Monday, September 18, 2006

Country life

Street noise, traffic, indicators, motorway, horns, engine, miles and miles of engine. Drive for about forty minutes from Glasgow's neon and smoke filled centre, and the roads start to get rougher. The greenery gets slowly wilder, the grass longer, the trees more ragged. The houses peter out. Mountains. Kestrel.

Stop the car, get out and close the door and

Bang the silence hits you deep and velvet and sweet. Stretching out across moors and water and sky. Endless silence. A clean air universe. Mist rolling over the hilltops, the loch as still as a mirror.

Dive into the undergrowth, tangled branches of birch and oak and rowan, brambles catching at your clothes, uneven ground, marsh. Mushrooms. Trek for two hours, circle till the green has soaked right into you.

Drive home.

In the house, strip and check each other's soft, warm places. Find black dots, the bodies of ticks with their heads buried in your flesh. Use tweezers - 180 degree anticlockwise rotation and pull. Burn the bodies. Disinfect.

I hate midgies and ticks and clegs (horseflies) and spiders and thorns. But perhaps it helps keep the silent places as they are, empty of people and crowded with life.

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