Today I had a moment of strangeness, of randomness. Up until that point it had been a crazy day of frustrations, of interruptions and constantly running late. It all began with the madness of the motorway and the addition of half an hour to my commute. This meant that I was picking up pieces all day and having my breakfast at break time.

Then came lunch time. As I walked out onto the pitch and the students began to kick the ball about and gather in sandwich scoffing gangs I thought; this is my chance to breathe, this is my space. Then I was stopped in my tracks. A crow broke away from his fights with gulls and stood beside me. Very close. He looked at me and as I saw the puffs of his steamy breath beat out I glanced around with a “are you looking at me?” face. He was not looking at me, he was contemplating me. Then I realised, this is not my space. This is his home and I just walk through and visit. After what seemed like forever, the moment was gone. There were gulls to fight and sandwich crusts to hunt.

I was reminded of another moment at the weekend. We had just broken camp and cleared our selves neatly away. The instructor chatted to us for a while about the concept of ‘leave no trace’ and our impact on the environment as we lingered around the campsite. We need to be so conscious of minimising our effect on these lingering wild places. After walking away and at a distance I heard the klunks of ravens. A pair descended on our old campsite with their huge black bodies hopping around. All was calm and I heard them talk to each other. I might have even heard them as a whisper. It might have been imagination or it might have been some deep remnant of understanding from a time long forgotten. I think I might have heard them speak to each other, this pair of old friends; “Can you believe this! These ******** have left no trace!”