Thursday, 10 September 2009

afternoons in the garden

Recent drops of soft rain are shining on leaves and all the plants around me are drinking from the earth. A shabby gate, old black boards slowly greening from the bottom upwards. I can see through the slats to three hens and their cockerel, picking and packing round their stony enclosure to discover what changed during their overnight confinement. Small, squat little birds zigzag from the trees, snatching grain. I turn up the radio and walk away; our defence against foxes is a quiet burble of Radio 4, talking to no-one but keeping alive a small human presence in a corner of the landscape. Discontertingly at first, until recognised, the sound drifts through the garden. Deep conversational voices, in their recognisable rhythym, soon recede into a low background murmur. A constant in light and darkness, the steady cadence of the radio, and I think the patient earth, is there, whenever you turn to listen to it.

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