Once again, it’s evening and I am next to the river. The sun is dying as it starts to slide below the horizon. As a last hurrah, it blasts across the grass and trees suddenly illuminating them in a glorious spectacle of colour and brilliant light. The landscape changes, it blooms basking in the final death rays, of today’s sun, shadows become that little bit deeper and the tops of trees rustle in the gentle breeze. Sometimes you can see the individual leaves move or, in the case of the willow, whole bows sway with a roaring hiss.
The breeze catches the water and in places, the river becomes alive with little sparkles of light caused by the same sun just catching the tops of the wavelets. These are short-lived though as the sun sinks lower, finally it just hits the tops of the trees.
Suddenly, as quickly as it started the event is over. Lasting less than 5 minutes the world burst into life now it’s gone into a half-light. Not grey but blue with the amber crescent in the sky that shows where the sun finally bowed out.
I am silently standing, exhilarated by this superb event. I know that I could come here again tomorrow and not see the same. I was here this evening though I saw the magnificent beauty of an absolutely stunning sunset.
In the dying embers of the day, I am left with ghosts flitting around. The terns which patrol the river have moved on. The call of a blackbird hangs in the air and the slow thrumming of a heron’s wings beating as its flies to its roost site next to the lake.
An eerie quiet starts to descend over the fields and river. Small circles arise on the surface of the water as the fish pick off small flying insects that have made the mistake of landing there sometimes there is a soft plop and splash as the fish jumps.
The evening air is still. The river surface flat and calm. The cold inky black water moving on its never-ending journey towards the North Sea. Finally, it deposits its load of silt and mud in The Wash adding to the salt marsh there. At moments if you look very carefully, you can see the reeds swaying gently in the current the hypnotic movements carrying us away on far-flung travels of the mind.
The light level falls further and once more the breeze comes in. disturbing the river again with small ripples. It’s not cold but there is a late spring nip. Not uncomfortable but you do notice it. Rising, legs stiff from sitting, it’s time to go. To leave the peace and tranquillity of the riverside and return to the chaos of life.
It truly is a life of 2 halves. At once the serenity of the countryside and the hubbub and rush of modern life. I wish I could reconcile the two. They are too diverse. If, however, one day you can’t find me look away from the noise of and turmoil of modern life to where the wind blows, and the curlew’s cry. There you will find me.
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