The gift of choice

by will moody ~

An intersection marks the beginning of our scene. Once again, we are met with the pleasant freedom of choice we might expect on an evening’s stroll. In fact, today, like most days it would now seem, a warming glow lingers in the air as if to suggest the recently parted rays of the sun may provide some comfort for a while longer, and are welcomed as such. Sultry shades hovering above the distant tree lines recite this tale as they gently waft toward the heavens, intertwining with the wisps of cloud choosing to remain also. This transcendental waltz in the sky is complemented further by the presence of Venus, who surveys the scene from above in her modest glory, a magnificent jewel neatly placed atop this show of wonder from God. Judging by her trajectory in the evening amber one could reasonably assume the time of year was early May.

Averting thoughts away from the cosmos and bringing eyes to the forefront, three gravel paths roll away into the undulating expanse ahead, each offering unique charms which form their invitation to wander into the realms beyond.

The first winds lazily toward an enclosure of oaks, of which nestled between rests a fallen member of their company. Laying serenely on the bed of pasture beneath, the surrounding theatre stand sentinel as if protecting their friend. With greater focus of the eye they in fact seem to lean in, cradling or perhaps even nursing the tree felled by the cruel hands of Time. Sentiments of loss ripple back towards us along the walkway, past previously unnoticed shrubs and the neighbouring silver birches who hang their heart-shaped leaves in a melancholic sway to the rhythm of the gentle breeze.

Second, our view is blinkered, though where this path grants less in openness it affords more in detail. Centred and straight, the walkway offers a grounding unlike the route afore, enfolded betwixt lines of oak and chestnut, each displaying leaves with a bright vivacity akin to the youthfulness of memories past. A flood of chartreuse is pronounced by glimmers of daylight still present in the air, permeating through what little gaps remain. The soil here breathes, exhaling an earthly scent and inhaling the carbon above. Amidst this, an unmistakable rat-tat-tat reverberates through the woods before the perpetrator, a green woodpecker, flutters clumsily from left side to right, lands, and rests.

Finally, we see a guiding river of earth and stone flow toward a vast lake. No other routes seem to disturb this path, and while the canopy of beeches creates darkness for some time, at the foot of the water a sheet of light cascades down, dancing on the surface and with it the flies tango too. Meanwhile, ducks and geese journey to an island at the North East corner which seems exposed, but truly they provide one another shelter. The circling parade of beeches is now joined by sycamore and ash, overlooking the scene with admiration, for once again new life breathes in the form of ducklings and goslings, tenderly reminding us of the splendour of parenthood. At the furthest reach of the lake lies its talisman, a white willow, which gracefully leans inward and rests its headdress above the spawn of young lilies which now populate the Eastern bank. It hangs delicately, honouring the remarkable intimacy we see in Nature where our dear friends live together as one.

Though not born out of greed, to dismiss the gift of choice for want of it all is nothing but a disservice to oneself. Embrace decisions. Admire beauty. And if life awards you such fortune may we see you here again.