We walk out into a drenched landscape.  I can’t see the rain except in a blurring of the air.  I can’t feel it, except in a drenching of fabric and fur.  But the trees display it like sparkling finery: in crystal drops like precious fruits lobed on the end of twigs and gleaming bubbles surrounding withered rosehips.  The world isn’t silent, but it seems that way.  The song of a robin and the trumpet of moorhens shatter the air.  This kind of rain obscures the landscape, but also brings it clarity.  It draws me to reflections, fingers of rain-drenched branches reflected in rippling waters.

Winter hasn’t let go of its grip on the land.  Wild winds and hail that pricks my skin. Puddles shattered by ice.  But winter has relented today.  No more ice.  No more cold.  The air isn’t quite warm, but it’s gentle.  A crow perches on a rubbish bin, head feathers wetted into soft spikes.  It allows me to approach, then follows us, hopping along the grass.  When we pass, I feel the breath of its wings as it swoops to a tree just ahead.  This doesn’t seem like a mobbing, more a gesture of connection.

I need this gentle melancholy.  At night I’m plagued by anxious dreams associated with work.  When I wake, it’s often with a work problem in my thoughts.  I crave comfort: the comfort of familiar books, already-written stories, well-trodden paths.  I crave withdrawal.  Perhaps this is no more than the turmoil of approaching spring and when the bluebells bloom I’ll return.

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