A Week Into November
The sullen oaks mourn for their lost leaves. They give no pleasure-dome above me now.
The fieldfares are here, seemingly finding foraged food under a greyed sun which, through the sky-covering dome of cloud, resembles a rotten and badly-fried egg, watery and unwholesome.
Yet blackberries and nettles still put forth new-looking leaves, giving hope. Hollies will grace us with green throughout the coming weeks and months.
A primary-school teacher – a headmistress, I think she was – told me and a classful of youngsters that Winter was a time of death in the countryside. “Everything dies in the Winter,” she frowned.
Later, I found she had lied, even though she lived on the edge of farmland away from our row-upon-row of crumbling red-brick terraced houses. I walked in all seasons, in all weathers, through rolling countryside. I saw the Winter’s hope and it’s reasons for resting.
Now, the fieldfares, the blackberries, the nettles, the hollies and the embryo buds waiting on many seemingly dead trees, echo that hope and that promise.