Walking out today, and the air felt fresh and sharp; twangs of sap from the growth plucked from the oaks, ashes, and chestnuts by Storm Bronagh that passed by a couple days ago. Bronagh may be gone, but she still has straggling gusts chasing at her skirts – making these old trees creak alarmingly, and setting up the jays in the wood.
It’s breezy. Not quite ‘wild’ and not exactly what Britishers might call ‘a good stiff breeze’ but it’s getting there. When I pass by the cul-de-sac of houses, I am met by the thrumming whurr of telephone wires vibrating with the wind.
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It shouldn’t just be a week, and for some* I know that it isn’t. Awareness Weeks and National Days always make me feel edgy and conflicted, as the net floods with messages of support with perfect pictures and memes, and I cant help but wonder what happens afterwards.
But for you, gentle reader, I wanted to say this:
There are people out there who understand. There are people out there who don’t understand, but who will try their best to. They will sit and listen, they will burble easy conversation that isn’t taxing or threatening or judging.
All the other people you don’t have to sweat over. Don’t give them the space in your mind.
But there are those out there who wont care how awkward or difficult or weird or ugly you feel. They will still treat you with respect, they will still like you. They will still stand at your side.
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and suddenly you may fall into a place
populated by strange
empty hours filled with the hesitant light of afternoons
or of being caught unawares in conversation, and
startled – like birds,
clear-felled lots, hastily forgotten,
bald hillsides, prone to erosion,
is this a wilderness, or a devastation?
A loss, or a pause?
* * *
nb. And Suddenly is a very old doggerel of terrible Vogon poetry by yours truly. Mental Health by way of ecology, or “writing-with” nature – as inspired by the works of Robert MacFarlane, Gary Snyder, Murray Bookchin (kinda).