Monday, 19 April 2010

Skywatching

Everyone kept looking up at the sky. We turned as huge clouds blocked out the sun.

I looked for a dusting of ash on the cars parked out in the street. Saw only the reflection of Elm branches and a clear blue sky.

At the plot, I checked the spreading leaves of the rhubarb to see if any volcanic ash had found a place to settle this far South. The leaves are now bigger than my out-stretched hands. But as I leaned low to the ground, I saw only their new crinkly veins, the ridges of dark green touching wine red, a ladybird, strolling, black with red spots.

The rain catchers are dark with algae. Seems snow melt makes a lovely home for tiny creatures. I broke the surface with the watering can. Lost sight of it as I submerged it. My arm was invisible in black depths that chilled me as if that water still held some of January's ice. No dust on the surface, just my own face reflected back with the features inked out.

We planted seeds. Tiny dry dots and dashes of radish, salad leaves and spinach. Odd clustered chard seed, like worn out stones. And as we made their dark and damp beds with sprinkles of soil, we realized how lovely it is when the sky only belongs to the birds.

I love the surprise quietness of a town that otherwise hums with airport white-noise. I have never heard it like this before. Skywatching has taken on a new leisure without the speeding criss cross trails of jets. Just for a while.