Friday, February 04, 2011

The Hill Behind the House No. 3

I wanted to write so much more about the hill behind the house than I have written. Here is a day last June that I should have written about. Everything was yellow on that day. There were yellow flowers blooming in all the meadows, the evening sun was suffusing all the trees with yellow light, and someone had been out tying yellow strips of cloth on branches to make a course for orienteering along the forest tracks.

Now, deep in the heart of winter, when every morning on the way to work is black, and every evening on the way home is the same, I think about these summer days and long for them to be back. Last weekend, I walked with my daughter across the hill taking photographs of bare trees and the stalks of dried flowers. I got her to count how many types of tree she could identify. We saw about ten different varieties of pine and about the same number of deciduous types. Silver birch are the most common, and the most wintry looking.

As we turned towards home, the dusk started to fall. The darkness descends quickly at this time of year. At the foot of the far side of the hill, we examined the roots of two trees that had entwined about each other. One of the trees had been cut down, and we thought that rather sad. By the time we had got to the top of the hill, the trees were standing out in silhouette against the fading sky, looming above us. Then we watched the overhead lights along the path come on, glowing orange at first like coals, then slowly gleaming into phosphorecent brightness, as if someone had blown on them.

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