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The Weald is bathed in a soft blue light by early afternoon. A washed-blue sky is flecked with clouds that display grey hearts but smile with golden skins – and as they join hands and swell and pile upwards the sun dances between them, casting hot shafts down towards the earth.
The trees are full, still heavy with leaves, but the foliage wears a weary aspect as though dusted with fine powder, made dull in the daylight.
The fields, all harvested since, carry great rolls and blocks of straw, parked at random between the chopped ranks of corn-gold. The earth, brown and rich from the night-time rains.
Looking up, the hills are green, carpeting right up under the woodland verge. Still, and waiting. But the birds are back. Gathering again in hedge and copse, they chatter and call, some ready we hear, for the cry to go. For Autumn is there in the wings. On trees here, there, brown patches now amidst the dusky green. No tawny fall yet, but the signature is there. The coolness in the breeze and the sudden fall of evening. So the birds gather and feed, as they did in the awakening of the Summer.
And we gather time while we may. Glancing over our shoulders for the passing, for the long glide into Summer’s fade, waiting but not wanting. Drinking the last of the scented breeze before the Autumn spice is cast.
And I sit, eyes closed to the sun, seeing but not looking as the clouds flick shadows over my face, until the sun touches again her soft warm fingers on my eyelids. And in the darkness under the lids, the soft rolling green of the Weald wells up again.