Island Blog – Wolf Whistle

Why this? Wolves, as far as I know, do not whistle. But I may await a corrective.

Today my walk took me through and beneath the same trees. But all things are different from yesterday. For starters I watch two obvious tourists walk by my garden. Obvious because their kit tells me all. Not one islander wears what they are wearing. It speaks to me to me of change and hope and what lycra can do for any of us. Lycra has a voice. It says change. It says I don’t mind how ridiculous I look in this tight-fitting lightweight kit. I, yes I, am courageous enough to put it one despite my reflective mirror. I. Am. Going. Out. I smile. Good for you I say from behind my window. I won’t snigger. I was the sniggered at too often in my life to think it is ever okay to do the snigger thing. Instead I see courage.

Wood Sorrel, anemones, violets, celandines, primroses pepper the sunlit banks. I notice where they have decided to be born. How extraordinarily intelligent. They know the sun shift, after all. The blackthorn, a Go Away tree is flooded with pinkly white blossom, promising sloes for winter gin. I stop to say hallo. I remember you, you Go Away tree, when you were big and wide, commanding sky and light, until someone decided to strop you. But, see, you didn’t give up. Courage again. The Hornbeam is leafing up, that sassy dancer who can grow just about anywhere, slanting her body like a zig-zag in order to get what she needs. Her cluster of emerald leaves, like bunched fists, are growing in confidence. Willows buzz with bumble bees, the furry catkin buds alive with music. It stops me and I stop to gaze up at the fat furry bodies of Buff Tailed, Gypsy Cuckoo, White Tail, Garden, Moss Carder and Red Tailed bumble bees. I never knew there were so many of these solitary nesters. Courage, but only to me. Not to them. Normal to them.

Around the coastline I see confusion in the sea. Ah, the twist of tidal shift for there is little wind to excite anyone, least of all the puckering wavelets. A chill swifts its way towards me, me in my summer frock. I brace it. Welcome, I say. I was a bit warm to be honest, with all this pacing in my not lycra. I notice the beech trees, those silver solid strong fathers of the wood. They stand there, saying nothing, much like a husband, but I can’t just slide by without stopping. I see the wounds of time, the catch of storms past, the limbs lost, the steadfastness of this strong trunk of life. So much support of life. Birds nesting, birds landing for a rest, shade, insects. Father Protector. I get it. Down into the going back. The going back is the home leg I guess. It is where the loop bends like a hairpin and points the walker back to where he or she began. I know it so well. An open expanse of grass, now coming, coming with brave green voice into a new space. I nod my respects to Lord and Lady Larch, who seem without marital issue today. He is broken limbed but still the old style husband and she, she, who has always known herself and her situation, flows her limbs in a confident bold. She is remarkable, hundreds old and still on the dance floor. I guess he, Lord Larch is okay with it now as he never was when she was a young catch. How peaceful it feels around them now.

Sundance dapples the track as I wander home. In the last sycamore drift, at the ending of my walk in this ever changing connection with me and nature, I hear a wolf whistle. I know a wolf whistle. I have had a few in my time. I stop, turn to see who could be there. I see nobody. Ok, I say to the track behind me, what is this? The track says nothing. I wait. What I am thinking is this. At 68 a wolf whistle is really quite exciting. I want to locate this wolf whistler. Nothing. I begin to turn, remembering what fun it was at 16 to get one as I walked by a building site. Then I hear it again and I laugh at myself. The music created by nature. The wind lifting one limb of a tree against the other. Clearly I heard what I wanted to hear.