by Danny James
Sunday came as Sundays do, with utile retrospectives of the week that was, breaking dawn over the yawning consciousness. These early ended days and seasonal moods seem no longer parallel with my evolved pursuits and may after all prove the last debris of habitual civilities being to a better advantage left as I go to the grove. It is not now enough that I can draw rational ends from what is done, but consider need how they may be useful if only in ways ahead. Just as Auroral warmth will, in the course of time sun the outermost blades of a dew-dampened glebe, it touches the curiosity sooner or later, of who linger long enough after young ire cools, that perhaps many more insights might be hidden in the forest bed that could rend the former outworn. The idea of setting in to meet a future self, more intelligent and virtuous, that you never could imagine much less decide on, becomes with accidental age an increasing prospect of interest. The flow of streams do not cease, and though the refractory trance of shimmering light gives good reason for satisfied reflection, the brooks on which they bend keep right on pouring into an unknown. You will appreciate then a favourable discomfort when can you dwell on renewal, and receive it well, knowing there is some knowledge to be gained from the mountains still, which, from their peaks impart more than will the valleys ever read, and can the mountains themselves even tell.
The areas I would explore, until today I’d stalled in visiting. Knowing well the enjoyment gathered there before, would be increased with new awareness added since, and compounded further by anticipations of forthcoming study. I went once more to the woods and felt instantly recognised and secure. By a warmly gesture of introduction, the entrance appeared fitted with a near ceremonious fanfare proceeding long back to the mark I ventured from, growing in a silent fervency not immediately obvious. Leaves rained down from above, every so often at first, tumbling in fine spun algorithms too sharp and delicate for the pace of human eye, then, in multitudes were flung unabated and cheerfully to enhance the charm of the trail. Meadows bristled with tactile hush, – the very roots playfully inspected by low swerving gusts which without warning suddenly would surge up, bursting clear and jubilant from a gap in the grass, to rejoin the surface current. Much of the forest in concert swayed solemnly, but the diligent observer would have noted dotting the flanking elevations in crucial positions amid the chime, stood sentry Coniferae, ominously firm yet acknowledging in generous respects. As I passed through the thicket there intimated a mysterious parting of things on approach, that closed to my heel, swallowing before it fell, the very dust hurled by my arrival. It was as though an agreement had whispered over the lands, that I had consent to saunter unhindered and accepted, a brother lost to the years, and finally come home from his wilds.
Though all the day long, storm clouds had moaned the difficulty of holding verve, I found it trying nonetheless to suppose a more lenient setting than I’d found in the dandelion meadows where I lay a good hour. With none but the breeze for company and fits of chimeric spray escaped and washing the distant hilltops to delight my attentions, there is sufficient shelter and entertainment here no doubt, should the lid relenting begin to weep, and in doing so arrest the course of any traveller. There remained however, much of the valley to reach and while the thought of staying had qualified it’s charisma, worsening tempers in the sky did thrust a buried preference forward, impelling thus a need to gather at once my last looks and be on my way.
So into the great Maitai I pressed deeper, neither hurrying nor with delay, and with the constant threat of a downpour hanging where I went. I can tell you, that time in the meadow with my ear to the Earth, and feeling the heartbeat of Thunder throbbing all the way through, indeed was the finest hour of the day.
Setting off from the hostel to Nelson town in the early evening, to take my final walk of this December 8th, one event of disagreeable familiarity transpired as I approached the Collingwood bridge. No sooner had I marked a black portentousness in the summits, now buried in shroud of pending tumult, than it barked recognition and volleyed at once towards and upon me loosing an increasingly light-hearted cloudburst that suffered no malice to it, and within mere seconds tapered into a drizzle. How six years ago coming to that same bridge I met with a similar inexplicable wave that did rush to welcome me my first hour. Although I had not since been still, having lapped the Earth over many times, and numerous personal revolutions undergone to the fact I am almost somebody different entirely, it was here finally the fretting sky had caught up with me.