Mucky Common

Within seconds of entering the common, I see the tell-tale semi circular prints of horse hooves. Seconds later, I see the tell-tale equine bodies of horses. Minutes later, I tread in the tell-tale mud-buckets that horses hooves leave in the turf. A raven laughs at my footwear misfortune as my red trainers turn dun brown. I disbelieved there were horses here.

Mid-climb, I glance back at the city. The rows of houses, crowned by perpendicular structures. The castle, the cathedral, cranes and nuclear chimneys. Each of them spreading their own brand of toxic material. In between the matchbox houses, brushes of grey and brown tinder raise their voices. All the bushes here are horizontal. The city itself resembles a horse-shoe, embracing the common. Or perhaps strangling it.

I greet magpies, doffing my cap. Flies assemble for a fecal festival. Moss & lichen give way for new leaves, turning rapidly in the wind. I remember the first taste of this thin air. It was a taste of renewal then and it cleanses my lungs again. The shadow of a cloud ambles hungrily up the hill, towards me. A skyward monolith. The edges of the cloud itself burn with the spectrum, before I again get my time in the sun. I am bathed in UV and Vitamin D. I have missed you, Sol. Your absence has been noted.

A red arrow shits out a plume of smoke, resembling a cardiogram. Beep…Beep. The city is still alive. I am still alive. A private plane flies overhead and I wonder if he’ll write about me. Scribbling later in his journal, about all the things he’d seen from above. The wind is bracing and embracing, cooling my jets. The paths of two dogs intertwine as they chase each others tails.

I imagine markers over the people I know dwell in this place, “They are here”. Two Red Kites take the place of those markers, as they hover at eye level, surveying this land. They are above it all, hovering. A leaf soundtracks their flapping wings. A bee flies between them and when I look again, they’re further out and higher up. Their flight pattern towers above the man-made structures I see before me. Nature reclaims her place, she is the food chain.

As I choose to amble to the wing that sits atop the hill, a green beetle lands on my left arm with a thud. It is like a tiny scarab. He wanders my arm, then flies away. Where did he come from? Does it matter? Cliches of spring and renewal come thick and fast. Such is the nature of synchronicity. Such is the synchronicity of nature.

As I trench further up the hill, my foot plummets into a well trodden, murky lake of muddy water. I hastily circumnavigate, with drenched foot, to the stairs. In the corridor of trees at the top of these stairs, I see the branches moving counter to the wind. I stop and see a barrage of goldfinches. They are all around me and care not that I am in there space. I stand silently for a minute, thanking them for being cool and pushing on.

I notice how much this large object looks like another chimney, a traffic cone or perhaps a dunces hat. Man still building higher, in competition with the kites. This is the only thing higher than God’s house. I do not care for it, nor what it represents and turn my back on it. I make haste down the hill, attempting not to muddy my feet any more.

As I descend, I meet eyes with one of the Kites, who sits atop a tree. We spend a long moment assessing each other. I imagine his claws digging into my skin, and respect him as more than an aesthetic pleasure. He is a hunter. He kills to survive and does it with skill. We part ways and I move past a freshly pooled body of water, a stream running from underneath a shelf of mud. I notice the nodules of bright green grass underneath my feet and realise this has been freshly composted. The flies abounding these nodules confirm my suspicions, as does the heaps of fresh horse shit.

Decay & Growth.

The kite kills, the horse shits, the flies feast.

I got my feet wet and dirty.

I saw clearly.


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