It was a slow start to the day, cups of coffee for builders, consultation about flints, spotting more bindweed that needed attention, but at last Hoover and I were free. The dry grasses rustled at us as we brushed past on our way up to the beckoning blue.
The wheat stood stiff and straight, rattling its heads as we passed, Hoover stopping to sniff who had passed before us. The oats shushed us, it’s wilder cousin standing tall above the heads of the short stemmed main crop. Planted late after the winter wheat failed in the sog of last winter, it is only beginning to ripen now. It’s going to be a late harvest this year, with one friend predicting that they won’t be finished until November.
Where the paths met we were joined by another friend, his dogs, feisty little terriers, skirting round Hoover, busy with their tracking and sniffing. It is always a challenge meeting him as he and his wife are long distance walkers, thinking nothing of 100 mile walks and he strides ahead so that I, who am usually considered a brisk walker have to step out to keep up.
We flashed past the fields, the abundance of the hedgerow flowers slipping into memory as the last bright yellow of late dandelions sparkled in the morning dew. We strode up the hill to the top, pausing briefly to admire the glory of the hills all dressed in the soft ochres of ripening crops. Where fields have been harvested already new growth is busting through the freshly turned earth.
Hoover glanced about for deer, but her companions were busy searching out any holes they could dive down.
On our way back I was struck by the brilliance of the sun shining through the leaves of the old chestnut. Each morning as we start out we walk under it to reach the footpath up onto the hill, but the sun is behind us and on the way back I am often too busy negotiating the fragile gravel surface of the steep path to look up, my mind full of plans and ideas that are hankering after a page. This morning the dancing leaves caught me unaware, stopping me in my tracks. Hints of blue shone through the vibrant green, soft movements breaking and scattering the light. Hoover seemed to know that I would want to pause, turning back to me to see what I would do.
Only a few steps further on and the branch of a young copper beech stretched out and arm pointing up into the clear blue.
“OK,” I agreed. “Clear your head and keep the story crisp.”
The page is beckoning.