Digging in the rain (545)

by Max Akroyd

If the sequence of the seasons resembles the human life span, and I think it’s sometimes uncomfortably analagous, then these last days leading to the winter solstice are like the final days of dotage. Time rambles on. Everything visible in the landscape is sparse, shrunken and drained of colour. But a superficial survey of the scene doesn’t reveal all the invisible energy laid down over the year, stored beneath the surface, poised and waiting for the light to return. It’s just an interlude before the resurgence of other, new growth.

Spurred on by lots of rain and warm spring sunshine, that new growth comes like an almost ridiculously huge, dazzling wave around here; the present, brief hiatus is the only moment when you could fool yourself into thinking that you’re in control. The unapposed nature of progress means that digging trenches on a filthy December morning is not the strange act of masochism it may appear to be. Never mind that I own the worst cagoule in the world which somehow conspires to get wetter on the inside than it gets on the outside. (Maybe I should wear it inside-out?). Never mind that I’m wet through after just a couple of hours and need a whole new set of clothes. The weeds are asleep and I intend to steal their kingdom.