Friday, 13 March 2009

Night hunting: darkness, fields and silence...

Lying in a field at night and looking - for something like an hour - at one small stretch of hedgerow; here are some molehills; here, there's a tussock; here is a lone thistle; here, the darkness of a rabbit hole and here a stretch of featureless grass that is dimly lit by the sodium-glow of a row of street lights in the distance - and for an hour, none of this changes.

You breathe in and you breathe out (the weather is less Arctic now, so your breath doesn't produce great rabbit-alerting, foggy clouds or steam up your scope quite as badly as it did a week ago); the thoughts that go through your mind have space enough to do so in plain view so you - the field of your consciousness, now relatively still - seem to be a more placid setting for the sparse but vivid thoughts and feelings that do make their appearance, as you sit and wait and look and breathe.

You think about your life, of course - and about dying and love and air rifles and rabbits and God and dinner and death.

You hear a train approach; you feel and hear the train go by. The silence is even deeper after the train has gone and, for a moment or two, you don't think about anything at all.

You take a slow look around.

And you notice - over there by the thistle that hasn't moved and the molehills that haven't moved and the hedge that hasn't moved - something small and indistinct that, you'd swear, wasn't there five minutes ago. So you raise - slowly, slowly, you raise - the scope to your eye and you take a look...


  1. this is beautiful poignant piece of writing - thanks HH

  2. Gosh, I'd forgotten I'd written this. Thank you, Seth, that's very kind of you.