A thin, brittle pane of glass. That’s all there is separating my World from theirs. I love being in their world; but the truth of the matter is, that at this time of year, I wouldn’t last a night. So, I stay on my side of the glass and watch.
Curtain call is always roughly one hour before dawn. Davenport, one of the ten Robins that grace my garden, sings his flutey song from his roost within the woodshed.
My flection in the square window looks back at me. For a brief moment, it has my undivided attention, prompting my awareness, highlighting the reality of the here and now; my grey hair, the paunch of good living, and the fact that I’m sat in a wheelchair. It is at this point that I snap out of my daydream, and look beyond the image that sits before me.
Tawny Owls, three of them; out there somewhere in the surrounding leafless oaks, sound their atmospheric quivering hoots, or occasionally a keeewik; broadcasting their whereabouts to each other. At other times, the panicky cluck of a Pheasant explodes in the stillness of pre-dawn, as it leaves its lofty roost. Probably spooked by one of the Owls.
The distant bark of a Fox cuts through the frosty night air, reminding me of the threat to any old, weak or injured creatures as it lurks stealthily amongst the shadows of the freezing night, searching for prey.
Throughout the month, the Wolf Moon as grown. At the moment its luminosity is magnified by the recent fall of snow that now blankets the ground. Night as almost become day. But only in the sense of light; the threats of the long, cold, January nights remain.
Regardless of the time of year, the dark hours form a barrier as formidable as The Berlin Wall between myself and the birds and animals with whom I share my time. I worry about them. Is there any need to? Maybe I’m being too over-sensitive, or it’s the feeling of helplessness created by the fact that they are beyond my protection.
I suppose there is only so much that I can do to prepare them for the long dark nights of Winter.
In the fading light, as the day returns to the Wolf, I question myself, asking not so much if I’ve done enough, but if I’ve done my best, my utmost. When lives are on the line, second best isn’t good enough.
I’m looking beyond that reflection of a portly, ageing, grey-haired man now, watching as the day’s dimmer-switch, turns tantalizingly slow, to reveal the detail of my outdoor surroundings.
Davenport as started singing his cheerful song, I can hear Harry (he’s one of our geese) honking, Jack’s just come in after finishing seeing to her horses, Kracka and Poppy.
The new day will bring its challenges for me, and for those outside who are bearing the brunt of this testing season.
The curtain is raised, the show as begun. One by one the players appear on the stage that is the square window, and I’ve got a front-row seat.
Easier times are ahead. At the moment they seem a million miles away, but they are so unbelievably close. Already, Birds are becoming territorial and even attempting to sing. It won’t be long before shafts of golden sunlight and the sound of bird song pour into our lives.
Before you go, I would like to say a special thank you to Andrea, who writes the Blog Harvesting Hectate for the helping shove.
Thank you, Andrea.