New Forest, Midsummer
Night in the oak and beech, camped amongst the leaf litter. Merry England plays at the ancient edge of forest and heath. That golden green, that quiet of quiets. Of crested birds and insects buried, bums poking out of purple foxgloves.
Through the crooked root and tangled coppice: think warbling deciduous and tall firs. Cyclists power through unaware of deer and buzzard. That breezy Solstice air, that wakeful dapple of forest light. Surround-sound bird song.
Those shouts of children: the ones you heard as a child when you were put to bed whilst it was still light. You longingly fixated on the glowing curtains or canvas and heard shrieks. Wishing, wishing you could shriek outside too.
A charcoal-edged breeze in the thickening trees. Dusky light, it’s a barcode of green bark and white silver birch.