Have you noticed? For all we’ve been focussed on day-to-day weather recently, it’s the temperature we’ve talked about, here in Europe at any rate (‘Phew it’s too hot!’), and the lack of rain (‘Oooh, my poor garden!). I realised, only the other day, that wind has been in short supply. No summer breezes, no brisk gusts, no sudden squalls.
Then Rebecca’s Monthly Poetry Challenge dropped into my in-box. She wants us to write about wind, employing the literary device of anaphora. No, I didn’t know what that was either. You can read about it here.
I could have snuck in and offered the rhyme that my children were brought up on.
When the wind is in the east, ’tis neither good for man nor beast; When the wind is in the north, the skillful fisher goes not forth; When the wind is in the south, it blows the bait in the fishes’ mouth; When the wind is in the west, then ’tis at the very best.
But that would be cheating.
So here we are …
This is wind: softly susurrating.
This is wind: sweetly sighing.
This is wind: breezily billowing.
This also is wind: galloping gustily;
roaring and raging; shrieking and storming -
Here today. Gone tomorrow.
This is wind.
And it turns out that wind is not after all an endangered species. Yesterday was properly windy, for the first time in weeks.
Here comes the sun. That’s the theme for the Lens-Artists Challenge, hosted this week by Amy. As I browsed through my collection of sunrises and sunsets, I decided to focus on the rich variety of colours and mood displayed at either end of the day. It’s not always easy to tell which are morning, and which evening. It’s not always easy to decide which images to choose. I’ve gone for a bargain basement pick-and-mix selection, from England, Europe and beyond. Because we all share the same sun, the same sky.
For the last month, I’ve sometimes been a bit grumpy in the evening. It’s the same every year. The longest day comes … and then goes. And inexorably, the days get shorter and I’m reminded that winter’s on its way. I enjoy the season: the gaunt skeletal outlines of trees, the chill in the air. But I really don’t like the short days and the endlessly long nights that come with winter.
So when this week’s #Tanka Tuesday issued the challenge to write a syllabic poem entitled The Longest Day, I knew exactly what to write about, and chose to use the nonet form: a nine-line poem, that goes from 9 syllables in the first line, down to one in the last line.
This was the last photo I took yesterday, as I was safely indoors. It was 3.00 p.m., and I thought daughter-who-lives-in-Spain would like to see what she was missing as sleet careered past the window. She didn’t appear to feel awfully jealous. .
Every culture throughout the world has its myths about how the earth, and everything that inhabits the earth, came into being. Here in the UK, historically part of the Judeo-Christian tradition, we’re most familiar with the creation story told in The Book of Genesis.
Day 1 – God created light and separated the light from the darkness, calling light ‘day’ and darkness ‘night’. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
Day 2 – God created an expanse of sky to separate the waters. Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters.
Day 3 – God created the dry ground and gathered the waters, calling the dry ground ‘land’, and the gathered waters ‘seas’. Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.
On day three, God also created plant life. Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.
Day 4 – God created the sun, moon, and the stars to give light to the earth and to govern and separate the day and the night. These would also serve as signs to mark seasons, days, and years. Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years.
Day 5 – God created every living creature of the seas and every winged bird, blessing them to multiply and fill the waters and the sky with life. Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven… Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.
Day 6 – God created man and woman in his own image. He gave them every creature and the whole earth to rule over, care for, and cultivate. Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. Which is perhaps where it all started to go wrong …
PS. Thanks to your ‘likes’ on this recent post, I’ve been able to donate £28.00 on your behalf to World Central Kitchens, as they feed the dispossessed fleeing from war in Ukraine and other humanitarian catastrophes.
I’m a fan of fog. Not the yellowish throat-catching, grimy sooty pall that that I remember from a 1950s London childhood, which dirtied our clothing and made us cough while we waited in vain for buses, delayed by their headlights’ inability to pierce the gloom with their faint orange glow. Sometimes the conductor, carrying a torch, had to walk in front, picking out a path through the murk. No, now I enjoy peeking through the windows at a landscape softened in a mantle of greyish white. Or walking in the Dales, barely able to distinguish the path ahead, as sheep suddenly loom before us, concealed behind frozen grassy clumps.
These are all from the Yorkshire Dales, in Wharfedale near Burnsall. Here are just a few more – three taken near our house, and one, like the header photo, at Fountains Abbey.
Since clock change, I’ve been unable to wake up later than 5 o’clock. So inspired by Becky’s walk at sunrise, and by the clear sky last night, I was out by 6.00 to catch the sun’s first rays. But it was cloudy – thick cross-patch grey. And my phone doesn’t do low light levels. But here’s my early morning photo-diary. With not a sunrise in sight.
Tina’s asked us to consider light, in Lens-Artists’ Challenge #162. I decided I could do worse than wander about our own home patch, and go for a stroll that lasted from early morning to evening, from summer to a snowy day and watch how the light changes as the day wears on.
I got into the habit, during lockdown, of getting up bright and early to watch the sun rise. Here it is, over the River Ure.
And here we are, never more than ten minutes away from home, in the morning, at noon, and at sunset.
The last two are taken, firstly on one bright morning when there’d been so much rain the fields had flooded, and then later, one evening just as the sun had set.