Monday, May 04, 2009

Under the silver halo– Hampstead Heath

Friday May 1, 2009:

“Encircled by the blackbird’s song
The golden sun begins to rise.
Beneath the mist, the flower strewn heath,
Proves summer is a-coming in!”
I feel distinctly grumpy this morning. Perhaps it’s the unearthly hour or my irritation that the taxi driver doesn’t know where he is going. My p.a. has lost her house keys and is keeping us waiting. I’m not very good at being late. It makes me nervous. I breathe and ask to leave my anxiety and impatience with winter.

We walk under a soft dark sky circled by birdsong, their fluting and twittering ringing above our heads like silver audio halos of joy! I breathe in the fresh morning and imagine the sound gilding everything around us.

I scoop up the cool dew and wash my face in it, feeling my warm cheeks cool. At the top of the hill, London lies beneath us, a million lights glittering in the greying dawn. WE sing a song, do a little dance, leave a posy and walk on. At the pine grove, we sing another song, leave another posy and walk on.

There is a rolling mist across the heath. WE wade through it and as we do, wild flowers glisten in the dawn light. Two male mallards sit companionably together beside the path watching us as we stride forth. Frivolously, I wonder aloud if they are staking out a new gay cruising ground! I quack cheerfully at them as I pass.

We walk on and I begin to feel distinctly tetchy as I march up the uneven hill. My knees hurt this morning and I am thinking about the climb over the fence into Boudica’s mount.

But we are there to help each other. Despite my swearing, I get over. We gather amongst the trees and make wishes laying our hands upon the head of the prancing ‘Obby ‘Oss, who is proving this morning to be a bit of a handful! I wish to be happy in my heart – a public acknowledgement that, despite the good things that have been happening recently, I’m still sad in my heart. Briefly I wonder what the basis of that sadness is before my mind is drawn back to the problem of getting back over the fence again!

That accomplished, we all walk down through the heath towards the Kenwood Springs. Perhaps it is the abundance of the dawn chorus that has inspired us, but we sing all the way. Some sacred songs, some might musical, a hymn and some silly songs. WE have the heath to ourselves, only the birds are making more racket than we.

The spring bubbles and tinkles. WE circle it and drink tea and eat strawberries. WE sing to the spring and gather may to wear in our hair and as a pre breakfast snack. Here, we give thanks for what is turning out to be a gloriously sunny summer morning and begin to make our way back across the heath, to breakfast.


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