A Sunrise Walk in February

It wasn’t much of a sunrise, truth be told. I walked out along the coast path, hoping for a spectacle, or even a moment of…something, against the implication of the grey blanket of cloud.

I reached the field I love the most. Somehow the camber, the line and roll of it warms my heart, like being enfolded. It’s bordered by hedgerow and, at the bottom, a soft orange coloured dry stone wall, prone to lichen. Bare hedgerow and small trees delineate the top of it as it rises towards the eye’s horizon line, towards the sky.

I’ve walked it when it’s dark and furrowed after ploughing, and in late spring when the soft green barley swayed along the roll of the hill. But today, it was covered in the beginnings of some brassica, the last of the stubble poking up between. Scruffy, bare and not as magical as before.

The sunrise happened. It didn’t change much, and I turned back. A little robin accompanied me some of the way, hopping along the hedgerow. It was only then that I noticed the few, 10 at most, blackthorn flowers, stark white and seemingly so vulnerable against the scratched black lines of the hedgerow. Some of the first flowers to gladden the soul after winter. Perhaps because my eyes are so hungry for softness and prettiness in February, I distinctly remember a handful of times I’ve discovered them with surprise and a smile. Knowing spring is coming. Knowing is enough for now.