Everything is grey. Weather that isn’t quite weather. Just a never-ending cloud, starting as that thin fog at foot level, rising and rising into the dullness until it meets higher, greyer clouds above. The greyness mutes the colour of everything around, vibrant greens stilled into flatness, the bare trunks of trees fading browns into the background.
And it’s cold. The bitter air of a season slowly winding its way from the North. The sort of cold that burns lungs and brings an ache to uncovered ears. Dog walkers shove hands in pockets, bobble hats skimming the height of stone walls, boots gathering mud and puddle and grit. The wind is slight but biting, knifing through layers as if they didn’t exist at all. The air is dry, as if the greyness has leached away moisture as well as colour, taken dimensions, time and hope.
The metal gate screeches shut with that jarring sound screaming out across flat water. Gravel turns to mud, mud turns to loam and pine and root paths. The grey fades as I patter upwards, breathing the change in the air. Somehow thicker, richer, scented with that faint oil of conifer, needles breaking underfoot. Colour bursts under the trees with infinite depth. Spectrums of silent greens, deep browns, dark, dark blacks.
The trunks are thin but solid, needles high in the canopy straining for light. I lean back and look to the skies, tracing the lines in between treetops, black outlines almost glowing against the wan clouds above. The silence is different; muted, thick and comforting, not the sharp, sparse silence of the water below. A degree or two warmer even, an insular space, buffered by branches, the protection of thick rhododendrons, fallen trunks, moss, stillness.
I breathe green with the trees and stare deep through time and temperature. I breathe grey with the air and fly free for miles. I breathe black with the earth, and hear millennia under my feet.