Bright sunny day. A small breeze teases wisps of cirrus cloud in a near perfect blue sky, long shaded trails of white. Sitting on the grass, looking up at the tall thin trees gently swaying. Then above the shimmering rustle I hear skylarks – somewhere higher than the trees in front of me and beyond, above a field somewhere up in the air. The fantastic fluttering melody rising as they fly, unable to place the sound as it’s carried off by the wind and then returning. I remember the first time I learned the sound of the skylark, I was instantly taken back to fields in Norfolk where that sound seemed to be everywhere in summer.
I’ve only seen a Skylark once before, as I was cycling up a hill in Church Langton in Leicestershire but that sound is such a wonderful, beautiful sound.
I was walking from work to the recycling bins with an empty coffee jar. As I went down the road I looked around me and listened. A bright day, bird song, sudden blossom on trees. There was pop music coming out of an open door – something r’n’b with bleeps and beats, a simple rhyme spoke/sung/rapped over the top – I thought to myself ‘How can we make this?’ I thought to myself ‘Is this how I will be judged too?’
I carried on walking past the coach works, the sound of angle grinders and panels being beaten and I looked at the jar in my hand. Once as a child with my brother we would take jars like this down to the river with brightly coloured nets, hoping to catch sticklebacks. Holding it up to the light amazed at we are, at what we have become.
The morning is quiet and grey. The odd family car drives past, sidelights on, most only seem to have the one occupant and it’s usually Dad, the driver. There’s a breeze, the lilac and holly seem to tremble gently in it. Two rooks sit on the telephone wires right next to the tip of the pole. The garden has two piles of stripped tree cuttings, thin branches, almost shoots. There is soup to be made. Typing this out now, I’m grateful for how simple it all is.