And thanks for the light.
Dr Rank’s last line in Ibsen’s A Doll’s House
Yesterday was National Poetry Day in the UK and the theme was Light. At our new home in Sussex, our south-facing garden lies under an amazing expanse of sky and we are treated to glorious sunrises and sunsets as well as the ever-changing light on the neighbouring hill and the cloud formations above.
But I share with you here an impromptu ‘prose poem’ I wrote a few years ago whilst contemplating an October sunset from our then suburban, more circumscribed idyll.
What I really wanted to say was about the view of our small garden from the conservatory in which I am sitting at 18:11 with the light fading and the leaves absolutely still. Now the light on my keyboard has a touch of sunset about it. It is 18:17 and I have been out to look to the West and see the apricot-coloured clouds, not quite in mackerel formation, but I type too slowly to stop and stare and record the extraordinary lighting effects, different every time I look up, but it is the leaves that I wanted to talk about. There is ivy and holly, and a big iceberg rose bush, lime leaves are darkening and I can’t see the honeysuckle – the effect even after a day of tidying up our little patch of nature looks, as ever, overgrown, but as I often think, well ordered. Each leaf finds its proper place, unlike my papers in the various rooms of the civilized house behind me which are in unsorted chaos. … have plugged in the Halogen reading lamp and I think again of the garden, the Western sky was roseate moments ago, but now I look up and discern only the faintest tinge of rose in an otherwise slate-grey sky which might be deciding to turn grey-blue as I look.
Nature is, of course, a miraculous poem unto itself.