Tonight I picked up a book that is a thing of beauty. It was a book that I ordered from tworavenspress, the blurb attracted me and my experience of their books was the final thing that sent me ordering it. When I got the book in the post last week I had a quick flick through it and began to feel disappointed. Fishing seemed to dominate as a topic; had I made a mistake. However, the weekend is a little pocket of time to dwell on things and an opportunity to dig a little deeper. I am glad I gave the book another go tonight, it is wonderfully written book. It is poetry that is written from a place of honesty. Fishing for pike has so far been a repeating theme but, contrary to my expectations, it does not distract from the prose and purpose.
We walked back across the tundra as the light closed down. That night, while I lay still wakeful I heard the church clock strike midnight and then, high up, like a remote echo of a time before anyone had ever thought of naming the kwelder, perhaps even a time before the kwelder was, came the call of geese -ancient, fussy, urgent. From the warmth where I hugged myself I imagined that big V of birds riding the air, the slow, hoarse beat of their wings crossing the moon and the Pleiades, and thought of them descending just two miles to the north – descending, settling, gabbing quietly to each other that after navigating through magnetism, through storm, ice and isobars they had finally reached a habitation in the heart of winter.
I suppose that these days there are many who would never notice, many who would find geese and their winter journeys irrelevant at best. After all, it took me long enough to come round to noticing. I don’t think the call of wild geese in winter would have meant very much to me for most of my adult life. But now, having become aware of the strangeness of the familiar, the noticing is like a rhythm. The days are punctuated by the appearance or the sounds of those natural things that mark time passing. Two nights ago, hearing the geese call over the house at midnight, time passed in wing beats, and I was so profoundly reassured that I don’t remember falling asleep.
Chris McCully – Outside