And the revelation?
Came as I drove 'round one of the many, many bends descending into the valley. You do two hairpins and if you look up you can see where you've come from, across an expanse of long, thick grass.
At the end of summer it's usually a deep golden yellow, and when the wind comes up towards the end of the day it ripples like water. Utterly mesmerising - hard to keep your eyes on the road (oops). It's a marker, one of the signals that weaves together in a journey which means more than roadsigns or street numbers. It's a marker I haven't seen for several years, because the trip home that way takes about an hour longer and the road is getting crappier.
I drove the two hairpins.
I looked up.
The field of golden water wasn't there...
...trees had regenerated.
Over half the area was covered with small to mid sized bushes and trees. I could catch a quick glimpse of the grass between, but no more ripples on the hill now. How recent was this? Was it on purpose, planted out by a new owner? Or was it natural, because it had been neglected, or purposely left to regenerate itself? I was disappointed for myself, but how exciting to see regeneration happening.
About twenty years ago, I wrote a poem about that grass, and about a boy I was in love with. About four years ago, I wrote it out and gave it to the Millstone, and told him it was about him. Gah. How to spoil memories, eh? At the time, though, I was trying to appease and keep him from one of his many foul moods. He was touched... he shed a tear... I found the poem a few weeks later on the floor covered with dog hair, red wine, and tobacco. Pfft.
I'm still in love with that first boy. He was the only one I ever went out with who treated me with genuine respect and admiration, and thought I was fucking fantastic. I, of course, in my utter lack of experience, totally failed to understand how very, very special that was. I've had about half my life so far to grasp that, now. Derr, Toasty!
And yet the earth has shifted.