The summer drifts away with every lengthening morning shadow; every peep of sun behind chimney pots, every dappling of wandered path. Mornings are finger tingling, dragon breathing, coats zipping, protestations against extra layers – not just yet do we wish to wave farewell to the warmth.
The woods are changing daily now. The stillness and the heady, heavy scent of Himalayan balsam are replaced by a breeze that carelessly brushes leaves to the ground as it rushes through the treetops, and pushes the Clyde against its current; fidgety ripples disturbing the reflection of the lowering sun on the water. A sun that fractures into a million tiny watery stars, then becomes two quicksilver flashing water dragons, racing each other to the sea, gamboling downstream.
I have a conker in my hand, though I don’t remember having picked it up. It is the smoothest thing I have ever touched, it is every rich brown I have ever seen. It is chocolate, and caramel, and the warmth of the red sandstone of this area of Scotland, my new home. It is home.
This conker is potential new life; a new world; an existence expectantly waiting in the wings.
And for a moment I am Mother Earth in wellies and wax jacket, holding this perfect potential in my hand. I could take it home for the mantelpiece, or I could be the giver of life, the giver of protection, of home, of warmth and sustenance within its growing form from a tiny sapling to a great horse chestnut , future mother-tree protecting all that shelter in, on and beneath her benevolent branches.
I push the conker into the ground, I become human again. Unimportant again. Nature will have its own stories to tell and existences to plot.
I walk on through the woods, pushed this way and that by the breeze.