There’s a stillness up on the hill today, up past the time portal gate.
The mud and trees absorb the slightest sound.
Occasionally, there’s a rustling of leaves overhead, a reminder of a breeze in the outside world. But here in this ancient woodland, it’s still. Silent.
The cohort of pines in the top corner is magnificent. Sashaying, olive green against a Mediterranean blue sky, and then, beyond the trees, the Marshwood Vale, the flat top of Golden Cap (the highest point on the south coast) and the sea.
On the other side of the hill, the sun peeps through the branches of this cathedral to nature.
It’s a divine moment. If I were at all religious, I’d feel close to my creator. I certainly feel close to something, up here on the hill. Nature, natural splendour, the order of things, the beyondness of things.
Down through the gate and the wind hits my face, reminding me of the here and now.
The dog peels off to chase deer in the woods, a raven croaks in the copse and a buzzard mews overhead. Nothing but blue skies and green, green grass.
I stand at the gate and ruminate, because that’s what country people do.
And then the dog comes back.