The Afternoon Sun Shone Warmly

Through the blue above and puffs of woolly white the afternoon sun shone warmly. One of those intensely still and peaceful moments had caught me as I stood soaking in the pleasant rays, my dogs exploring elsewhere. Such was the silence that I had to turn and discover the source of a clicking that imposed on the quiet. Having pirouetted through the branches of a tree, a brown leaf was now bouncing down from one briar stem to the next within the thorny brambles of tangled undergrowth; a single leaf on its journey to join the autumn litter, the reds and gold, browns and oranges building layers to refresh the old scrubby grass.

Through a kaleidoscope of leaves and fractured time, my mind’s eye focused upon the small black wellington boots of a child who ran and kicked those leaves up high, high above his head and laughed. And not just one child, but two and three, girls and boys of various ages jumping and crunching in the wonderful dry old drifts, rolling in the multicoloured carpet and scooping them up to rain again joyously in free fall. In the moment, their brilliantly shining eyes, simple joys, innocent hearts; days long gone, but smiling still.

Although the leaf has fallen I see it still, suspended in time between two briars, brown and singular, its freshness long gone and usefulness nearly done, spinning in the sunlight before joining its peers in their autumn days. Perhaps just a little time to release its accumulated nutrients, before becoming a network of veins… and finally winter’s dust.

 And through the blue above, the afternoon sun shone warmly.

And still the afternoon sun shines, brilliantly.


© Clive Newnham, 05-11-2009.

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