    Drinking clouds…what a wonderful thought!

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  3. Kev says:

    Love the shots, Sue!

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  4. Eliza Waters says:

    I love the way you think! 🙂

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  5. M T McGuire says:

    Loved that thought about the sky. So true.

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  6. jenanita01 says:

    another lovely post, Sue… love the magpies especially…

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  7. denis1950 says:

    A wonderful photo/text essay Sue. I loved the candid bird shots and the blossom. Here the leaves are falling off deciduous trees but of course all the evergreens stay green. Where was the pup, don’t you take her drivies?

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    • Sue Vincent says:

      Thanks, Denis. It depends where we are going and what we are doing. A full day in the car going to a business in London ( we didn’t know it was in a park) didn’t seem like a fair option for Ani. She does love the car though!

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  8. Ali Isaac says:

    Lovely lovely lovely thoughts on something we regularly complain about! I am preparing flr a rain soaked couple of days out walking part of the Burren Way with a friend this weekend. Wish me luck!

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  9. Such a wonderful uplifting post about our little planet. Nature is wrapped all around us – I love that thought ^_^

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  10. vronlacroix says:

    There are some lovely thoughts in your writing that I will remember many times from now on.

    Like

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