Our division of the calendar is scoffed at by nature, the new year starting as the old one finished with wild and miserable weather. Never having been superstitious I regard this as disappointing rather than ill-omened and not without consolation. Later we will light a fire and enjoy the shelter and warmth as people have always done in mid-winter. First, however I must take my daily walk up the lane.
Turning right out of our drive I see the first part stretching before me like a tunnel with light at the end. I would have said this effect was achieved by the trees meeting overhead, and by the road’s antiquity causing it to sink below the land – a hollow way. But with starting this journal in mind I look more closely and find the canopy is formed less by the trees converging than by those on the right leaning inwards. Nor is the degree of sunkenness uniform, the bank rising more steeply on the opposite side. Here is my reason for keeping a record, such basic facts not registering until today. I need to pay more attention and writing makes me.
With the trees at my back the aspect becomes more open. There are houses to the left and an old orchard opposite. Then commercial apple growing takes over before, on one side, a large ploughed field. The lane finally opens onto a B-road, not busy but fast at this point so that cars flash across the opening like particles in a collider. Ahead rises a hill, cultivated on its lower slopes but wooded at the summit. New trees have recently been planted, the white posts resembling a war cemetery.
I shall have to describe of all this in more detail and monitor how things change over time. But for now an overview is all I have room for. This is because I have decided on a limit to how much I write, not quite arbitrary but linked to the number of days. Each entry will contain 365 words, no more, no less and already I am finding the discipline helpful. Any creative act needs constraints to work within. The picture defers to the frame.